Curious how your SAT score compares? Knowing how your SAT score compares to national and state averages can be a helpful tool as you study and prepare. What is the average SAT score, both nationally and by state, and how does yours compare?
Average Score on the SAT
The latest national average (August 2022) on the SAT is 1050, with a highest score of 1600. By section, the national averages are:
Average Evidence-based Reading and Writing score: 529
Average Math score: 521
This data can help you understand where your score ranks. If you score a 1060, that means you’re slightly above the 50th percentile: about half of the people taking the test scored higher than you and half scored lower.
Average Scores by State
This chart shows the latest data for average SAT scores by state. Keep in mind the percentage of students who take the test in that state. If a state requires all their high school juniors to take the SAT, overall scores might be lower. In other states, students may only take the SAT if they plan to apply to college, or students in a particular state may primarily take the ACT instead.
To compare your state’s scores with another state, it’s best to compare between states that have similar percentages of students taking the SAT each year.
|State||% Taking the SAT||Average Score|
|District of Columbia||100||987|
Does the average SAT score matter?
The average SAT score can be a good benchmark, but it shouldn’t be your goal. Here are a few other ways to know where your SAT score stands.
Start by looking at the colleges you want to attend. If the admissions requirement at your top school is a 1300, then you don’t want to settle for an average SAT score of 1050. Even then, that can only be your final goal if you are looking to pay full price for college.
Set a realistic but ambitious goal for yourself. For some students, the goal might be the state or national average SAT score. For others it might be higher. If your SAT score is too low to receive any merit-based aid at your dream school, add a few more schools to your list!
Remember that you are your own biggest competition. Your goal should be to work your hardest to get your best score. That means preparing well, taking practice tests, and taking the SAT multiple times. Don’t compare yourself to your classmates or siblings.
Keep taking the test. Your first test will probably not be your best score. Many students earn their best score the third or fourth time they take the SAT. So don’t stop with your first (or even second) score! Keep working hard and pushing yourself to see how you can improve.
Whether you’re looking to improve your below-average score to above-average or to get into your best-fit college (and win those scholarship dollars!), SAT prep can help. Learn more on our website.