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Average SAT Scores By Year

Are you looking for a comparison of your test scores for the SAT exam? In this article, you’ll find a history of the average SAT scores over time, how the SAT came to be, and what to expect when you sit down to take your exam.

A 20-year span of SAT test scores starting in 1972 include:

YearMathCritical ReadingWritingYearMathCritical ReadingWriting

 As you can see from the table above, the average score has ranged on average from the upper 400’s to 530. 

This data represents a wide range of test takers from various ethnic backgrounds. Starting with the addition of the writing portion in 2006, test takers have tackled both math and reading sections to achieve their proficiency scores. 

Today, there are two main sections of the SAT: the math section and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) section. 

Both of these portions of the exam are used to test a student’s proficiency in a given area, and assess their math and reading skills. 

Ethnic Test Scores for the SAT Exam

Furthermore, this chart displays the differences between scoring results between various racial and ethnic profiles for the SAT exam. 

Demographic of Test Takers2007 Scores2011 Scores2015 Scores2018 Scores*2019 Scores*2020 Scores*2021 Scores*2022 Scores*
American Indian or Alaskan Native981972963914912902927936
Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander1092111211231152 (Asian)948 (Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander)1223 (Asian)964 (Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander)1217 (Asian)948 (Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander)1239 (Asian)950 (Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander)1229 (Asian)945 (Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander)
Black or African American862855859919933927934926
Mexican or Mexican American921917905
Puerto Rican913904905
Other Hispanic, Latino, or Latin American9229139061005 (Hispanic/ Latino)978 (Hispanic/ Latino)969 (Hispanic/ Latino)967 (Hispanic/Latino)964 (Hispanic/Latino)
Other1009101010091044 (Two or More Races)1095 (Two or More Races)1091 (Two or More Races)1116 (Two or More Races)1102 (Two or More Races)
No Response977944926875959996976983

These sets of data contribute several findings related to the outcomes of students taking the SAT:

Higher Levels of Education = Better Score Results

First, the higher a student has progressed in their secondary education translates to a higher score on average on the SAT exam. 

The reason for this boon could potentially be related to a better understanding of the content that is tested on the exam. For example, if a student has yet to take their Algebra II class, they may be unprepared for the more advanced math problems included on the SAT.

This doesn’t translate into how smart a student is, rather how much training and practice a student has been able to devote before taking the exam.

If you receive a poor result your first time, that’s normal. You can try to get a higher score on the SAT when you’ve had a chance to complete more coursework, or when you feel you’re ready. 

Taking time to study practice problems and complete math coursework will help you achieve your test goals. 

Socioeconomic Factors Play a Role

As stated above,  it’s not necessarily a student’s knowledge or test-taking ability that  is examined in the SAT. Rather, many factors play a role in achieving success.

As you may determine from the racial profile data set, socioeconomic status plays a role in achieving a higher SAT score. This isn’t because success is measured in any given race or ethnic group. Rather, this likely points to the access of resources that students are able to tap into before taking the SAT.

For example, if a student cannot afford professional SAT tutoring, a computer, or even their study materials for the math and writing courses they’re taking, they may not be prepared for the SAT.

Alternatively, a student who has the financial resources to afford to hire a tutor skilled in the SAT material, the latest technology to study and practice questions with, and the resources needed to learn new concepts from their classes may be better prepared to take the exam.

This has nothing to do with race or a lack of academic potential, but rather a lack of access to certain resources. 

If students do not have the luxury of time to study because they are busy working to provide for themselves or their family, they may not be as ready to take the exam as a student who can focus solely on their schoolwork. 

Therefore, it is a student’s access to education and resources that more so determines their preparedness for the SAT. However, this does not mean that a student with great  determination and grit from a lower socioeconomic background cannot achieve great success. 

Rather, it means that it may be more difficult from a student from a lower-earning family and may require more effort overall. 

What to Do Next

You may be wondering how to best be prepared for your SAT exam. It’s a big step in your education journey, and you want to show your full colors to future colleges.

To prepare for the future, you may wish to hire a tutor who specializes in SAT materials. Additionally, check out our library of pro tips for making the most of test day. 

No matter what happens, remember to be your own cheerleader and acknowledge your efforts. If you are unhappy with your score, you can take the test again to improve your results. 

Keep studying and learning the course materials. We at Prep Expert encourage you in your scholastic journey, and are here to help you each step of the way.

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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