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Table 173. SAT mean scores and percentage distribution of college-bound seniors, by selected student characteristics: Selected years, 1995-96 through 2011-12
Selected student characteristic 1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2010-11 2011-12
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 505 508 100 506 514 100 503 518 497 100 497 514 489 100 496 514 488 100
High school rank                                    
Top decile 591 606 22 588 607 24 580 604 577 31 575 606 572 35 573 606 571 36
Second decile 530 539 22 526 540 23 516 537 511 25 510 535 503 27 508 534 500 27
Second quintile 494 496 28 490 497 26 484 498 476 20 482 498 470 18 480 498 467 17
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 23 438 448 426 20 435 446 423 20
                                     
High school grade point average                                    
A+ (97-100) 617 632 6 609 626 7 602 621 599 7 596 620 595 6 593 620 593 6
A (93-96) 573 583 14 566 581 17 563 582 559 18 560 583 556 19 557 581 554 20
A-
(90-92)
545 554 15 540 552 17 534 552 529 18 528 548 521 19 524 545 518 19
B (80-89) 486 485 49 482 486 47 479 489 471 46 469 480 458 45 466 478 455 44
C (70-79) 432 426 15 428 425 12 426 428 414 11 416 421 401 10 414 421 400 10
D, E, or F (below 70) 414 408 # 403 404 # 406 413 389 # 409 425 398 # 411 429 399 #
                                     
High school type                                    
Public 502 506 83 502 510 83 500 514 492 83 494 506 483 84 491 505 481 84
Private, religiously affiliated 525 510 12 530 523 12 531 529 528 11 531 533 528 10 531 534 529 10
Private, independent 547 556 5 549 567 5 544 573 550 5 541 579 550 6 539 580 548 6
                                     
Intended college major4                                    
Agriculture and related sciences 491 484 2 487 484 1 481 485 469 1 475 484 461 1 473 481 458 1
Architecture/environmental design 492 519 3 493 521 2 488 528 485 3 490 534 485 2 490 535 484 2
Area, ethnic, cultural and gender                                    
studies 545 513 531 # 543 515 529 #
Arts: visual/performing 520 497 6 518 501 8 516 502 507 9 508 497 499 8 506 498 496 7
Biological sciences 546 545 6 545 549 5 540 554 532 6 540 557 533 6 538 555 531 7
Business and commerce 483 500 13 489 511 14 486 511 481 15 488 522 484 11 488 522 485 11
Communications and journalism 527 497 4 527 506 4 522 504 520 4 519 502 516 3 517 500 513 3
Computer or information sciences 497 522 3 501 533 7 503 534 482 4 511 539 485 2 512 544 487 2
Construction trades 422 451 399 # 420 454 398 #
Education 487 477 8 483 481 9 480 484 478 8 480 487 476 6 480 486 477 5
Engineering 525 569 8 523 572 9 519 577 506 8 528 584 513 8 526 582 511 9
Engineering technologies/                                    
technicians 464 511 447 2 468 521 453 2
English language and literature/                                    
letters 605 545 1 606 549 1 597 541 584 2 584 529 570 1 580 527 564 1
Family and consumer sciences/                                    
human sciences5 458 452 # 459 458 # 462 466 461 # 456 461 452 # 453 458 450 #
Foreign languages, literatures,                                    
and linguistics 556 534 # 557 540 1 572 549 563 1 567 542 557 1 564 541 553 1
General/interdisciplinary 576 553 # 554 539 # 542 532 532 #
Health and allied services 500 505 19 494 502 15 485 498 483 18 487 502 484 19 485 499 482 19
History 542 510 511 1 542 513 511 1
Legal professions and studies 512 507 500 3 513 508 502 3
Liberal arts and sciences, general                                    
studies, and humanities 552 532 541 1 548 533 539 1
Library and archival sciences 554 512 # 574 504 # 579 509 542 # 564 505 516 # 561 502 520 #
Mathematics 552 628 1 549 625 1 539 624 537 1 518 603 519 1 530 614 532 1
Mechanic and repair technologies/                                    
technician 421 451 400 # 414 450 396 #
Military sciences 503 505 # 507 511 # 510 521 487 1 467 471 433 # 490 503 460 #
Multi/interdisciplinary studies 582 580 570 # 581 587 570 #
Natural resources and conservation 525 524 506 1 520 523 501 1
Parks, recreation, leisure, and                                    
fitness studies 444 468 435 1 439 464 430 1
Personal and culinary services 457 456 440 # 453 455 436 1
Philosophy/religious studies 560 536 # 561 539 1 557 537 535 1 557 535 530 # 551 534 527 #
Physical sciences 575 595 1 568 588 1 557 589 542 2 553 582 537 1 552 583 537 2
Precision production 436 468 422 # 460 477 422 #
Psychology 505 494 497 5 502 491 493 5
Public affairs and services 458 448 3 461 455 2 462 461 454 3 467 459 462 # 460 455 456 #
Security and protective services 445 454 432 2 445 455 433 3
Social sciences and history 532 509 11 531 512 10 539 519 525 9
Social sciences 573 558 559 2 568 556 554 2
Technical and vocational 435 441 1 444 451 1 437 454 421 1
Theology and religious vocations 539 522 513 # 537 523 515 #
Transportation and materials moving 465 496 446 # 457 491 441 #
Other 453 462 443 2 451 463 442 2
Undecided 500 507 7 515 524 7 512 530 502 3 530 545 522 8 531 548 524 7
                                     
