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Average National SAT Scores for 2012

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SAT Scores by State
SAT Score Frequently Asked Questions

Average National SAT Scores Basics

You know, over a million of you high-schoolers out there registered for the SAT this past year. And now, I'm betting you'd like to know what kinds of scores your cohorts are getting now that you've taken it, right? Well, good for you for wanting to be informed. Below, you'll read several fun facts (and some shocking ones, too!) about the average national SAT scores for 2012.

For some of you, you'll be interested in knowing the average SAT scores for students entering the top public schools in the country, and others of you will be curious about scores for the top private schools. If you're just interested in SAT scores in general, then keep on reading, okay? Okay.

Overall SAT Scores for 2012

Remember the math term, "mean"? Of course you do! It's just the average of a set of numbers. In this case, the mean is the average score of every student who took the SAT from the fall of 2011 through June of 2012. Here are the mean scores for all testers by section:

SAT Scores for 2011
SAT Scores for 2013

SAT Scores By Gender

Well, it looks like the boys have taken it againthis year in everything but the Writing section, ladies! Better luck next time!

  • Critical Reading:

    Males: 498
    Females: 493
  • Mathematics:

    Males: 532
    Females: 499
  • Writing:

    Males: 481
    Females: 494

SAT Scores By Reported Annual Income

It seems, kids, that if your parents are raking in the dough, then your odds of scoring higher on the SAT go up. Just check out the statistics. Now, be sure to use your best reasoning skills. This doesn't mean that kids with a little more cash are the smartest on the block. What else could those numbers imply? Perhaps parents with more wealth are more willing to purchase SAT prep? Perhaps they are more willing to shell out the moolah for retakes? I don't know. We could conjecture all day on this subject, but the stats do not lie; parents making more money produce kids with higher SAT scores. Look:

  • $0 - $20,000: 1323
  • $20,000 - $40,000: 1398
  • $40,000 - $60,000: 1461
  • $60,000 - $80,000: 1503
  • $80,000 - $100,000: 1545
  • $100,000 - $120,000: 1580
  • $120,000 - $140,000: 1594
  • $140,000 - $160,000: 1619
  • $160,000 - $200,000: 1636
  • $200,000 and more: 1721

SAT Scores By AP/Honors Classes

I'll admit it. These are some odd statistics. But it is helpful to know which courses in school tend to produce the highest SAT scorers, right? You could guess that students who take AP courses or rigorous Honors courses are going to score higher on the SAT, but the degree to which they score better is a little crazy. Check out the stats:

AP/Honors Math

  • 1698: Mean SAT score for those enrolled in AP/Honors Math
  • 1404: Mean SAT score for those not enrolled

Percentage of SAT Testers Enrolled in AP/Honors Math by Ethnicity

  • All students: 36%
  • African American: 25%
  • American Indian: 31%
  • Asian: 47%
  • Hispanic: 31%
  • White: 40%

AP/Honors English

  • 1655: Mean SAT score for those enrolled in AP/Honors Math
  • 1404: Mean SAT score for those not enrolled

Percentage of SAT Testers Enrolled in AP/Honors English by Ethnicity

  • All students: 42%
  • African American: 34%
  • American Indian: 40%
  • Asian: 44%
  • Hispanic: 39%
  • White: 46%

AP/Honors Natural Science

  • 1698: Mean SAT score for those enrolled in AP/Honors Math
  • 1414: Mean SAT score for those not enrolled

Percentage of SAT Testers Enrolled in AP/Honors Natural Science by Ethnicity

  • All students: 35%
  • African American: 24%
  • American Indian: 28%
  • Asian: 43%
  • Hispanic: 28%
  • White: 38%

2012 SAT Scores Summary

So, it would appear that if you'd really like to knock the SAT out of the ballpark, you'd better join a family who makes more than $200,000 per year, make sure to secure the male gender, enroll in AP/Honors courses and adopt the Asian ethnicity. If that doesn't work, you could always prepare regardless of your ethnic heritage or familial status. These statistics represent the mean, but do not, of course represent the individual - YOU. If you have nothing in common with the groups scoring the highest on the SAT, it does NOT mean that you can't secure a top-notch score. Start with some free SAT practice quizzes, grab some free SAT apps, and prepare yourself the best way you can. Good luck!

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