What Is an Average SAT Score in 2024?

March 4, 2024
8 min read

What is an average SAT score? What score should you aim for? Keep reading for the answers. 

Prepping for the SAT can be challenging, leaving many students unsure of what score to aim for and how to reach their goals. But remember, it's natural for stress levels to rise during test week, with cortisol levels increasing by about 15% on average. The way to combat this stress is to arm yourself with information and do your best to prepare. 

With the right preparation and mindset, you can tackle the SAT with confidence and determination. Keep focused, stay calm, and trust in your abilities. Keep reading to learn how to understand SAT scores and more. 

Understanding SAT Scores

SAT scores are calculated by adding together the scores from two key sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math. This combination results in a total score range of 400 to 1600. 

Within each section, students receive scores ranging from 200 to 800. In the case of the paper-based version, the score for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is derived from both the Reading Test and the Writing and Language Test. 

So, essentially, a student's overall SAT score is the sum of their performance in these two major sections.

SAT Sections Explained

The SAT consists of two primary sections: Reading & Writing and Math. Let’s take a look at them. 

Section Description
Reading & Writing Measures comprehension, reasoning skills, and grammar usage through close reading of passages. It assesses command of evidence, expression of ideas, and language conventions.
Math Includes multiple-choice and student-produced response questions, assessing algebra, problem-solving, data analysis, geometry, and trigonometry skills.

What Is an Average SAT Score? 

The average score on the SAT in 2023 was 1028, with a mean score of 520 in the reading and writing section and 508 in the math section, based on data from the College Board.

What Is Considered an Above-Average SAT Score?

An above-average SAT score for admission to a top 20 university typically ranges from 1470 to 1580. This score indicates strong academic ability and competitiveness among applicants. Just remember, universities look at more than just test scores when making decisions, so it's important to do your best in all parts of your application.

Average SAT Scores For Each US State

Below are the latest average SAT scores for each of the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. 

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
Alabama 1,512 592 570 1161
Alaska 2,453 553 529 1082
Arizona 8,689 596 587 1183
Arkansas 683 610 582 1192
California 122,914 546 536 1083
Colorado 57,293 508 488 996
Connecticut 40,405 512 495 1007
Delaware 10,368 489 469 958

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
District of Columbia 4,987 495 474 969
Florida 205,159 503 463 966
Georgia 64,316 539 515 1054
Hawaii 4,546 565 549 1114
Idaho 21,813 494 476 970
Illinois 142,769 492 478 970
Indiana 78,001 489 482 971
Iowa 817 610 598 1208

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
Kansas 683 626 619 1245
Kentucky 962 616 592 1208
Louisiana 1,278 611 583 1194
Maine 5,649 551 529 1080
Maryland 51,825 515 493 1008
Massachusetts 44,441 560 551 1112
Michigan 102,466 493 474 967
Minnesota 2,159 601 599 1201

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
Mississippi 398 601 583 1184
Missouri 2,100 603 588 1191
Montana 477 607 586 1193
Nebraska 331 631 621 1252
Nevada 2,047 591 576 1166
New Hampshire 12,390 526 508 1035
New Jersey 73,353 538 528 1066
New Mexico 20,068 458 444 901

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
New York 128,296 522 516 1039
North Carolina 27,803 570 557 1127
North Dakota 83 652 634 1287
Ohio 23,823 525 519 1044
Oklahoma 8,158 486 468 953
Oregon 10,020 574 551 1125
Pennsylvania 69,075 547 531 1078
Puerto Rico 3,232 510 465 974

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
Rhode Island 10,745 489 468 958
South Carolina 27,195 527 501 1028
South Dakota 150 605 602 1208
Tennessee 3,207 606 585 1191
Texas 278,151 497 481 978
Utah 828 621 618 1239
Vermont 2,958 563 536 1099
Virginia 47,211 569 544 1113

State # of Test Takers ERW Math Total
Virgin Islands, US 462 488 441 929
Washington 28,078 549 532 1081
West Virginia 16,154 478 445 923
Wisconsin 1,340 615 621 1236
Wyoming 85 604 596 1200

Source: The College Board

SAT Scores for Top US Colleges

A strong SAT score for getting into a top 20 university in the US is usually between 1470 and 1580.

A competitive SAT score usually places you in the top 25% of admitted students at a college or university, meaning it's equal to or better than 75% of accepted scores, but this can vary between schools. Here's an overview of the SAT scores for the 25th and 75th percentiles at some top colleges:

University 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Princeton 1510 1570
MIT 1520 1570
Harvard 1490 1580
Stanford 1500 1570
Yale 1470 1560
UPenn 1500 1570
Duke 1490 1560
Brown 1500 1560
Johns Hopkins 1520 1560
Northwestern 1500 1560

University 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Columbia 1500 1560
Cornell 1470 1550
U Chicago 1510 1560
Rice 1500 1560
Dartmouth 1440 1560
Vanderbilt 1490 1570
Notre Dame 1420 1550
U Michigan 1350 1530
Georgetown 1410 1540
Carnegie Mellon 1460 1560

SAT Scores for Ivy Leagues

Ivy League Universities like Harvard and Yale generally look for SAT scores above 1470, with competitive applicants often scoring in the high 1500s.