Degree-level goal                                    
Certificate program 434 439 1 443 455 1 443 462 435 1 445 464 434 1 443 464 433 1
Associate's degree 422 415 2 419 416 2 416 420 409 1 412 416 400 1 411 416 399 1
Bachelor's degree 476 476 23 478 483 25 477 487 469 25 478 490 467 30 477 490 466 30
Master's degree 514 518 29 516 526 31 512 525 505 30 506 524 499 29 505 524 498 30
Doctor's or related degree 548 552 24 547 554 21 539 553 532 20 534 550 527 21 532 549 526 22
Other 430 438 1 438 449 1 439 456 436 1 425 451 423 1 416 447 416 1
Undecided 502 503 20 511 517 19 515 528 508 22 509 522 499 16 505 522 496 16
                                     
Family income                                    
Less than $20,000 434 460 429 13 433 461 428 14
$20,000, but less than $40,000 464 480 454 16 463 481 453 17
$40,000, but less than $60,000 487 499 475 15 485 500 473 14
$60,000, but less than $80,000 502 512 489 14 499 512 486 13
$80,000, but less than $100,000 515 527 503 12 511 525 499 11
$100,000, but less than $120,000 526 539 515 10 523 539 512 10
$120,000, but less than $140,000 530 544 520 5 527 543 517 5
$140,000, but less than $160,000 538 552 529 4 534 551 525 4
$160,000, but less than $200,000 543 557 536 5 540 557 534 5
More than $200,000 568 586 567 7 567 589 566 8
                                     
Highest level of parental education                                    
No high school diploma 414 439 4 411 438 4 418 445 418 4 421 449 418 6 420 450 418 6
High school diploma 475 474 35 472 476 32 467 478 460 31 463 476 452 31 463 477 452 30
Associate's degree 489 487 8 489 491 9 484 493 474 8 480 489 466 8 479 489 465 8
Bachelor's degree 525 529 28 525 533 29 522 536 514 30 522 538 514 31 522 540 513 31
Graduate degree 556 558 25 559 567 26 558 571 552 27 559 574 554 25 560 577 555 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 onwards 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. 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 2011-12, retrieved September 30, 2012, from http://research.collegeboard.org/programs/sat/data/cb-seniors-2012. (This table was prepared September 2012.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education