What is the National Average SAT Scores?

When we talk about the national average SAT scores, there are two different groups we discuss. One is called that Nationally Representative Sample and the other is the SAT User Percentiles.

So what’s the difference?

The Nationally Representative Sample is the average for all juniors and seniors who take the SAT. SAT User Percentiles are the averages for college-bound students who typically take the SAT for the last time as juniors or seniors. With these differences in mind, let’s look at the variances.

The average SAT score from Nationally Representative Sample is 1020. And the average for the SAT User Percentiles is 1083. If you’re pulling in a score of 1100 or more then you’re well above the national average for SAT scores.

Because the College Board is very fixated on collecting data for its research purposes, you can look at the data on test-takers in multiple ways. I’ve included some of my favorites below.

What are the Average SAT Scores by Gender?

Up for a little battle of the sexes? Check out the table below for who scored better.

Gender Total
Male 1110
Female 1080

What are the Average SAT Scores by Ethnicity?

When you fill out information at the beginning of the SAT, you fill out information used by College Board for research purposes and one of the things they examine is how each ethnic group performs. If you’ve been wondering how well you do compared to the rest of your group or you’re simply curious to see who performs the best, just take a look at the table below.

Ethnicity Total
American Indian or Alaska Native 1020
Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander 1200
Black or African American 940
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 960
Hispanic, Latino, or Latin American 990
White 1140
Two or More Races, non-Hispanic 1090
Other 1090
No Response 1030

What are the Average SAT Scores by State?

Curious about how your score stacks up against the average SAT scores for your state? Find your state on the table below and see how you rank.

State Total
Alabama 1190
Alaska 1040
Arizona 1140
Arkansas 1210
California 1080
Colorado 1250
Connecticut 1090
Delaware 1000
District of Columbia 950
Florida 1040
Georgia 1070
Hawaii 1080
Idaho 1000
Illinois 1300
Indiana 1070
Iowa 1280
Kansas 1270
Kentucky 1280
Louisiana 1240
Maine 1050
Maryland 1070
Massachusetts 1120
Michigan 1270
Minnesota 1300
Mississippi 1260
Missouri 1290
Montana 1200
Nebraska 1260
Nevada 1100
New Hampshire 1140
New Jersey 1090
New Mexico 1170
New York 1070
North Carolina 1090
North Dakota 1250
Ohio 1190
Oklahoma 1230
Oregon 1120
Pennsylvania 1090
Rhode Island 1070
South Carolina 1060
South Dakota 1240
Tennessee 1250
Texas 1020
Utah 1230
Vermont 1120
Virginia 1120
Washington 1090
West Virginia 1120
Wisconsin 1290
Wyoming 1280

(via College Board)

Which Average SAT Scores Matter?

So now that you’ve glanced over all this data, you’re probably wondering which of theseaverage SAT scores actually matter to you? The honest answer is: none of the ones I’ve shown you today. Because while these numbers are fascinating to look at and kind of a nice ego boost, the SAT scores you really need to pay attention to are the ones from the colleges you’re looking to apply to. Specifically, you need to look at the average SAT scores for the students that have been accepted into the schools you’re looking at and use them as your guide.

How to Get Your Best SAT Score

You know now which SAT scores really matter when you’re applying to colleges. If you’ve looked and now realize you need to improve your score ASAP, I’m providing my three best tips for improving your SAT score.

Find a Tutor

To really get the most out of your SAT prep, you need to find a tutor to work with. The reason I suggest working with tutors is you can learn their tips and tricks for getting the highest score possible and because you’ll actually perform better on the SAT due to the personalized study sessions. I love a good test prep book as much as the next person, but using it with a tutor will improve your knowledge base of the exam. Make sure your tutor took home a top score of the SAT before you agree to work with them. Work with the best so you can be the best.

Analyze Your Mistakes….A Lot.

When you’re taking a practice SAT test, mark which questions you feel uncertain about answering correctly. This way you can check to see if your uncertainty was valid or just test nerves when you’re going back to score yourself. For the questions you answered incorrectly, write them down along with the correct answer in a notebook and apply the 5 Whys Technique to get to the root of why these questions are challenging you. Do this every time and look for patterns so you can see where you need to improve. Coordinate your findings with your tutor to really go the extra mile and improve your score.

Use Awesome Study Habits.

Studying for the SAT is time-consuming and you’re a busy person. Because of this, you need to make sure you schedule when you are going to study, hold yourself accountable, and set realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t plan to study for 80 hours a week if you spend at least 35 hours at school. Also trying to cram that much studying into a week will leave you frustrated and not encourage you to study at all. Be consistent and eliminate distractions by working in a quiet area. That means no phone, no music, and no friends. It doesn’t make sense to study with these things, because they will not be available on test day.

Knowing the average SAT scores for your gender, ethnicity, and state are fascinating, but the average scores you really need to pay attention to require a little research from you. That’s because you need the average SAT scores for the schools you’re applying to. Use them as your goal when you’re studying to increase your competitive edge come application time.

What are your thoughts on the SAT? Share them with us in the comments section below.