Below are the average standardized test scores for admitted students who submitted them at each of the Ivy League schools. Keep in mind that scores are presented as ranges, indicating where the middle 50% of admitted students scored.

School Average SAT Average ACT
Brown 1500-1570 34-36
Columbia 1490-1560 34-35
Cornell 1450-1560 33-35
Dartmouth 1440-1560 32-35
Harvard 1460-1580 33-35
Princeton 1490-1580 33-35
UPenn 1510-1560 34-36
Yale 1460-1560 33-35

Tips for Achieving a Good SAT Score

To do well on the SAT, first, set clear goals based on your target colleges or scholarships. Then, choose test dates strategically, register early, and consider school-day testing. Use PSAT assessments to get familiar with the SAT, take challenging courses, and focus on free practice resources that target your weak areas. 

Let’s take a closer look at these SAT tips

Practice Regularly

Consistent practice is key to improving your SAT score. Dedicate time each day or week to practice using free resources available online. 

Focus on completing practice tests and questions to become familiar with the format and types of questions you'll encounter on the SAT. Identify your weak areas, whether it's math, reading, or writing, and devote extra time to improving those skills through targeted practice.

Set Clear Goals

Before you start preparing for the SAT, establish specific score goals based on the requirements of your target colleges or scholarships. Use tools like BigFuture to compare your target score with the average scores of your desired institutions. Having clear goals will help keep you motivated and focused throughout your study journey.

Challenge Yourself Academically

Enroll in challenging courses like honors or Advanced Placement classes to strengthen your academic skills. These courses cover material that often appears on the SAT and help you develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. 

Challenging coursework also prepares you for the rigor of the SAT and builds confidence in your ability to tackle complex questions.

Get Familiar with the Test Format

Take advantage of PSAT practice tests to familiarize yourself with the SAT format and pacing. Analyze your performance to identify areas of strength and weakness. Use this insight to tailor your study plan and focus on areas that need improvement. Becoming comfortable with the test format will reduce test-day anxiety and improve your overall performance.

Plan Wisely

Choose your test dates strategically, considering your college application deadlines and availability. Register for the SAT early to secure your preferred testing location and date. If your school offers the SAT on a school day, consider taking advantage of this option for added convenience. 

Planning ahead ensures you have enough time to prepare effectively and reduces last-minute stress.

Use Official SAT Practice Materials

Utilize the official SAT practice materials provided by the College Board. These resources are specifically designed to mimic the content and format of the actual exam, providing you with an authentic test-taking experience. 

By practicing with official materials, you'll become more familiar with the types of questions you'll encounter and better prepared for exam day.

Explore Additional Resources

Supplement your SAT preparation with other resources such as prep books and online courses. Experiment with different study methods to find what works best for you. Additional resources can provide extra practice and support to help you achieve your target score.

Master Time Management

Practice pacing yourself during practice tests to ensure you can complete each section within the allotted time. Develop strategies to efficiently allocate your time to each question and section. Time management is crucial on test day, so practicing this skill will help you stay focused and perform your best under pressure.

Learn from Mistakes

Review your practice test results thoroughly to identify patterns of errors and areas for improvement. Understand why you made mistakes and develop strategies to avoid them in the future. Learning from your mistakes is an essential part of the learning process and will help you continuously improve your skills.

Stay Consistent and Persistent

SAT preparation requires consistent effort over time. Stick to a regular study schedule, setting aside dedicated time each day or week for preparation. Consistent practice and review will reinforce your skills and boost your confidence leading up to test day. Trust in your abilities and stay persistent in your pursuit of success on the SAT.

Try out Tutoring

Consider investing in one-to-one digital SAT test prep with the country’s leading 99th percentile SAT tutors. This personalized approach allows you to maximize your scores by receiving individualized attention and tailored strategies. 

With customizable test prep packages, you can focus on areas where you need the most improvement, increasing your odds of college acceptance. Enjoy the flexibility of scheduling and rescheduling sessions to fit your busy lifestyle, ensuring you can fully commit to your SAT preparation journey.

By following these tips and staying dedicated to your SAT preparation, you'll increase your chances of achieving your target score and reaching your academic goals. Good luck!


Curious about what an average SAT score is? Let's get into some common questions regarding SAT scores in our FAQ section.

1. What SAT Score Is Required for Harvard?

Harvard University doesn't have a set minimum SAT score requirement, but applicants are advised to aim for at least a score of 1460 to increase their chances of consideration. It’s also helpful to know that the average SAT score for Harvard is around 1520. 

2. Is 800 a Good SAT Score?

Scoring 800 on the SAT is considered low. A good SAT score typically falls at 1210 or higher, positioning you within the top 25% of all test takers.

3. Is 900 an Average SAT Score?

An SAT score of 900 is slightly below average. On average, SAT scores tend to hover around 1028.

4. Is 1600 a Good SAT?

A 1600 on the SAT is considered perfect, as it is the highest possible score you can achieve on the test.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the average SAT scores in 2024 provides valuable insight into academic performance and goal-setting for college admissions. It serves as a reference point to gauge competitiveness and areas for improvement. 

Remember, while SAT scores matter, they're just one piece of the puzzle. Continue striving for overall academic growth, challenging yourself, and making the most of available resources to succeed. Keep pushing forward, and good luck on your journey ahead!

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