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Average SAT Score by State

If you’ve taken the SAT, you may be wondering how your performance stacks up against other test-takers. The national average SAT score is 1051, while average scores for each state vary. In this guide, we’ll take a look at SAT score averages by state as well as test section. Keep reading to find out how your score compares to other test-takers in your state. 

See also: What is a High SAT Score? 

What is the national average SAT score?

When discussing average SAT scores, there are three areas to be considered. There’s the average total score, as well as average scores for individual sections of the test. These include the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) section and the Math section. Here’s a breakdown of average scores for each section, according to the College Board.

SAT Test Sections National Average Scores in 2020
Total Score 1051
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 528
Math 523

Average SAT scores by state

Average SAT scores vary from state to state. A key factor to keep in mind is participation rate, which is the percentage of students in the state that take the SAT. States with higher participation rates typically have lower scores because the pool of test-takers is larger.

Meanwhile, states with lower participation rates generally have higher scores. Because of this, scores between states can only be accurately compared when the participation rates are similar. 

Here are the average SAT scores by state in 2020, according to the College Board

State SAT Participation Rate Total Scores Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Scores Math Scores
Alabama 7% 1127 576 551
Alaska 37% 1098 555 543
Arizona 29% 1139 571 568
Arkansas 4% 1157 590 567
California 67% 1049 527 522
Colorado 100% 1012 511 501
Connecticut  100% 1039 527 512
Delaware 100% 978 497 481
District of Columbia 100% 979 498 482
Florida 100% 992 512 479
Georgia 68% 1053 537 516
Hawaii 51% 1095 549 546
Idaho 100% 984 500 484
Illinois 98% 1007 504 503
Indiana 64% 1074 540 534
Iowa 3% 1220 611 609
Kansas 4% 1237 617 620
Kentucky 4% 1207 609 598
Louisiana 5% 1170 597 573
Maine 98% 995 504 491
Maryland 88% 1029 522 507
Massachusetts 80% 1119 560 559
Michigan 100% 998 503 495
Minnesota 4% 1257 624 633
Mississippi 3% 1203 610 593
Missouri 4% 1212 610 603
Montana 10% 1185 598 587
Nebraska 3% 1229 615 614
Nevada 17% 1150 579 571
New Hampshire 93% 1055 531 524
New Jersey 82% 1081 541 540
New Mexico 19% 1055 533 522
New York 79% 1058 528 530
North Carolina 48% 1096 553 544
North Dakota 2% 1231 615 617
Ohio 21% 1070 536 534
Oklahoma 20% 971 490 481
Oregon 51% 1104 557 547
Pennsylvania 67% 1078 543 534
Puerto Rico N/A 993 511 481
Rhode Island 100% 990 501 489
South Carolina 68% 1026 524 503
South Dakota 3% 1218 609 610
Tennessee 7% 1186 601 585
Texas 73% 1010 510 500
Utah 3% 1204 601 603
Vermont 63% 1103 559 545
Virgin Islands N/A 912 474 437
Virginia 65% 1116 567 549
Washington 69% 1073 539 534
West Virginia 98% 936 480 456
Wisconsin 3% 1243 615 628
Wyoming 2% 1220 614 606

How important is the average SAT score? 

It’s easy to get caught up in comparison, but remember that you are your own biggest competition. State and national average SAT scores can be good benchmarks, but they shouldn’t be your only gauge of success. In reality, your priority should be to meet or exceed the average SAT scores at your target schools. To get an idea of what you should aim for, check the average scores of the colleges you’re applying to. The more selective the school, the higher the average score will be. 

In the end, you should set a goal that’s both realistic and ambitious. For some students, scoring higher than the state or national average may be good enough to get into their dream school. For others, it may not be good enough. It all depends on your individual goals. And regardless of the type of score you’re aiming for, the key to success is preparation. That means studying hard, taking practice tests, and taking the SAT multiple times if needed. If you do all that, you’ll be well on your way to earning a high score and gaining admission to the college of your dreams. 

Also see: This year’s SAT test dates

A note on the SAT and ACT

As you prepare to take the SAT, you should be sure to note that some colleges weigh the ACT more heavily than the SAT. This is especially common at institutions in the Midwest. Make sure to check whether the institutions you’re interested in have a preference for either test. This could affect your decision of which to prioritize.

Related: Average ACT scores by state

Additional resources for students preparing for the SAT

If you’re getting ready for the SAT, you’re probably getting ready to enter the busiest part of the admissions process. The process can be overwhelming, but luckily, we’ve got resources at your disposal. We can help get you through the test taking process with a guide to when to take the SAT or ACT, and a guide to the differences between the two tests. You can also look at our guide to find the right test prep tutor. And if you don’t get the results you want, don’t fret. There are great college options for low test takers.

Once you’ve got your tests out of the way, you’ll be getting into your college application process. We’ve got answers on whether you should apply early action or early decision. We can also help you find financial safety schools, choose a college, and interpret your financial aid award letter. Good luck with the process, and don’t forget to check back if you have any questions!