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What Is the Average SAT Score?

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 15, 2022 11:00:00 AM

SAT General Info



If you've taken the SAT, you're probably curious about how your score stacks up against the average SAT scores. There are lots of different ways to look at averages on the SAT. What is the average SAT score overall? How many types of average SAT scores are there? And which SAT score averages are important for you?

We'll answer all of these questions and more to tell you which SAT average scores actually matter for your future. We'll review the most recent data available, from 2022.

So what is an average SAT score? That really depends on which group of people you're looking at. Below, we look at national averages as well as averages by gender, ethnicity, family income, high school type, and state.


National SAT Average Score

According to the College Board's 2022 total group report, the national SAT average scores (for all 2022 high school graduates) are as follows:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 529
  • Math: 521
  • Total: 1050

As you can see, if you score higher than 1050 on the SAT, you'll be above the national average and will have scored better than most test takers. If you score less than 1050, however, you'll be below the national average and will have scored lower than most test takers.

Bonus: Review how to find the average of a set of numbers for yourself here.

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The Average SAT Scores by Gender

The College Board has also calculated the average SAT scores by gender. These averages are based on members of the class of 2022 who took the SAT.

There are two sections on the SAT: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW). Each section is out of 800 points and then combined for a total score out of 1600.

Gender EBRW Math Total
Female 531 512 1043
Male 526 530 1056
No Response 567 524 1091


As you can see, males outperform females on Math by 18 points, while females exceed males on EBRW by 5 points.

According to a statistical significance test (t-test), the differences in EBRW and math scores here are considered extremely significant (in technical terms, the P value is less than 0.0001, meaning roughly that it is very unlikely these differences are due to chance).

The difference between genders in math* test scores has been explored by academic researchers and has been a controversial topic. It should be a goal of the educational system to close this achievement gap between genders, and is only one of several factors regarding equity that we have to consider when asking what is an average SAT score.

*I looked for research to back up the differences between EBRW scores for male and female students but was unable to find anything both relevant and peer-reviewed from the last 15 years. We'll update this article with more information as and when it comes out.


The Average SAT Scores by Ethnicity

When registering for the SAT, the College Board gives you the option to specify your ethnicity, with most students opting to share it. Here are the average SAT scores by ethnicity:


# of Test Takers




American Indian/Alaska Native 14,800 473 463 936
Asian 175,468 596 633 1299
Black/African American 201,645 474 452 926
Hispanic/Latino 396,422 490 473 964
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 3,376 481 464 945
White 732,946 556 543 1098
Two or More Races 66,702 559 543 1102
No Response 146,319 489 494 983
Total 1,737,678 529 521 1050

Source: Total Group Report 2022

The implications of these results are important to consider. The black-white test score gap, for example, has been researched extensively to try to find the root causes of it. In the other direction, Asians have the highest SAT score averages, which has led some to question whether colleges discriminate against Asians. (Of course, the disparity in sizes of the different groups taking the SAT and socioeconomic inequality also play a key role in creating these differences.)

As with gender, reducing achievement gaps between ethnicities is a critical priority for educators.


The Average SAT Score by Income and Fee Waiver Use

Historically, the SAT has had problems with students from lower-income households scoring lower on average than students from higher-income households.Here are the average SAT scores by family income and students who have and have never used a fee waiver to take the SAT:

Median Family Income

Number of test-takers




Lowest Quintile ($0-$51,591) 106,936 517 501 1018
2nd Lowest Quintile ($51,591-$67,083) 1,402,197 534 530 1064
Middle Quintile ($67,083-$83,766) 230,841 513 495 1007
2nd Highest Quintile ($83,766-$110,244) 313,657 537 522 1059
Highest Quintile (>$110,244) 493,400 584 577 1161
Unknown 322,615 507 520 1027

Source: Total Group Report 2022

Median Family Income

Number of test-takers




Lowest Quintile ($0-$51,591) 106,936 517 501 1018
2nd Lowest Quintile ($51,591-$67,083) 1,402,197 534 530 1064

Source: Total Group Report 2022


As you can see, a higher average score on the SAT is typically associated with students whose family is in the highest income quintile and who never used a fee waiver, which in turn is associated with higher family income. This is a trend that's been observed for some time.

There are many reasons why those from higher-income families tend to score higher on the SAT—they are likely to attend better schools and have more resources to devote to preparation, to name a couple. This is another key equity issue facing educators, and another factor we have to consider when asked what is an average SAT score.

One of the stated reasons for the SAT redesign was to try to make test results less correlated with income, but so far, at least, it's unclear how successful the College Board has been.


The Average SAT Score by School Type

Average SAT scores also differ by school type. NOTE: these averages come from 2016 and use the old 2400-point SAT scale (the 2017-2022 reports did not release information for school type).

School Type





Public 487 494 472 1453
Religiously Affiliated 532 537 525 1594
Independent 530 579 536 1645
Other or Unknown 491 580 498 1569

Source: Total Group Profile Report 2022

As you can see, students at independent schools have the highest averages, followed by those at religious private schools, other or unknown schools, and finally public schools.

This trend is unsurprising since private school attendance is typically expensive—certainly more expensive than public school. Thus, the pattern here is clearly correlated with income, which we already saw made a big difference in average SAT scores.

Educational achievement is an incredibly complex issue, with environmental, social, and economic factors all at play. Reducing achievement gaps by gender, ethnicity, and income is a big priority for educators.

See below for the converted average scores for your reference:

School Type

Math (New)


New Total

Public 520 540 1060
Religiously Affiliated 560 590 1150
Independent 560 590 1150
Other or Unknown 520 550 1070



The Average SAT Score by State

Below, I've given the 2021-2022 average SAT scores for the class of 2022 by state (as well as for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC).


% of students taking the SAT

# of Test Takers




Alabama 4% 1,807 586 560 1146
Alaska 26% 2,131 565 545 1110
Arizona 14% 11,152 583 577 1159
Arkansas 2% 783 610 581 1191
California 21% 102,028 560 555 1115
Colorado 84% 52,906 551 503 1021
Connecticut 89% 38,903 520 505 1025
Delaware 95% 10,232 449 477 968
District of Columbia 100% 4,651 502 484 985
Florida 87% 190,427 510 473 983
Georgia 54% 64,884 541 520 1060
Hawaii 31% 4,702 566 558 1124
Idaho 97% 20,965 499 488 968
Illinois 97% 144,216 495 485 981
Indiana 48% 37,425 540 533 1073
Iowa 3% 996 602 594 1196
Kansas 2% 863 621 617 1238
Kentucky 2% 1,123 618 600 1219
Louisiana 3% 1,374 597 574 1171
Maine 43% 6,203 549 532 1081
Maryland 54% 39,083 546 529 1075
Massachusetts 55% 43,576 567 561 1029
Michigan 84% 90,642 506 495 1000
Minnesota 3% 2,142 613 612 1225
Mississippi 1% 417 623 602 1226
Missouri 3% 2,300 606 594 1200
Montana 6% 613 609 597 1206
Nebraska 2% 408 613 609 1222
Nevada 6% 1,873 592 580 1172
New Hampshire 81% 12,562 530 521 1050
New Jersey 63% 72,338 543 537 1079
New Mexico 42% 8,875 496 480 976
New York 59% 122,170 534 533 1067
North Carolina 27% 28,656 573 562 1136
North Dakota 1% 80 610 603 1212
Ohio 18% 23,252 528 525 1053
Oklahoma 17% 7,967 485 467 951
Oregon 22% 9,340 580 567 1143
Pennsylvania 48% 70,065 551 540 1091
Puerto Rico not provided 3,167 513 476 989
Rhode Island 93% 10,667 494 477 971
South Carolina 51% 27,111 526 504 1030
South Dakota 2% 162 608 611 1219
Tennessee 5% 3,459 610 589 1200
Texas 64% 243,410 506 495 1001
Utah 2% 890 618 615 1233
Vermont 48% 3,077 558 537 1095
Virginia 48% 46,594 572 552 1124
Virgin Islands, US not provided 438 489 451 940
Washington 32% 24,333 554 542 1096
West Virginia 84% 15,265 481 456 938
Wisconsin 2% 1,361 622 629 1252
Wyoming 2% 119 627 617 1244

Source: The College Board

There's a lot of variation in average SAT scores by state. This is due to a lot of factors, but one big one is whether or not the state requires all public school students to take the SAT. In these cases, scores tend to be lower because even students who might not typically take the SAT (or prepare for it) must take it in school.

By contrast, in states where the SAT is not required, students who take the SAT take it specifically to prepare their college applications. As a result, the subsample of students who take the SAT will, in general, be more prepared and get higher scores.

For more info on this topic, check out our complete guide to average SAT scores by state.


What Average SAT Scores Really Matter for YOU?

While we've gone through a lot of interesting SAT data based on gender, ethnicity, family income, school type, and state, most of it won't be particularly relevant to your own interests and goals. It's helpful to know what an average SAT score is nationally and by state, but there's more you need to know in order to get into your top school.

The truth is, what SAT score you need depends entirely on the schools you're applying to. The average SAT scores that matter most for you are the averages for the colleges you're interested in. If you can score above a school's average SAT score, you'll have a far better chance of getting in.

But what score should you aim for specifically? The score you need to hit to give yourself your best chance of admission is your SAT goal score. We explain more about how to find this in our article on what makes a good SAT score.

Briefly, though, here's what you'll need to do: on a chart, record the 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores (i.e., the middle 50% or average range) for each of the schools you're applying to. Once you've filled everything out, look for the highest 75th percentile score to get your goal score.

Hit this score on test day, and you'll have a great shot at getting into your dream school!


What's Next?

Not sure whether you should take the SAT? Here are 10 reasons to consider taking the test.

Want to know the average SAT scores from past years? Maybe you want help predicting your own SAT score, or are wondering whether there's a minimum SAT score requirement for college.

Need help preparing for the SAT? Then check out our total guide to studying for the test. We also have a one-month cramming plan and some tips for balancing your test prep with school!


Ready to go beyond just reading about the SAT? Then you'll love the free five-day trial for our SAT Complete Prep program. Designed and written by PrepScholar SAT experts, our SAT program customizes to your skill level in over 40 subskills so that you can focus your studying on what will get you the biggest score gains.

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Allen Cheng
About the Author

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.

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