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    Average SAT Score by State

    By Zach Skillings

    Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: February 28th, 2024
    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 in 2023 was 1028, 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 2023
    Total Score 1028
    Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 520
    Math 508

    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 graduating students in the state that took the SAT during high school. 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 2023, according to the College Board

    State SAT Participation Rate Total Scores Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Scores Math Scores
    Alabama 3% 1161 592 570
    Alaska 30% 1082 553 529
    Arizona 11% 1183 596 587
    Arkansas 2% 1192 610 582
    California 25% 1083 546 536
    Colorado 90% 996 508 488
    Connecticut  93% 1007 512 495
    Delaware 95% 958 489 469
    District of Columbia 100% 969 495 474
    Florida 90% 966 503 463
    Georgia 53% 1054 539 515
    Hawaii 30% 1114 565 549
    Idaho 95% 970 494 476
    Illinois 96% 970 492 478
    Indiana 100% 971 489 482
    Iowa 2% 1208 610 598
    Kansas 2% 1245 626 619
    Kentucky 2% 1208 616 592
    Louisiana 3% 1194 611 583
    Maine 38% 1080 551 529
    Maryland 71% 1008 515 493
    Massachusetts 57% 1112 560 551
    Michigan 97% 967 493 474
    Minnesota 3% 1201 601 599
    Mississippi 1% 1184 601 583
    Missouri 3% 1191 603 588
    Montana 5% 1193 607 586
    Nebraska 1% 1252 631 621
    Nevada 6% 1166 591 576
    New Hampshire 82% 1035 526 508
    New Jersey 64% 1066 538 528
    New Mexico 94% 901 458 444
    New York 62% 1039 522 516
    North Carolina 24% 1127 570 557
    North Dakota 1% 1287 652 634
    Ohio 18% 1044 525 519
    Oklahoma 18% 953 486 468
    Oregon 24% 1125 574 551
    Pennsylvania 48% 1078 547 531
    Puerto Rico N/A 974 510 465
    Rhode Island 95% 958 489 468
    South Carolina 50% 1028 527 501
    South Dakota 1% 1208 605 602
    Tennessee 4% 1191 606 585
    Texas 71% 978 497 481
    Utah 2% 1239 621 618
    Vermont 45% 1099 563 536
    Virgin Islands N/A 929 488 441
    Virginia 49% 1113 569 544
    Washington 37% 1081 549 532
    West Virginia 90% 923 478 445
    Wisconsin 2% 1236 615 621
    Wyoming 1% 1200 604 596

    How important is the average SAT score? 

    State and national average SAT scores can be good benchmarks, but they shouldn’t be your only gauge of success. You should create a goal score that is based on the school you’re applying to. 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. 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. 

    In the end, all you can do is try your best, study hard, take practice tests and ask for help when you need it. 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 you with some common questions:

    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. Also, don’t forget to apply for all the scholarships you are eligible for while you qualify! 

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    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • The average SAT score for each state varies and is greatly affected by the number of test takers
    • SAT scores can be an important part of the college admissions process. This means you should see what sort of scores the schools you are applying to generally accept
    • While SAT scores can be important, don’t forget that there are also plenty of other aspects of the college admissions process that matter as well, such as GPA, extracurriculars, and grades
    • Don’t forget that after you sign up for a test date, you should take advantage of as many resources as possible to study and prepare so that you can earn the highest score possible

    Frequently asked questions about the average SAT score

    Is a 1200 a good SAT score?

    Considering the national average on the SAT was 1028 in 2023, you should consider a score of 1200 on the SAT as nearly 175 points above average. However, being above the national average doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be accepted to the schools you are applying to. Again, check what the average SAT score is for students accepted there. Regardless, you should be proud of scoring a 1200 on the SAT!

    How rare is a 1300 SAT test score?

    Test takers who score a 1300 are in the 85-89th percentile of test takers. That means that you scored better than 85 to 89 percent of the other students who took the SAT. A 1300 is attainable if you put in the time and study hard!

    How high can you score on the SAT?

    The highest you can score on the SAT is 1600. However, in 2023, only seven percent of test takers scored between 1400 – 1600. While it’s noble to chase a perfect score on the SAT, don’t be upset if you fall short of that mark. Scoring anywhere above a 1400 is something you should be very proud of!

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