Average SAT Score: Full Statistics

In 2022, the average SAT score was 1050. Read on to find average SAT scores by school, state, race/ethnicity, and gender.
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Data Summary

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    In 2022, the average total SAT score was 1050, the lowest since the test changed format in 2016.[1]
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    Broken down by section, the average score was 529 for the evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) section and 521 for the math.Note Reference [1]
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    More than 1.7 million high school students took the SAT in 2022.Note Reference [1]
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    All of the Ivy League schools have made submitting standardized test scores optional.
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    Average SAT scores vary across demographics like race, ethnicity, and gender.Note Reference [1]
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    SAT performance tends to correlate to parental education and family income level.Note Reference [1]

More than 1.7 million high school students took the SAT in 2022, the majority of them juniors and seniors.Note Reference [1] By comparison, 1.3 million students took the alternative standardized test, the American College Test (ACT), in the same year.

A growing number of colleges no longer require standardized test scores, including all of the Ivy League schools. However, the SAT remains a common standard, with colleges making score submissions optional rather than completely abandoning the practice.[2], [3]

This report outlines key statistics about the SAT, including the national average score, scores broken down by demographic, and average scores among enrollees at top schools.

What Is the Average SAT Score?

The average total SAT score was 1050 in 2022, the lowest since the test changed formats in 2016.Note Reference [1]

Did You Know…

From 2006-2016, the SAT was scored on a 2400-point scale. It returned to a 1600-point scale in 2017.

Source: BestColleges, A Brief History of the SAT, America’s Most Popular College Entrance Exam

The current average SAT score of 1050 reflects the scores of students who graduated from high school in 2022.

  • As with the ACT, SAT scores have been historically low in recent years.
  • Within the past six years, 2018 saw the highest SAT scores, with an average result of 1068.
National Average SAT Score Over Past Six Years, 2017-2022
Graduating Class Average ERW Score Average Math Score Average Total Score
2017 533 527 1060
2018 536 531 1068
2019 531 528 1059
2020 528 523 1051
2021 533 528 1060
2022 529 521 1050
Source: College Board[4]

Average SAT Scores by State

The percentage of high school students who took the SAT differed significantly by state. For example, in Mississippi and North Dakota, only 1% of students took the SAT. In contrast, 100% of students took the SAT in the District of Columbia, and 93% of students in Rhode Island.

  • Wisconsin and Wyoming had the highest average total SAT scores, with mean scores of 1252 and 1244, respectively.
  • West Virginia and Oklahoma had the lowest average total SAT scores, with mean scores of 938 and 951, respectively.

Average SAT Score by School

Knowing the average SAT scores of enrollees at your top colleges can be helpful when it comes to setting goals. If you've already taken the SAT, you can see how your score compares to the typical scores at some of your top college choices to better understand where you stand in comparison to the previously admitted class.

College admissions officials typically take a holistic approach to reviewing applications. Standardized test scores are just one aspect of an application if they are considered at all.

Did You Know…

Today, fewer colleges are requiring standardized test scores for admissions.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which schools closed and concerns emerged about whether students had adequate access to testing, colleges became more lax about their testing policies.

In September 2019, before the pandemic, more than 1,000 colleges were test-optional. According to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), over 1,800 four-year colleges and universities were ACT/SAT-optional or test-free as of the 2022-2023 application cycle.[6]

This means almost 80% of bachelor's degree-granting institutions no longer require tests.

Average SAT Score for Ivy Leagues

The Ivy Leagues are some of the U.S.'s oldest and most prestigious universities. The eight private colleges are all located in the Northeast and are known for their highly selective, single-digit acceptance rates.

As of 2022-2023 application cycle, standardized test scores are optional at all Ivy League colleges. The data below reflects the scores of accepted students who did submit test scores.

SAT Scores for Ivy League Schools
School SAT Score (25th-75th Percentile)
Brown University 1440-1560
Columbia University 1490-1570
Harvard University 1460-1570
Yale University 1460-1570
University of Pennsylvania 1460-1570
Princeton University 1450-1570
Dartmouth University 1440-1560
Cornell University 1400-1540
Source: BestColleges

Average SAT Scores for Other Selective Universities

Below are average SAT scores for other selective schools throughout the U.S. Many of these schools' average SAT scores are comparable to those of the Ivy Leagues.

