Average SAT Score: National, by State and by College

The SAT is the Standardized Admissions Test in the United States, also called the standardized college admissions test. 

The national average SAT score was 1028 in 2023.

Average SAT scores by states ranged from 938 for West Virginia to 1255 for Wisconsin. 

The best average SAT scores were achieved in states where less than 5% of students took the SAT. And in states where 90% of students or more took the test, the average SAT score was significantly lower than the national average. 

Incoming students to top 50 ranking national universities had SAT scores much higher than average, ranging from 1310 to 1560. 

What Is the Average SAT Score?

The average SAT score 2023 is 1028 when all student scores are included. The score is down from 1050 in 2022. These scores are for all students that took the SAT regardless of whether they enroll in college.

The average math score on the SAT is 508 for all students while the average ERW score is 520. ERW stands for evidenced-based reading and writing and is sometimes called EBRW.

In terms of gender, the average male score was slightly higher than the average female score with males scoring 1032 and females scoring 1023. Males scored higher in math, 515 to 500, while females did better in ERW, 523 to 517.

This table shows average SAT scores by year from 2017 to 2023. 

YearAverage SATAverage SAT ERWAverage SAT Math
Average SAT Score 2017-2023

What Are the Average SAT Scores by State?

This table shows the Average SAT Score by State for all 50 states and the ratio or percentage of students that took the SAT.

StatesAverage SAT Score in 2023Average SAT Score in 2022Ratio of Students Taking the SAT in 2023
District of Columbia969985100%
New Hampshire1035105082%
New Jersey1066107964%
New Mexico90197694%
New York1039106762%
North Carolina1127113624%
North Dakota128712121%
Rhode Island95897195%
South Carolina1028103050%
South Dakota120812191%
West Virginia92393890%
average sat scores by state map

There is a correlation between the ratio of students taking the SAT and average SAT score. The ratio is 1% or 2% in all states where the average SAT score was 1200 or higher, indicating that the majority of those taking the test are high-achieving students.  In 8 of the 9 states with the lowest average SAT scores, 71% to 100% of students took the SAT test.

Which States Have a Higher Average SAT Score?

The states with the highest average SAT are North Dakota at 1287, Nebraska at 1252, Kansas at 1245, Utah at 1239 and Wisconsin at 1236. The majority of these states are among those states with a low percentage (1% to 3%) of students taking the test. When fewer students take the SAT, available training resources are concentrated, producing better outcomes. 

The states with higher average SAT scores in 2023 than in 2022 are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont, 11 states in all.

Which States Have a Lower Average SAT Score?

The 14 states where the average 2023 SAT score is lower than the national average of 1028 are New Mexico at 901, West Virginia at 923, Oklahoma at 953, Delaware and Rhode Island at 958, Florida at 966, Michigan at 967, Idaho and Illinois at 970, Indiana at 971, Texas at 978, Colorado at 996, Connecticut at 1007 and Maryland at 1008.

The states with lower than average SAT scores are scattered around the country and diverse in population density and ethnic makeup. There is no geographic or demographic correlation between the states and lower average SAT scores.

The states with the largest drop in average SAT score in 2023 are New Mexico with 7.7% lower scores, Maryland with a drop of 6.2% and Wyoming at 3.5% lower. 

What Is the Average SAT Score for College?

The average SAT score for college enrolled students varies widely across schools and demographics. It is typically higher than the score average for all students that take the SAT.

According to the NCES, the total score for the 25th percentile is 1053 and for the 75th percentile is 1257. 

Breaking down these combined SAT scores, the math score for 25th percentile and 75th percentile are 523 and 626 respectively.

And the ERW score for 25th percentile and 75th percentile are 530 and 631 respectively.

This table lists the average SAT score for college enrolled students from 2016 to 2021, representing the latest data available as of December 2023:

Year of enrollment25th percentile sat score75th percentile sat score

What Is the Average SAT Score by Selective Colleges?

The average SAT score for students admitted to selective colleges ranges from 1400 to 1560. Here are the 50 top ranked and highly selective universities and the average SAT scores of enrolled students.

NameUS News Ranking Average SAT (50th Percentile)
Princeton University11540
Massachusetts Institute of Technology21560
Harvard University31550
Stanford University31550
Yale University31540
University of Chicago61540
Johns Hopkins University71550
University of Pennsylvania71540
California Institute of Technology9Not Considered (Test Blind)
Duke University101550
Northwestern University101530
Dartmouth College121550
Brown University131540
Vanderbilt University131530
Rice University151540
Washington University in St Louis151530
Cornell University171530
Columbia University in the City of New York181530
University of Notre Dame181510
University of California-Berkeley20Not Considered (Test Blind)
University of California-Los Angeles20Not Considered (Test Blind)
Carnegie Mellon University221540
Georgetown University221500
Emory University221500
New York University251530
University of Southern California251520
University of Virginia-Main Campus251490
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor251470
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill291460
University of Florida291390
Wake Forest University29Not Required
Tufts University321510
University of California-Santa Barbara32Not Considered (Test Blind)
University of California-Irvine34Not Considered (Test Blind)
University of California-San Diego34Not Considered (Test Blind)
Boston College361490
University of Rochester361470
University of Wisconsin-Madison381430
The University of Texas at Austin381370
University of California-Davis38Not Considered (Test Blind)
William & Mary411460
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign411440
Boston University411440
Northeastern University441500
Case Western Reserve University441490
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus441480
Brandeis University441470
Tulane University of Louisiana441450
Ohio State University-Main Campus491400
University of Georgia491310

This list includes top ranked private and public national universities. All top 50 schools on the list except for public universities in California require applicants to take the SAT and submit scores for admissions consideration.

