Digest of Education Statistics
2010 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 153. SAT mean scores of college-bound seniors, by selected student characteristics: Selected years, 1995-96 through 2009-10
Selected student characteristic 1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2008-09 2009-10
Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Percentage distri-bution Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Percentage distri-bution Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Writing score2 Percentage distri-bution Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Writing score2 Percentage distri-bution Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Writing score2 Percentage distri-bution
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
All students 505 508 100 506 514 100 503 518 497 100 501 515 493 100 501 516 492 100
High school rank                                    
Top decile 591 606 22 588 607 24 580 604 577 31 576 603 573 33 578 606 575 34
Second decile 530 539 22 526 540 23 516 537 511 25 512 534 505 27 514 535 505 27
Second quintile 494 496 28 490 497 26 484 498 476 20 482 497 471 19 484 499 472 19
Third quintile 455 448 24 454 452 22
Fourth quintile 429 418 4 423 417 4
Fifth quintile 411 401 1 407 401 1
Bottom three quintiles3 443 449 435 23 441 448 430 20 441 450 429 20
                                     
High school grade point average                                    
A+ (97-100) 617 632 6 609 626 7 602 621 599 7 599 621 597 6 599 621 596 6
A (93-96) 573 583 14 566 581 17 563 582 559 18 563 583 559 19 563 584 558 19
A- (90-92) 545 554 15 540 552 17 534 552 529 18 532 551 526 19 531 550 525 19
B (80-89) 486 485 49 482 486 47 479 489 471 46 474 484 464 46 473 483 462 45
C (70-79) 432 426 15 428 425 12 426 428 414 11 420 422 406 11 418 424 405 10
D, E, or F (below 70) 414 408 # 403 404 # 406 413 389 # 399 412 387 # 411 422 399 #
                                     
High school type                                    
Public 502 506 83 502 510 83 500 514 492 83 496 510 487 84 498 511 488 84
Private, religiously affiliated 525 510 12 530 523 12 531 529 528 11 533 533 530 11 533 534 530 11
Private, independent 547 556 5 549 567 5 544 573 550 5 550 578 555 6 557 583 560 6
                                     
Intended college major4                                    
Agriculture and related sciences 491 484 2 487 484 1 481 485 469 1 478 485 465 1 476 485 464 1
Architecture/environmental design 492 519 3 493 521 2 488 528 485 3 491 534 485 2 492 536 487 2
Area, ethnic, cultural and gender
    studies
551 515 536 # 555 523 540 #
Arts: visual/performing 520 497 6 518 501 8 516 502 507 9 516 503 506 8 513 501 503 8
Biological sciences 546 545 6 545 549 5 540 554 532 6 541 557 533 6 544 560 536 6
Business and commerce 483 500 13 489 511 14 486 511 481 15 486 516 481 14 490 523 487 12
Communications and journalism 527 497 4 527 506 4 522 504 520 4 522 502 518 4 524 506 520 3
Computer or information sciences 497 522 3 501 533 7 503 534 482 4 506 533 481 3 510 539 486 2
Construction trades 423 458 404 # 416 452 398 #
Education 487 477 8 483 481 9 480 484 478 8 478 483 475 7 481 486 477 6
Engineering 525 569 8 523 572 9 519 577 506 8 526 582 511 8 531 587 516 8
Engineering technologies/
    technicians
464 511 448 1 463 509 446 2
English language and literature/
    letters
605 545 1 606 549 1 597 541 584 2 589 530 572 2 587 532 572 2
Family and consumer sciences/
    human sciences5
458 452 # 459 458 # 462 466 461 # 467 468 462 # 459 465 455 #
Foreign languages, literatures,
    and linguistics
556 534 # 557 540 1 572 549 563 1 574 545 563 1 572 545 562 1
General/interdisciplinary 576 553 # 554 539 # 542 532 532 #
Health and allied services 500 505 19 494 502 15 485 498 483 18 488 501 485 19 489 503 485 18
History 548 517 518 1 545 516 516 1
Legal professions and studies 510 506 500 3 511 506 499 3
Liberal arts and sciences, general
    studies, and humanities
553 532 541 1 559 539 549 1
Library and archival sciences 554 512 # 574 504 # 579 509 542 # 576 510 534 # 558 505 519 #
Mathematics 552 628 1 549 625 1 539 624 537 1 528 613 527 1 522 606 522 1
Mechanic and repair technologies/
    technician
418 447 401 # 419 452 402 #
Military sciences 503 505 # 507 511 # 510 521 487 1 518 520 483 # 501 504 469 #
Multi/interdisciplinary studies 604 594 590 # 605 598 592 #
Natural resources and conservation 521 521 504 1 528 528 510 1
Parks, recreation, leisure, and
    fitness studies
452 476 442 1 448 474 439 1
Personal and culinary services 460 458 445 # 457 460 443 #
Philosophy/religious studies 560 536 # 561 539 1 557 537 535 1 567 543 543 # 563 540 540 #
Physical sciences 575 595 1 568 588 1 557 589 542 2 561 592 544 1 558 588 540 1
Precision production 441 468 411 # 436 464 417 #
Psychology 501 488 494 5 505 492 496 5
Public affairs and services 458 448 3 461 455 2 462 461 454 3 466 451 458 # 469 459 462 #
Security and protective services 449 458 438 2 448 459 438 2
Social sciences and history 532 509 11 531 512 10 539 519 525 9
Social sciences 568 550 552 2 574 558 559 2
Technical and vocational 435 441 1 444 451 1 437 454 421 1
Theology and religious vocations 542 527 521 # 539 524 515 #
Transportation and materials moving 460 486 445 # 464 496 451 #
Other 467 474 456 1 456 465 447 2
Undecided 500 507 7 515 524 7 512 530 502 3 532 549 523 4 532 548 524 7
                                     
