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Table 155. SAT mean scores and percentage distribution of college-bound seniors, by selected student characteristics: Selected years, 1995-96 through 2010-11
Selected student characteristic 1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2009-10 2010-11
Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Percent-
age
distri-
bution
Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Percent-
age
distri-
bution
Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Writing score2 Percent-
age
distri-
bution
Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Writing score2 Percent-
age
distri-
bution
Critical reading
score1
Mathe-
matics
score
Writing score2 Percent-
age
distri-
bution
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
All students 505 508 100 506 514 100 503 518 497 100 501 516 492 100 497 514 489 100
High school rank                                    
Top decile 591 606 22 588 607 24 580 604 577 31 578 606 575 34 575 606 572 35
Second decile 530 539 22 526 540 23 516 537 511 25 514 535 505 27 510 535 503 27
Second quintile 494 496 28 490 497 26 484 498 476 20 484 499 472 19 482 498 470 18
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 23 441 450 429 20 438 448 426 20
                                     
High school grade point average                                    
A+ (97-100) 617 632 6 609 626 7 602 621 599 7 599 621 596 6 596 620 595 6
A (93-96) 573 583 14 566 581 17 563 582 559 18 563 584 558 19 560 583 556 19
A- (90-92) 545 554 15 540 552 17 534 552 529 18 531 550 525 19 528 548 521 19
B (80-89) 486 485 49 482 486 47 479 489 471 46 473 483 462 45 469 480 458 45
C (70-79) 432 426 15 428 425 12 426 428 414 11 418 424 405 10 416 421 401 10
D, E, or F (below 70) 414 408 # 403 404 # 406 413 389 # 411 422 399 # 409 425 398 #
                                     
High school type                                    
Public 502 506 83 502 510 83 500 514 492 83 498 511 488 84 494 506 483 84
Private, religiously affiliated 525 510 12 530 523 12 531 529 528 11 533 534 530 11 531 533 528 10
Private, independent 547 556 5 549 567 5 544 573 550 5 557 583 560 6 541 579 550 6
                                     
Intended college major4                                    
Agriculture and related sciences 491 484 2 487 484 1 481 485 469 1 476 485 464 1 475 484 461 1
Architecture/environmental design 492 519 3 493 521 2 488 528 485 3 492 536 487 2 490 534 485 2
Area, ethnic, cultural and gender
     studies
555 523 540 # 545 513 531 #
Arts: visual/performing 520 497 6 518 501 8 516 502 507 9 513 501 503 8 508 497 499 8
Biological sciences 546 545 6 545 549 5 540 554 532 6 544 560 536 6 540 557 533 6
Business and commerce 483 500 13 489 511 14 486 511 481 15 490 523 487 12 488 522 484 11
Communications and journalism 527 497 4 527 506 4 522 504 520 4 524 506 520 3 519 502 516 3
Computer or information sciences 497 522 3 501 533 7 503 534 482 4 510 539 486 2 511 539 485 2
Construction trades 416 452 398 # 422 451 399 #
Education 487 477 8 483 481 9 480 484 478 8 481 486 477 6 480 487 476 6
Engineering 525 569 8 523 572 9 519 577 506 8 531 587 516 8 528 584 513 8
Engineering technologies/
     technicians
463 509 446 2 464 511 447 2
English language and literature/
     letters
605 545 1 606 549 1 597 541 584 2 587 532 572 2 584 529 570 1
Family and consumer sciences/
     human sciences5
458 452 # 459 458 # 462 466 461 # 459 465 455 # 456 461 452 #
Foreign languages, literatures,
     and linguistics
556 534 # 557 540 1 572 549 563 1 572 545 562 1 567 542 557 1
General/interdisciplinary 576 553 # 554 539 # 542 532 532 #
Health and allied services 500 505 19 494 502 15 485 498 483 18 489 503 485 18 487 502 484 19
History 545 516 516 1 542 510 511 1
Legal professions and studies 511 506 499 3 512 507 500 3
Liberal arts and sciences, general
     studies, and humanities
559 539 549 1 552 532 541 1
Library and archival sciences 554 512 # 574 504 # 579 509 542 # 558 505 519 # 564 505 516 #
Mathematics 552 628 1 549 625 1 539 624 537 1 522 606 522 1 518 603 519 1
Mechanic and repair technologies/
     technician
419 452 402 # 421 451 400 #
Military sciences 503 505 # 507 511 # 510 521 487 1 501 504 469 # 467 471 433 #
Multi/interdisciplinary studies 605 598 592 # 582 580 570 #
Natural resources and conservation 528 528 510 1 525 524 506 1
Parks, recreation, leisure, and
     fitness studies
448 474 439 1 444 468 435 1
Personal and culinary services 457 460 443 # 457 456 440 #
Philosophy/religious studies 560 536 # 561 539 1 557 537 535 1 563 540 540 # 557 535 530 #
Physical sciences 575 595 1 568 588 1 557 589 542 2 558 588 540 1 553 582 537 1
Precision production 436 464 417 # 436 468 422 #
Psychology 505 492 496 5 505 494 497 5
Public affairs and services 458 448 3 461 455 2 462 461 454 3 469 459 462 # 467 459 462 #
Security and protective services 448 459 438 2 445 454 432 2
Social sciences and history 532 509 11 531 512 10 539 519 525 9
Social sciences 574 558 559 2 573 558 559 2
Technical and vocational 435 441 1 444 451 1 437 454 421 1
Theology and religious vocations 539 524 515 # 539 522 513 #
Transportation and materials moving 464 496 451 # 465 496 446 #
Other 456 465 447 2 453 462 443 2
Undecided 500 507 7 515 524 7 512 530 502 3 532 548 524 7 530 545 522 8
                                     