93% of highly selective schools have an average SAT score of 1400 or higher, which is more than 370 points above the national average for all SAT scores.

All schools in the top 20 rankings have average SAT scores for incoming students of more than 1500. The maximum SAT score is 1600.

What Is the Average SAT Score for Ivy League Schools?

The average SAT score of students admitted to Ivy League schools is 1540. Harvard and Dartmouth have the highest average scores at 1550. Here is a list of Ivy League schools and the average SAT scores of students admitted to them.

NameUS NEWS RankingAverage SAT
Harvard University31550
Yale University31540
University of Pennsylvania71540
Dartmouth College121550
Brown University131540
Cornell University171530
Columbia University in the City of New York181530

Average SAT scores for incoming Ivy League students are more than 500 points above the national average of 1028.

How Average SAT Score is Related to Intended College Major

Total average SAT scores are higher for intended college majors that are considered more difficult.

According to the annual report from College Board, popular majors with higher SAT scores include Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. Average SAT scores for students in all these majors is higher than 1140.

Popular majors with lower SAT scores are Agriculture and Ag Operations, Human Science, and Security and Protective Services. Students who are undecided about a major also had lower total SAT scores.  

Majors that attract students with higher math scores are Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences. Students enrolled in Mathematics have the highest average math SAT score of 655.

Majors taken by students with lower math SAT scores are Agriculture, Human Sciences, Education, etc.

Here is a comprehensive list of intended majors and average SAT scores, ERW scores and Math scores, based on College Board.

Intended College MajorTest TakersPercentTotalERWMath
Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences20,4512%956489467
Architecture and Related Services23,7802%1054529525
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies2,996<1%991514477
Biological and Biomedical Sciences113,7699%1145579566
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services165,78214%1058532526
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs19,7432%1062551511
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services83,5267%1180583597
Construction Trades, General2,666<1%915462453
Engineering Technologies/Technicians16,5781%1094538556
English Language and Literature/Letters9,0381%1143603540
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences2,542<1%971498473
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General4,416<1%1117577540
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences157,53113%1039529510
History, General6,6881%1121583537
Legal Studies, General23,7062%1111572538
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities5,445<1%1140588552
Library Science/Librarianship366<1%1136600536
Mathematics and Statistics11,2661%1269614655
Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians5,331<1%926468457
Military Technologies2,762<1%995507488
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies2,025<1%1187600588
Natural Resources and Conservation6,7951%1149592558
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies4,619<1%978497481
Personal and Culinary Services, General4,167<1%932481452
Philosophy and Religious Studies1,891<1%1149594555
Physical Sciences15,8761%1208603605
Psychology, General57,7555%1064551514
Public Administration and Social Service Professions3,611<1%1022528494
Security and Protective Services26,6302%974501473
Social Sciences20,3312%1177604574
Theology and Religious Vocations1,003<1%1086560527
Visual and Performing Arts, General63,0405%1054546508

How Average SAT Score is Related to Intended Degree Types

The College Board also notes that average SAT scores are higher for students pursuing advanced degrees.  

Students intending to enter a doctoral program have the highest average SAT scores followed by those pursuing a master’s degree.

Average SAT scores are lower for students intending to earn an associate degree or complete a certificate program.

This table shows how the average SAT score is related to intended degree types for different types of degrees.  

How Average SAT Score is Related to Intended Degree Types
Degree-Level GoalTest TakersPercentTotalERWMath
Certificate Program17,8862%903459445
Associate Degree25,5392%868445423
Bachelor’s Degree301,59927%1047531515
Master’s Degree330,92630%1132569563
Doctoral or Related Degree227,68720%1168588580

What Are the Average PSAT Scores?

PSAT scores are scores achieved on the PSAT test which stands for Practice SAT. The PSAT is given to students in 8th to 11th grade to track student growth toward SAT benchmarks that indicate the probability of success in college. PSAT scores indicate how well the student is likely to do on the SAT test. 

Average PSAT scores are 942 for the PSAT/NMSQT and 909 for the PSAT 10. According to the College Board, the combined average for all PSAT scores is 939 because most students take the PSAT/NMSQT.

The PSAT 10 PSAT/NMSQT are identical tests. The PSAT is given to 10th graders in the spring; the PSAT/NMSQT is taken by 11th graders in October.

PSAT tests are given to students in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11. Average PSAT scores increase in each grade higher.

  • Average PSAT score for 8th grade students: 794 to 835.
  • Average PSAT score for 9th grade students: 839 to 888
  • Average PSAT score for 10th grade students: 877 to 942
  • Average PSAT score for 11th grade students: 903 to 1016

What is the Average SAT Score by Demographic?

This table provides SAT scores by ethnic demographic. It breaks down SAT scores by race plus shows how well each group scored in ERW and math.

Race / EthnicityTest TakersPercentTotalERWMath
American Indian/Alaska Native15,3841%901458443
Black/African American225,95412%908466441
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander3,7910%925473452
Two or More Races69,4104%1091556535
No Response190,27710%955478477

Students identifying as Asian had the highest average SAT scores followed by students that chose the option of Two or More Races. Students identifying as White had the third highest average SAT scores.

The lowest average SAT scores were American Indian/Alaska Native students and Black/African American students.

Asian students had the highest scores in both ERW and math. They were also the only group that had a higher Math score than ERW score. All other groups performed better in ERW than Math.

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