SAT Scores for Other Popular Schools
School SAT Score (25th-75th Percentile)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1510-1570
University of Chicago 1500-1570
Duke University 1470-1570
Vanderbilt University 1470-1570
Stanford University 1440-1570
New York University 1370-1540
University of Michigan 1340-1530
University of Texas, Austin 1210-1470
Source: BestColleges

SAT Score Demographics

Sometimes, it is helpful to see SAT scores broken down by specific groups to notice trends. This section explores average SAT scores by race/ethnicity, gender, first language, highest level of parental education, and family income.

Understanding Differences in Average SAT Scores Across Demographics

Whether the SAT is implicitly biased to favor wealthy and white students has long been a subject of debate. FairTest Executive Director Harry Feder explained in a 2022 press release that test scores do not measure academic merit, but rather, quite accurately measure family wealth.[7]

College Board — the nonprofit organization that administers the SAT — continues to defend the SAT against accusations of discrimination. Zach Goldberg, the communications director at College Board, insisted that every question was rigorously reviewed and that any question that could potentially be biased was discarded.[8]

Based on the tables below that show average SAT scores broken down by different demographics, there does seem to be a strong correlation between student performance on the SAT and race/ethnicity, highest level of parental education, and family income.

Average SAT Score by Race/Ethnicity

SAT scores broken down by race/ethnicity showed similar trends to those of the ACT.

  • In 2022, Asian students achieved the highest average SAT score of 1229.
  • Asian students' average score was 303 points higher than the average SAT score of Black students, which was 926.
  • The group with the second-highest SAT score was Two or More Races with 1102, slightly higher than white students.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native students had the second-lowest average SAT score at 936. They comprised just 1% of test-takers.
Average SAT Scores by Race/Ethnicity, 2022
Race/Ethnicity Percentage of Test Takers SAT ERW Average Score SAT Math Average Score Total Average SAT Score
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 473 463 936
Asian 10% 596 633 1229
Black/ African American 12% 474 452 926
Hispanic/ Latino/a 23% 491 473 964
Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander 0% 481 464 945
White 42% 556 543 1098
Two or More Races 4% 559 543 1102
No Response 8% 489 494 983
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]

Average SAT Score by Gender

Men have consistently outscored women in the SAT since 2017. However, women have scored higher on the ERW section every year. Men scored higher on the math section.

  • In 2022, men scored higher than women in total score by 13 points.
  • Men score roughly 20 points higher than women in the math section each year. Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, such as engineering and computer science.
  • The scores of people who reported their gender as Another/No Response have significantly increased over time. In 2022, they were the highest scoring group by gender for the first time.

College admissions officers consider total SAT scores but also scores by section.

Average Total SAT Score and by Gender, 2022
Gender SAT ERW Average Score SAT Math Average Score Total Average SAT Score
Women 531 512 1043
Men 526 530 1056
Another/No Response 567 524 1091
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]
Average Total SAT Score by Gender Over Time, 2017-2022
Total Men Women Another or No Response
2017 1070 1050 N/A
2018 1076 1061 779
2019 1066 1053 802
2020 1055 1048 967
2021 1067 1054 1041
2022 1056 1043 1091
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]
Average ERW Section Score by Gender Over Time, 2017-2022
ERW Men Women Another or No Response
2017 532 534 N/A
2018 534 539 406
2019 529 534 409
2020 523 532 499
2021 530 535 540
2022 526 531 567
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]
Average Math Section Score by Gender Over Time, 2017-2022
Math Math Men Math Women Another or No Response
2017 538 516 N/A
2018 542 522 374
2019 537 519 393
2020 531 516 468
2021 537 519 501
2022 530 512 524
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]

Average SAT Score by First Language

Native English speakers who grew up only speaking English had the highest total SAT score overall by a narrow six-point margin.