Degree-level goal                                    
Certificate program 434 439 1 443 455 1 443 462 435 1 441 461 432 1 442 463 432 1
Associate's degree 422 415 2 419 416 2 416 420 409 1 415 418 404 1 414 421 405 1
Bachelor's degree 476 476 23 478 483 25 477 487 469 25 476 486 465 26 477 488 466 28
Master's degree 514 518 29 516 526 31 512 525 505 30 507 522 500 31 509 524 501 30
Doctor's or related degree 548 552 24 547 554 21 539 553 532 20 534 548 528 20 537 551 529 21
Other 430 438 1 438 449 1 439 456 436 1 433 452 429 # 431 452 427 1
Undecided 502 503 20 511 517 19 515 528 508 22 516 529 508 20 516 529 507 18
                                     
Family income                                    
Less than $20,000 434 457 430 10 437 460 432 11
$20,000, but less than $40,000 462 475 453 15 465 479 455 16
$40,000, but less than $60,000 488 497 476 15 490 500 478 15
$60,000, but less than $80,000 503 512 491 15 504 514 492 14
$80,000, but less than $100,000 517 528 505 13 518 529 505 12
$100,000, but less than $120,000 525 538 516 11 528 541 518 10
$120,000, but less than $140,000 529 542 520 5 533 546 523 5
$140,000, but less than $160,000 536 550 527 4 540 554 531 4
$160,000, but less than $200,000 542 554 535 5 547 561 540 5
More than $200,000 563 579 560 7 568 586 567 7
                                     
Highest level of parental education                                    
No high school diploma 414 439 4 411 438 4 418 445 418 4 420 443 418 5 422 446 419 5
High school diploma 475 474 35 472 476 32 467 478 460 31 464 474 454 31 464 475 453 31
Associate's degree 489 487 8 489 491 9 484 493 474 8 482 491 469 9 482 491 469 9
Bachelor's degree 525 529 28 525 533 29 522 536 514 30 521 535 512 30 521 536 512 30
Graduate degree 556 558 25 559 567 26 558 571 552 27 559 572 552 25 561 575 554 26
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
#Rounds to zero.
1 Prior to 2006, the critical reading section was known as the verbal section.
2 Writing data are based on students who took the SAT writing section, which was introduced in March 2005.
3 Beginning in 2005-06, the College Board has reported third, fourth, and fifth quintiles as the bottom three quintiles instead of reporting them separately as in previous years.
4 Data may not be comparable over time because of additions to the list of majors and changes in subspecialties within majors.
5 Prior to 2006-07, family and consumer sciences/human sciences was called home economics.
NOTE: Data are for seniors who took the SAT any time during their high school years through March of their senior year. If a student took a test more than once, the most recent score was used. The SAT was formerly known as the Scholastic Assessment Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Possible scores on each part of the SAT range from 200 to 800. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and survey item nonresponse.
SOURCE: College Entrance Examination Board, College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile [National] Report, selected years, 1995-96 through 2009-10, retrieved September 14, 2010, from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2010. (This table was prepared September 2010.)

2010 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest