Americans’ SAT Scores had to be re-centered in 1995 because of a 15-year decline in the 1960s and 70s that everyone seems to have forgotten about, as far as I can tell.
The “center” was no longer 500 by 1995, so they moved it.
In other words, a student who receives a score of 680 on the Critical Reading in 2011 would have scored a 610 had they taken the test prior to 1995.
It’s like going into the Gap thinking you’re a size 8 but discovering that you fit into a size 4. You didn’t suddenly lose weight; they made the sizes bigger!
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis