December 17, 2017

Average SAT Score May Surprise You

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The average college-bound student has an SAT score of 1060. Graduates from private high schools greatly outperform public school graduates by 130 points and males test better than females.

Keep reading this shocking article to learn more about the college and career readiness test.

Related: How Do Student Loans Work

All About the SAT

  • What is the average SAT score?
    The average SAT score for 2017 high school graduates is 1060. Test takers that get a score higher than 1060 are above the national average. Those scoring below 1060 are below the national average. Colleges don't focus solely on SAT scores. However, it does give a good benchmark for students.

  • What is the average score on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portion of the SAT?
    Students received an average of 533 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Portion of the SAT. These are actually two different sections, but students receive one score for both sections.

  • What is the average score on the Math portion of the SAT?
    Students receive an average score of 527 on the math section of the SAT. The new SAT, which just began in March 2016, gives equal weight to the EBRW and math scores. The old SAT scores were comprised of 2/3 EBRW and only 1/3 math.

  • What is the average SAT score for males?
    Males actually bring the SAT average up. The average male receives a total score of 1070 on the SAT. Males perform better on the math portion of the SAT. They score an average of 22 points higher on the math section.

  • What is the average SAT score for females?
    Females have an average SAT score of 1050. Females outperform males on the EBRW portion of the SAT by 2 points. Females receive an average score of 534 on this section, while males score an average of 532.

  • What is the average SAT score for students at public high schools?
    Students attending public school have the lowest average on the SAT. They score an average of 1060. (This information is based on 2016 data but converted for 2017 using the College Board SAT converter).

  • What is the average SAT score for students at private high schools?
    Students attending private high schools scored almost 11% better than students from public schools. They score an average of 1190. (This information is based on 2016 data but converted for 2017 scores).

  • Which state has the highest average SAT score?
    Minnesota has the highest SAT score, with an average score of 1295.

  • Which state has the lowest average SAT score?
    Delaware has the lowest average SAT score, with an average score of 996.

  • What is a good SAT score out of 1600?
    If you need a score to aim for, set the average of 1060 as your goal. Anything you score above that puts you above average.

College Specific SAT Requirements

  • Do colleges prefer the ACT or SAT?
    Colleges can go either way with the ACT or SAT. They will accept both in most cases. Students who have a specific college in mind should check with the college to see what they prefer. In the Midwest, many colleges prefer the ACT (however, that may change in the next few years). On the West coast, however, the SAT is the predominant choice.

  • What colleges require the essay portion of the SAT?
    Probably not surprising, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton require the SAT portion of the SAT. Other colleges that require it include the University of Michigan and the University of San Diego.

  • What is the average SAT essay score?
    The essay portion of the SAT is rated on a scale of 1 to 4; however, there are two graders for each essay. You have the opportunity to score up to eight points on this portion. The graders grade the test based on three criteria: reading, analysis, and writing. The average scores are as follows:

    • Reading: 5
    • Analysis: 4
    • Writing: 5

  • What is the average SAT score for Harvard?
    Of those accepted into Harvard, the average SAT score is 1530 (based on the new SAT scale).

  • What is the average SAT score for Stanford?
    The average Stanford student has an SAT score between 1390 and 1540.

  • What is the average SAT Score for Northwestern?
    Northwestern requires an average SAT score between 1450 and 1570 for admittance into the school.

  • Is 1390 on the SAT good?
    In general, a 1390 is a very good score. It means you scored better than 95% of other students. It gives you access to almost 500 different colleges throughout the U.S.

  • Is an 880 on the SAT good?
    An 880 on the SAT puts you in around the 24th percentile. This means you did better than just one-fourth of the students who took the test.

  • What is a good score on the PSAT?
    Ideally, you want to be in the top 70th percentile. This means 70% of test takers had the same or lower score as you. In order to achieve this score, you'd need a 520 in reading and writing and a 520 in math.

  • What SAT score is equivalent to a 20 on the ACT?
    A 20 on the ACT is equivalent to a score between 1020 and 1050 on the SAT. This is just below the average SAT score for all college students.

  • What SAT score is equivalent to a 26 on the ACT?
    A 26 on the ACT is equivalent to an SAT score between 1240 and 1270. This is almost 210 points higher than the average SAT score.

  • When is the best time to take the SAT?
    The College Board offers the SAT 7 times per year. Typically, students wait until their junior year to take it. However, it's best if you take it in the fall of your junior year. That way, you have five or six more chances to take it if necessary.

  • How many times should you take the SAT?
    You should plan to take the SAT at least two times. This gives you a chance to get over the "nerves" of taking it the first time. Most students improve their score the second time they take the test. However, contact the college you plan to attend. If you plan to take the test many times, some colleges require you to send every test score in with your application. This could work against you. If your college takes the highest score, you can take the test as many times as you wish.

The Bottom Line

Preparing for the SAT early will help you test to your full ability. The SAT measures your readiness for college and/or a career. The higher you score, the greater your possibilities as you enter the "real world."

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