  • Those whose first language was not English scored 22 points behind English-only speakers for the ERW section. However, they scored higher in math than any other group.
  • Those who learned English along with another language scored between English-only test-takers and speakers of another language for both the ERW and math sections.
  • Those who answered No Response scored the lowest on both sections and had the lowest overall score.
Average SAT Score by First Language Learned, 2022
First Language Learned Percentage of Test Takers SAT ERW Average Score SAT Math Average Score Total Average SAT Score
English Only 59% 542 526 1068
English and Another Language 19% 530 532 1062
Another Language 10% 520 542 1062
No Response 12% 471 460 931
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]

Average SAT Score by Highest Level of Parental Education

The highest level of education that one's parents received appears to heavily influence how students perform on the SAT.

  • Students with parents who have graduate degrees achieved the highest total SAT score and section scores.
  • Students with parents without high school diplomas had the lowest total SAT scores and section scores, with an average total of 923 points.
  • The majority of test-takers have parents with bachelor's degrees or higher.
Average SAT Score by Highest Level of Parental Education, 2022
Parent's Highest Level of Education Achieved Percentage of Test Takers SAT ERW Average Score SAT Math Average Score Total Average SAT Score
No High School Diploma 6% 464 458 923
High School Diploma 21% 498 482 980
Associate Degree 5% 517 500 1016
Bachelor's Degree 28% 561 555 1115
Graduate Degree 23% 597 594 1191
No Response 17% 453 442 895
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]

Did You Know…

First-generation college students — students whose immediate family members do not have four-year degrees — make up more than 40% of all college students.

Imposter syndrome can be a common challenge for these students, but getting guidance from academic counselors or professors can help relieve some of that stress.

In addition, many schools provide resources, such as academic advising or scholarship opportunities specific to first-generation students. Check with your financial aid office or career center to see what your campus has to offer.

Source: BestColleges, 5 Success Tips for First-Generation College Students

Average SAT Score by Family Income

SAT performance also correlates with family income.

  • Families in the lowest quintile — the lowest 20% — of income made less than $51,591 in 2022. Test takers from this group scored the lowest with a total average SAT score of 914.
  • Test takers from the highest quintile (greater than $110,244) of family income level, received the highest total average SAT score of 1161.
  • The difference between test takers from the lowest quintile and the highest quintile was 247 points in total score.
Average SAT Score Based on Family Income Level
Family Income Group Yearly Income Percentage of Test Takers SAT ERW Average Score SAT Math Average Score Total Average SAT Score
Lowest Quintile (Lowest 20%) $0-$51,591 10% 467 447 914
Second-Lowest Quintile $51,591-$67,083 12% 492 473 965
Middle Quintile $67,083-$83,766 13% 513 495 1007
Second-Highest Quintile $83,766-$110,244 18% 537 522 1059
Highest Quintile >$110,244 28% 584 577 1161
Unknown N/A 19% 507 520 1027
Source: College BoardNote Reference [1]

Frequently Asked Questions About the SAT

How many times can you take the SAT?

There is no limit to the number of times you can take the SAT.[9] The organization that administers the SAT, College Board, recommends that students take the test at least twice because many schools superscore your results. That means they combine your highest math score with your highest ERW score even if they are from different tests.Note Reference [9]

It's common for students to take the SAT in the spring of their junior year and another time in the fall of their senior year.

What is the highest SAT score?

The math and ERW sections are each 800 points each, making the total possible score 1600.[10] As of January 2021, the optional SAT essay was discontinued, along with SAT subject tests.[11] Your two scores, one from math and one from ERW, make up your total SAT score.

Is the SAT or ACT easier?

The ACT and SAT are similar in many ways. For example, they are both approximately three hours long, and both tests cover reading and math. Some key differences include the number of questions (the ACT has 215 while the SAT has 154) and the scoring scale (the ACT is scored from 1-36 while the SAT is scored from 400-1600).

Another major difference is that the ACT has an additional science section that the SAT doesn't have.

Keeping in mind these differences, you can decide which test is a better fit for you. You can also check the websites of prospective colleges and see if they state which test the majority of their accepted students took.