Degree-level goal                                    
Certificate program 434 439 1 443 455 1 443 462 435 1 442 463 432 1 445 464 434 1
Associate's degree 422 415 2 419 416 2 416 420 409 1 414 421 405 1 412 416 400 1
Bachelor's degree 476 476 23 478 483 25 477 487 469 25 477 488 466 28 478 490 467 30
Master's degree 514 518 29 516 526 31 512 525 505 30 509 524 501 30 506 524 499 29
Doctor's or related degree 548 552 24 547 554 21 539 553 532 20 537 551 529 21 534 550 527 21
Other 430 438 1 438 449 1 439 456 436 1 431 452 427 1 425 451 423 1
Undecided 502 503 20 511 517 19 515 528 508 22 516 529 507 18 509 522 499 16
                                     
Family income                                    
Less than $20,000 437 460 432 11 434 460 429 13
$20,000, but less than $40,000 465 479 455 16 464 480 454 16
$40,000, but less than $60,000 490 500 478 15 487 499 475 15
$60,000, but less than $80,000 504 514 492 14 502 512 489 14
$80,000, but less than $100,000 518 529 505 12 515 527 503 12
$100,000, but less than $120,000 528 541 518 10 526 539 515 10
$120,000, but less than $140,000 533 546 523 5 530 544 520 5
$140,000, but less than $160,000 540 554 531 4 538 552 529 4
$160,000, but less than $200,000 547 561 540 5 543 557 536 5
More than $200,000 568 586 567 7 568 586 567 7
                                     
Highest level of parental education                                    
No high school diploma 414 439 4 411 438 4 418 445 418 4 422 446 419 5 421 449 418 6
High school diploma 475 474 35 472 476 32 467 478 460 31 464 475 453 31 463 476 452 31
Associate's degree 489 487 8 489 491 9 484 493 474 8 482 491 469 9 480 489 466 8
Bachelor's degree 525 529 28 525 533 29 522 536 514 30 521 536 512 30 522 538 514 31
Graduate degree 556 558 25 559 567 26 558 571 552 27 561 575 554 26 559 574 554 25
—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 for 2009-10 and earlier years are for seniors who took the SAT any time during their high school years through March of their senior year. Data for 2010-11 are for seniors who took the SAT any time during their high school years through June 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. The critical reading section was formerly known as the verbal section. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: College Entrance Examination Board, College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile [National] Report, selected years, 1995-96 through 2010-11, retrieved September 15, 2011, from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2011. (This table was prepared September 2011.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education