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Digest of Education Statistics
2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 143. SAT mean scores of college-bound seniors, by selected student characteristics: Selected years, 1995–96 through 2007–08
Selected student characteristic 1995–96 1999–2000 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08
Critical reading score1  Mathe-matics score Percentage distribution Critical reading score1  Mathe-matics score Percentage distribution Critical reading score1  Mathe-matics score Writing score2  Percentage distribution Critical reading score1  Mathe-matics score Writing score2  Percentage distribution Critical reading score1  Mathe-matics score Writing score2  Percentage distribution
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
All students 505 508 100 505 514 100 503 518 497 100 502 515 494 100 502 515 494 100
High school rank                                    
Top decile 591 606 22 589 608 580 604 577 31 580 602 575 32 573 598 569 31
Second decile 530 539 22 528 543 516 537 511 25 516 534 508 26 511 531 505 27
Second quintile 494 496 28 493 500 484 498 476 20 484 497 474 20 481 495 472 20
Third quintile 455 448 24 455 453
Fourth quintile 429 418 4 425 419
Fifth quintile 411 401 1 408 401
Bottom three quintiles3  443 449 435 23 444 450 434 22 441 447 431 22
                                     
High school grade point average                                    
A+ (97–100) 617 632 6 610 628 7 602 621 599 7 604 620 599 7 595 615 592 6
A (93–96) 573 583 14 567 582 16 563 582 559 18 565 581 559 18 559 578 555 18
A- (90–92) 545 554 15 540 553 17 534 552 529 18 534 550 528 18 529 547 523 19
B (80–89) 486 485 49 482 486 47 479 489 471 46 478 486 469 45 474 484 465 47
C (70–79) 432 426 15 428 426 12 426 428 414 11 424 427 411 11 421 423 408 11
D, E, or F (below 70) 414 408 # 405 406 # 406 413 389 # 403 412 388 # 402 411 390 #
High school type                                    
Public 502 506 83 501 510 83 500 514 492 83 498 509 488 84 497 510 488 84
Religiously affiliated 525 510 12 529 523 12 531 529 528 11 531 526 527 11 532 531 529 11
Independent 547 556 5 547 566 5 544 573 550 5 546 569 548 5 550 574 553 5
                                     
