What Is the Average SAT Score? (2023)

What Is the Average SAT Score? (1)

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 theCollege 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.

Disappointed with your scores? Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points?We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

What Is the Average SAT Score? (2)

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.

No Response5675241091

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

According to astatistical significancetest (t-test), the differences in EBRW and math scores here are consideredextremely 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 beenexplored by academic researchersand 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 Native14,800473463936
Black/African American201,645474452926
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander3,376481464945
Two or More Races66,7025595431102
No Response146,319489494983

Source:Total Group Report 2022

The implications of these results are important to consider. The black-white test score gap, for example, has beenresearched extensivelyto try to find the root causes of it. In the other direction, Asians have the highest SAT score averages, which has led some to questionwhether 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)106,9365175011018
2nd Lowest Quintile ($51,591-$67,083)1,402,1975345301064
Middle Quintile ($67,083-$83,766)230,8415134951007
2nd Highest Quintile ($83,766-$110,244)313,6575375221059
Highest Quintile (>$110,244)493,4005845771161

Source:Total Group Report 2022

Median Family Income

Number of test-takers




Lowest Quintile ($0-$51,591)106,9365175011018
2nd Lowest Quintile ($51,591-$67,083)1,402,1975345301064

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'sbeen 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 isanother key equity issue facing educators,and another factor we have to consider when asked what is an average SAT score.

One of thestated reasons for the SAT redesignwas 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





Religiously Affiliated5325375251594
Other or Unknown4915804981569

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 sinceprivate 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

Religiously Affiliated5605901150
Other or Unknown5205501070

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




District of Columbia100%4,651502484985
New Hampshire81%12,5625305211050
New Jersey63%72,3385435371079
New Mexico42%8,875496480976
New York59%122,1705345331067
North Carolina27%28,6565735621136
North Dakota1%806106031212
Puerto Riconot provided3,167513476989
Rhode Island93%10,667494477971
South Carolina51%27,1115265041030
South Dakota2%1626086111219
Virgin Islands, USnot provided438489451940
West Virginia84%15,265481456938

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 iswhether 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)musttake it in school.

By contrast, in states where the SAT isnotrequired, 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 toaverage 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 scoreyouneed 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 yourSAT goal score.We explain more about how to find this in our article onwhat 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 thehighest 75th percentile scoreto 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 are10 reasons to consider taking the test.

Want to know theaverage SAT scores from past years?Maybe you want helppredicting your own SAT score, or are wondering whether there's aminimum SAT score requirement for college.

Need help preparing for the SAT? Then check out ourtotal guide to studying for the test.We also have aone-month cramming planand some tips forbalancing your test prep with school!

Ready to go beyond just reading about the SAT? Then you'll love thefree five-day trial for our SAT Complete Prep program. Designed and written byPrepScholar 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.

Click on the button below to try it out!

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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 onhis personal website, Shortform, orthe Shortform blog.

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What Is the Average SAT Score? ›

Those 2 scores are then added to create a total score falling between 400 and 1600. Using the percentiles from a College Board publication, we can see that the average section score based on SAT users is roughly 530 points in Reading & Writing and 520 points in Math for an average total score of 1050.

How many questions can you get wrong to get a 1500 on the SAT? ›

On average, you can get 14 incorrect on the SAT Reading (assuming you get everything else right) and still get a 1500, but if you miss 14 questions on the math section, your score drops on average 40 points lower for the same number of questions wrong.

How many questions right is 100 points on the SAT? ›

More importantly, this means that for every question you get right you get 20 points. You can improve your SAT score by 100 points by getting 5 more questions right on your retake. A 100 point improvement is very significant, and can mean all of the difference in college admissions and scholarship opportunities.

Is a 870 bad on the SAT? ›

Unfortunately, 870 is not a good SAT score. In reality, it's a weak score that will keep you from achieving your college admissions goals. Although you're still outperforming the majority of test takers, it's still not enough to get you into the top schools in the country.

Is each SAT question worth 10 points? ›

You'll get 1 point for each correct answer. There's no penalty for incorrect answers.

How many questions can I miss to get a 1400 on the SAT? ›

Broken down by section, you can get 8 wrong in Math for a 700, 5 wrong in Writing for a 350, and 8 wrong in Reading for a 350. To earn a 1400 overall, you can still get 21 answers wrong and be just 200 points shy of a perfect 1600!

What score is 10 questions wrong on SAT? ›

If you miss 10 questions, you can expect a Math section score in the 680-710 range. Missing 20 on this section would result in a score of around 600. Similarly, if you miss 1 problem on both the Reading and Writing tests, you might get an Evidence based Reading and Writing section score of 780.


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