More than a million students across the country take the SAT each year. So what do SAT scores by state look like? How do you stack up against other test takers in your state? Finally, what are some interesting state facts—for example, which state has the highest SAT score? The lowest SAT score? The highest rate of participation?
It's the battle of the states, SAT edition. Find out your state's average SAT scores and other fun facts in this article!
What Is the National Average SAT Score?
As you probably know, the SAT is made up of three sections: Reading, Writing and Language (also just called Writing), and Math. The Math section is scored on a scale of 200-800, while the Reading and Writing sections are combined to give you a final Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score on a scale of 200-800.
Now that we've got this down, let's take a look the national average SAT score. In 2022, the College Board reported the following average SAT scores:
- Total: 1050
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW): 529
- Math: 538
As you can see, the average scores for EBRW and Math are quite close. These then add up to get a total SAT average score that's around the halfway point of the total score range (400-1600).
But what are the average SAT scores by state? Keep reading to learn some interesting trends and to see the notable top spots held by different states!
State SAT Awards
We'll start with the states that have won our "State SAT Awards." The categories for these are as follows:
- Highest SAT Score
- Highest SAT Score With Over 20% Participation
- Team Players (Over 75% Participation)
- Lowest SAT Score
- Most Variation Between SAT Sections
All data below comes from the College Board's 2022 SAT state reports.
Wisconsin is known for cheese...and for high SAT scores
Highest Score: Wisconsin (SAT Score: 1252)
Wisconsin takes the cake for highest average SAT score with 1252. This is 192 points higher than the national average!
But wait—Wisconsin also has lower test participation than most of the US at 2%. In other words, just 1,361 seniors who graduated in 2022 took the SAT.
Because more students in Wisconsin take the ACT than they do the SAT, Wisconsin's high average SAT score likely means that only the most prepared, ambitious high schoolers take the SAT. These students tend to score higher, effectively raising the state's average.
But what if we look instead at states with a significant participation rate—that is, a state in which more than 20% of students take the SAT? The winner for that SAT award is ...
Oregon is known for its rainforest...and also high SAT scores. (Sorry, Minnesota. You've got to share the title.)
Highest Score With Over 20% Participation: Oregon (SAT Score: 1143, with 22% Participation)
Great achievement here! With 9,340 students in the class of 2022 taking the SAT here, Oregon is truly outperforming the national average. The state averaged an EBRW score of 5580 and a Math score of 567, with an average total score of 1143.
Team Players (Over 75% Participation): 11 States
There are 11 states where over 75% of seniors took the SAT in 2022. They are:
- Washington D.C.
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were multiple states each year that had 100% participation for the SAT. They were typically states that required all high school students to take the SAT as part of normal high school testing.
However, with the large number of colleges making standardized tests optional during the pandemic and beyond, it wasn't as high a priority for high schools to offer the SAT. As a result, only Washington D.C. had 100% participation this year.
Lowest Score: West Virginia (SAT Score: 938)
Unfortunately, West Virginia underperforms the national average by more than 75 points. This is likely due to the high percentage of seniors who took the SAT in West Virginia (84%). In other states where less than 5% of seniors took the SAT, it's likely only the most prepared students taking the SAT, thus bumping up the average. Other states with low average SAT scores were Idaho, Oklahoma, and Delaware. The U.S. Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory, also have low SAT scores.
Most Variation Between Sections: Colorado (551 EBRW, 503 Math) and Florida (510 EBRW, 473 Math)
Both Florida and Colorado had an average Math score that was at least 37 points lower than their average Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score.
There's also a discrepancy among students in the US Virgin Islands—students scored an average of 38 points higher on EBRW than on Math—but since there were only 438 students in the class of 2022 who took the SAT there, such variance is less surprising than in Florida and West Virginia, where far more students took the SAT.
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List of All Average State SAT Scores
Here are the most recent average SAT scores for all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Find your area below and see how your SAT score compares with your region's average!
% of students taking the SAT
# of Test Takers
|District of Columbia||100%||4,651||502||484||985|
|Puerto Rico||not provided||3,167||513||476||989|
|Virgin Islands, US||not provided||438||489||451||940|
Source: The College Board
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As co-founder and head of product design at PrepScholar, Allen has guided thousands of students to success in SAT/ACT prep and college admissions. He's committed to providing the highest quality resources to help you succeed. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and earned two perfect scores on the SAT (1600 in 2004, and 2400 in 2014) and a perfect score on the ACT. You can also find Allen on his personal website, Shortform, or the Shortform blog.