Intended college major4                                     
Agriculture/natural resources 491 484 2 490 486 1 481 485 469 1 476 480 463 1 478 481 465 1
Architecture/environmental design 492 519 3 494 524 2 488 528 485 3 492 535 486 3 488 532 483 2
Area, ethnic, cultural and gender studies 547 514 533 # 554 521 541 #
Arts: visual/performing 520 497 6 518 502 8 516 502 507 9 517 503 507 9 516 502 506 8
Biological sciences 546 545 6 544 548 5 540 554 532 6 540 552 531 6 537 551 528 5
Business and commerce 483 500 13 487 510 14 486 511 481 15 485 510 479 15 481 509 477 15
Communications 527 497 4 526 505 4 522 504 520 4 523 501 519 4 522 502 519 4
Computer or information sciences 497 522 3 499 533 6 503 534 482 4 505 533 481 3 502 529 477 3
Construction trades 415 447 402 # 424 460 409 #
Education 487 477 8 483 481 9 480 484 478 8 480 483 476 8 478 482 475 7
Engineering 525 569 8 523 573 8 519 577 506 8 524 579 510 8 522 579 508 8
Engineering technologies/techniques 451 491 435 1 462 508 447 1
Foreign/classical languages 556 534 # 558 539 1 572 549 563 1 581 549 569 1 576 545 564 1
General/interdisciplinary 576 553 # 562 545 # 542 532 532 #
Health and allied services 500 505 19 497 505 16 485 498 483 18 487 498 484 19 486 498 483 19
History 556 518 528 1 548 515 518 1
Home economics5  458 452 # 462 462 # 462 466 461 # 463 464 458 # 466 467 462 #
Language and literature 605 545 1 608 552 1 597 541 584 2 596 536 581 2 592 533 577 2
Legal professions and studies 516 505 504 2 509 505 500 3
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities 531 509 516 1 554 532 544 1
Library and archival sciences 554 512 # 556 511 # 579 509 542 # 592 517 544 # 587 517 537 #
Mathematics 552 628 1 551 630 1 539 624 537 1 533 614 529 1 525 609 532 1
Mechanic and repair technologies/technician 423 449 405 # 420 449 403 #
Military sciences 503 505 # 505 512 # 510 521 487 1 517 524 492 # 516 518 486 #
Multi/interdisciplinary studies 582 584 570 # 598 586 586 #
Natural resources and conservation 499 502 481 # 522 519 503 #
Parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies 449 462 437 # 455 478 448 1
Personal and culinary services 444 440 432 # 459 459 446 #
Philosophy/religion/theology 560 536 # 560 539 1 557 537 535 1 563 538 541 # 569 548 546 #
Physical sciences 575 595 1 569 592 1 557 589 542 2 560 589 545 2 556 586 539 1
Precision production 442 462 409 # 436 462 412 #
Psychology 506 488 496 4 503 488 496 5
Public affairs and services 458 448 3 459 454 3 462 461 454 3 497 480 488 1 467 452 461 #
Security and protective services 455 457 444 2 451 458 440 2
Social sciences and history 532 509 11 532 513 11 539 519 525 9
Social sciences 569 544 551 3 567 546 551 2
Technical and vocational 435 441 1 442 452 1 437 454 421 1
Theology and religious vocations 541 524 521 # 544 525 522 #
Transportation and materials moving 476 495 461 # 461 490 445 #
Other 443 445 430 # 466 472 456 1
Undecided 500 507 7 512 521 7 512 530 502 3 519 535 508 3 525 540 516 3
                                     
Degree-level goal                                    
Certificate program 434 439 1 439 453 1 443 462 435 1 442 461 434 1 438 455 430 1
Associate's degree 422 415 2 420 419 2 416 420 409 1 415 419 407 1 416 419 407 1
Bachelor's degree 476 476 23 478 483 25 477 487 469 25 476 485 467 26 475 485 466 27
Master's degree 514 518 29 515 526 31 512 525 505 30 510 522 502 30 505 519 498 31
Doctor's or related degree 548 552 24 547 554 22 539 553 532 20 540 550 531 20 531 542 524 19
Other 430 438 1 442 454 1 439 456 436 1 436 452 432 1 433 449 430 #
Undecided 502 503 20 508 514 19 515 528 508 22 517 527 508 22 512 523 504 21
                                     
Family income                                    
Less than $20,000 434 456 430 10
$20,000, but less than $40,000 462 473 453 15
$40,000, but less than $60,000 488 496 477 16
$60,000, but less than $80,000 502 510 490 16
$80,000, but less than $100,000 514 525 504 13
$100,000, but less than $120,000 522 534 512 11
$120,000, but less than $140,000 526 537 517 5
$140,000, but less than $160,000 533 546 525 4
$160,000, but less than $200,000 535 548 529 4
More than $200,000 554 570 552 6
                                     
Highest level of parental education                                    
No high school diploma 414 439 4 413 442 4 418 445 418 4 421 445 418 4 419 441 417 5
High school diploma 475 474 35 472 477 33 467 478 460 31 466 476 457 31 464 474 455 32
Associate's degree 489 487 8 488 491 9 484 493 474 8 484 492 473 9 482 490 471 9
Bachelor's degree 525 529 28 525 533 29 522 536 514 30 522 533 513 30 518 531 510 30
Graduate degree 556 558 25 558 566 25 558 571 552 27 560 569 552 26 553 565 546 25
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
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 Home economics was changed to Family and consumer sciences/human sciences as of 2006–07.
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 2007–08, retrieved August 26, 2008, from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2008. (This table was prepared August 2008.)

2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest