The Average SAT Score

The Average SAT Score

The Average SAT Score

Every serious SAT aspirant has a score in his head which he aims to achieve. This score is usually estimated by comparing his own performance/ preparation level with the average SAT scores, which tells him where he stands among the myriad test takers. However, one must be aware that there are many ways to look at the average SAT scores. In this article, we’ll discuss various types of averages on the SAT to tell you which ones actually matter for your future.

So what exactly is the average score on the SAT? Well, this depends on the group of people in consideration. Here, we’ll talk about not only the national averages but also the other types of averages by gender, family income, ethnicity & state.

SAT- National Average Score

In College Board’s total group report-2017, the national average scores on SAT for all high school graduates of 2017 are as follows:

  • EBRW: 533
  • Mathematics: 527
  • Total: 1060

With the above data of averages, it is evident and can be safely concluded that if your cumulative SAT score crosses 1060, the national average, you’d have fared better than most test takers. This should give you a fair idea of how much you need to improve on your performance to be a part of the crème de la crème. 

Gender-Based Average SAT Score

Based on the SAT test takers of 2017, College Board published the subject-wise & gender-wise average SAT scores. Out of the total of 1600 points that SAT scores students on, Math & EBRW have a maximum score of 800 each.

The table below shows the gender-wise score on individual sections and on SAT, as a whole.

Gender ERBW Math  Total
Female(F) 534 516 1050
Male(M) 532 538 1070

The difference in average Math scores of the two genders is quite significant and has been a controversial topic among academic researchers since quite some time now. The educators should take it as an aim to narrow this score gap between the two genders.

Ethnicity-Based Average SAT Scores

During SAT registration, the students get an option of specifying their ethnicity. Most of the students opt to mention it and from that data, College Board published the average SAT scores based on the students’ ethnicity. 

Ethnicity

Number Taking

EBRW

Math

Total

American Indian/Alaska Native

7,782

486

477

963

Asian

158,031

569

612

1181

Black/African American

225,860

479

462

941

Hispanic/Latino

408,067

500

489

990

Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander

4,131

498

488

986

White

760,362

565

553

1118

Two or More Races

57,049

560

544

1103

No Response

94,199

475

485

961

Total

1,715,481

533

527

1060

Source: Total Group Report 2017

Average SAT Score Based on Family Income

Although most students don’t mention their family income in the SAT registration form, among those who do, there seems to be an evident trend.
The Total Group Report 2017 did not release data related to family income; therefore, the table below shows the averages from 2016’s report after converting them to the new SAT score scale. 

Family Income

Math (New)

EBRW

New Total

Less than $20,000

490

480

970

$20,001-$40,000

510

510

1020

$40,001-$60,000

530

540

1070

$60,001-$80,000

540

550

1090

$80,001-$100,000

560

570

1130

$100,001-$140,000

570

580

1150

$140,001-$200,000

570

590

1160

More than $200,000

610

620

1230

No Response

530

560

1090

Source: Total Group Profile Report 2016

It is very clear from the above report that the average SAT score is directly proportional to the family income of the students. This can be due to various reasons such as those who belong to families with higher income get to attend better schools and get access to better and more resources, all of which aid their preparation for the test. However, these are just a few reasons and the educators must work towards providing decent level of education to everyone, irrespective of their family income.

State-Wise Average SAT Score

The table below shows the state-wise average SAT scores for 2017.

Alabama

2,393

593

572

1165

Alaska

2,971

547

533

1080

Arizona

20,466

563

553

1116

Arkansas

1,065

614

594

1208

California

226,699

531

524

1055

Colorado

5,896

606

595

1201

Connecticut

43,252

530

512

1041

Delaware

10,060

503

492

996

District of Columbia

4,801

482

468

950

Florida

147,058

520

497

1017

Georgia

63,805

535

515

1050

Hawaii

7,352

544

541

1085

Idaho

18,757

513

493

1005

Illinois

12,402

559

556

1115

Indiana

45,622

542

532

1074

Iowa

861

641

635

1275

Kansas

1,199

632

628

1260

Kentucky

1,608

631

616

1247

Louisiana

1,696

611

586

1198

Maine

13,826

513

499

1012

Maryland

42,919

536

524

1060

Massachusetts

56,024

555

551

1107

Michigan

110,082

509

495

1005

Minnesota

2,061

644

651

1295

Mississippi

716

634

607

1242

Missouri

1,990

640

631

1271

Montana

990

605

591

1196

Nebraska

680

629

625

1253

Nevada

6,245

563

553

1116

New Hampshire

14,758

532

520

1052

New Jersey

72,173

530

526

1056

New Mexico

2,342

577

561

1138

New York

135,141

528

523

1052

North Carolina

49,595

546

535

1081

North Dakota

123

635

621

1256

Ohio

14,545

578

570

1149

Oklahoma

2,776

530

517

1047

Oregon

15,866

560

548

1108

Pennsylvania

89,218

540

531

1071

Puerto Rico

2,913

515

487

1003

Rhode Island

7,205

539

524

1062

South Carolina

22,292

543

521

1064

South Dakota

237

612

603

1216

Tennessee

3,495

623

604

1228

Texas

204,409

513

507

1020

Utah

1,277

624

614

1238

Vermont

4,303

562

551

1114

Virginia

57,453

561

541

1102

Virgin islands, US

752

483

442

924

Washington

43,911

541

534

1075

West Virginia

2,406

558

528

1086

Wisconsin

1,780

642

649

1291

Wyoming

144

626

604

1230

Source: The College Board

There’s an evident variation in these averages. One of the major reasons which can be attributed to this is whether the state mandates all the students of all the public schools to take the SAT; in case of which, the overall average tends to be low because not every student would actually have a solid preparation to back him up. 

What Average SAT Scores Really Matter for YOU?

The first step in identifying which SAT scores matter for you is listing down all the schools that you are applying to. Every school has its cut-off scores. To secure admission in a school, you must score more than the cut-off.

But how do you really set a goal-score? Consider the 25th & 75th percentile SAT scores of all the schools you’re applying to. After this, note down the highest 75th percentile score. This is your goal-score.

What's Next?

Need someone to guide you for your SAT preparation? Check out our live online training course. You may, however, also opt for private tutoring, to get one-to-one interaction with the trainer and get your individual doubts cleared.

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