The SAT scores of high school juniors are slightly down from last year in the Gem State, according to education officials.

“The SAT is one measure of college readiness, but focusing on one test score does not tell the whole story for any student.” Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said in a statement on Monday. “We know that results can reflect attitude as well as aptitude and are impacted by a variety of factors.”

She said the state average score for Evidence Based Reading and Writing this year is 496, with 56 percent reaching the SAT’s college-readiness benchmark of 480 – down from 502 and 57 percent in 2018. The mean score in mathematics is 480, according to the news release, with 33 percent reaching the SAT’s benchmark of 530. That’s down from 486 in 2018, when 33 percent also met the benchmark.

Idaho requires all students to take a college entrance exam to graduate from high school.

“We need to start a conversation about what assessments and measures best reflect how well students are prepared for college or a career based on their chosen post-secondary pathway,” Ybarra said.

The superintendent said she has asked an assessment team to look into comparing the SAT results for this year’s juniors with their ISAT and PSAT results from their sophomore year. The assessment team also will be looking at median scores to compare distribution of scores, which could indicate whether student attitude was a factor in the results.