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States with the highest SAT scores

  • States with the highest SAT scores

    The source of dread for nearly 2 million high schoolers every year, the SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test, is an almost four-hour-long juggernaut designed to test a student’s abilities in reading, math, and (optionally) writing. Grade point average, extracurricular activities, and supplemental essays are all important factors on a college application; however, the SAT provides a way to compare students nationwide, no matter how grades are weighted or how many clubs exist at individual high schools.

    The SAT has its fair share of naysayers. Many experts point to the fact that high SAT scores are only loosely correlated with success in college, which is better predicted by high school grades. Higher SAT scores are strongly correlated with higher family income, showing the advantages of tutoring. Several high-profile schools, including the University of Chicago and George Washington University, don’t even require the SAT on their 2018 applications. To counteract the criticism, the College Boards, which administers the SAT, made sweeping changes to the test in 2016, no longer requiring students to memorize archaic vocabulary and getting rid of the point penalty for guessing. It remains to be seen whether the changes will affect students’ scores.  

    Stacker referenced College Board data reported by PrepScholar to rank the states with the highest performance on the SAT, drawing on results from the class of 2017. Each state’s average composite score is included along with the average scores in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (“Reading”) and Math (“Math”), as well as the participation rate, which indicates how many students in the state took the test. Certain places mandate that high schoolers take the test, leading to higher participation rates but lower scores overall, while many of the leading states on our list have participation rates of less than 10%.

    Read on to see where your state stacks up in mastering the SAT.

    You may also like: Hardest college to get into in every state

  • #51. Washington D.C.

    - Total score: 977
    - Participation rate: 92%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Maryland–College Park, Bowie State University, Temple University
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 85%
    - Highest level of parental education: 24% graduate degree, 15% bachelor's degree, 4% associate degree, 29% high school diploma, 9% no high school diploma

  • #50. Delaware

    - Total score: 998
    - Participation rate: 100%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Penn State University Park
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 61%
    - Highest level of parental education: 17% graduate degree, 25% bachelor's degree, 8% associate degree, 31% high school diploma, 6% no high school diploma

  • #49. West Virginia

    - Total score: 999
    - Participation rate: 28.%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: West Virginia University, Marshall University, Fairmont State University
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 17%
    - Highest level of parental education: 15% graduate degree, 21% bachelor's degree, 7% associate degree, 20% high school diploma, 1% no high school diploma

  • #48. Idaho

    - Total score: 1001
    - Participation rate: 100%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: Boise State University, University of Idaho, Idaho State University
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 31%
    - Highest level of parental education: 12% graduate degree, 23% bachelor's degree, 7% associate degree, 27% high school diploma, 6% no high school diploma

  • #47. Michigan

    - Total score: 1011
    - Participation rate: 100%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, University of Michigan
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 51%
    - Highest level of parental education: 16% graduate degree, 28% bachelor's degree, 10% associate degree, 33% high school diploma, 6% no high school diploma

  • #46. Maine

    - Total score: 1013
    - Participation rate: 99%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Maine, University of Southern Maine, University of New Hampshire
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 62%
    - Highest level of parental education: 22% graduate degree, 15% bachelor's degree, 8% associate degree, 27% high school diploma, 2% no high school diploma

  • #45. Florida

    - Total score: 1014
    - Participation rate: 97%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Florida State University
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 43%
    - Highest level of parental education: 16% graduate degree, 25% bachelor's degree, 8% associate degree, 32% high school diploma, 8% no high school diploma

  • #44. Rhode Island

    - Total score: 1018
    - Participation rate: 97%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, Northeastern University
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 60%
    - Highest level of parental education: 18% graduate degree, 25% bachelor's degree, 7% associate degree, 27% high school diploma, 7% no high school diploma

  • #43. Illinois

    - Total score: 1019
    - Participation rate: 99%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, University of Illinois at Chicago
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 59%
    - Highest level of parental education: 14% graduate degree, 22% bachelor's degree, 7% associate degree, 25% high school diploma, 9% no high school diploma

  • #42. Colorado

    - Total score: 1025
    - Participation rate: 100%
    - Top colleges that received students’ scores: University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado
    - Share of this grade who took the PSAT last year: 28%
    - Highest level of parental education: 17% graduate degree, 25% bachelor's degree, 6% associate degree, 23% high school diploma, 9% no high school diploma