(Return to this link to compare average ACT scores by state)

Among 2010 high school graduates, those from the state of Washington led the nation in average SAT scores, according to SAT State Profile Reports published by The College Board.

The SAT Reasoning Test (previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a standardized college placement exam used to assess whether high school students are prepared for college. The SAT measures proficiency in critical reading, mathematics, and writing. The three sections of the SAT are each worth 800 points–2400 in total. Many U.S. college and university admissions boards have long relied on SAT scores to determine which students to admit to their institutions.

When collectively ranking high school graduates from each state by average SAT scores, it is necessary to distinguish between “SAT States” and “ACT States.” Simply put, SAT States are those where most college-bound students take the SAT, whereas ACT States are those where the majority of students sit for the ACT, a competing exam. This distinction is important because students in ACT States who take the SAT tend to be the top students in their states: students likely to apply to the nation’s most selective colleges, many of which are located in SAT states and whose applicants traditionally submit SAT results. Consequently, average SAT scores in ACT States tend to be inflated due to low participation rates. As explained by The College Board: “Typically, [SAT] test-takers in [ACT] states have strong academic backgrounds and apply to the nation’s most selective colleges …. For these states, it is expected that … SAT scores … will be higher than the national average.”

With the foregoing as background, average SAT score rankings and participation rates for SAT States and ACT States are separately set forth below.

**SAT STATES**

1. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Washington

Total SAT: 1564

Critical Reading: 524

Mathematics: 532

Writing: 508

Participation Rate: 41.2%*

2. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – New Hampshire

Total SAT: 1554

Critical Reading: 520

Mathematics: 524

Writing: 510

Participation Rate: 64.0%*

3. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Massachusetts

Total SAT: 1547

Critical Reading: 512

Mathematics: 526

Writing: 509

Participation Rate: 72.1%*

4. (tie) **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Oregon

Total SAT: 1546

Critical Reading: 523

Mathematics: 524

Writing: 499

Participation Rate: 37.1%*

**Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Vermont

Total SAT: 1546

Critical Reading: 519

Mathematics: 521

Writing: 506

Participation Rate: 64.0%*

6. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Arizona

Total SAT: 1544

Critical Reading: 519

Mathematics: 525

Writing: 500

Participation Rate: 22.4%*

7. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Connecticut

Total SAT: 1536

Critical Reading: 509

Mathematics: 514

Writing: 513

Participation Rate: 71.2%*

8. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Alaska

Total SAT: 1524

Critical Reading: 518

Mathematics: 515

Writing: 491

Participation Rate: 32.7%*

9. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Virginia

Total SAT: 1521

Critical Reading: 512

Mathematics: 512

Writing: 497

Participation Rate: 56.0%*

10. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – California

Total SAT: 1517

Critical Reading: 501

Mathematics: 516

Writing: 500

Participation Rate: 37.5%*

11. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – New Jersey

Total SAT: 1506

Critical Reading: 495

Mathematics: 514

Writing: 497

Participation Rate: 69.0%*

12. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Maryland

Total SAT: 1502

Critical Reading: 501

Mathematics: 506

Writing: 495

Participation Rate: 56.7%*

13. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – North Carolina

Total SAT: 1485

Critical Reading: 497

Mathematics: 511

Writing: 477

Participation Rate: 45.5%*

14. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Rhode Island

Total SAT: 1477

Critical Reading: 494

Mathematics: 495

Writing: 488

Participation Rate: 60.8%*

15. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Indiana

Total SAT: 1476

Critical Reading: 494

Mathematics: 505

Writing: 477

Participation Rate: 52.0%*

16. (tie) **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Florida

Total SAT: 1473

Critical Reading: 496

Mathematics: 498

Writing: 479

Participation Rate: 44.7%*

**Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Pennsylvania

Total SAT: 1473

Critical Reading: 492

Mathematics: 501

Writing: 480

Participation Rate: 62.3%*

18. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Nevada

Total SAT: 1470

Critical Reading: 496

Mathematics: 501

Writing: 473

Participation Rate: 25.9%*

19. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Delaware

Total SAT: 1469

Critical Reading: 493

Mathematics: 495

Writing: 481

Participation Rate: 59.2%*

20. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Texas

Total SAT: 1462

Critical Reading: 484

Mathematics: 505

Writing: 473

Participation Rate: 41.5%*

21. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – New York

Total SAT: 1461

Critical Reading: 484

Mathematics: 499

Writing: 478

Participation Rate: 59.6%*

22. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Hawaii

Total SAT: 1458

Critical Reading: 483

Mathematics: 505

Writing: 470

Participation Rate: 47.1%*

23. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Georgia

Total SAT: 1453

Critical Reading: 488

Mathematics: 490

Writing: 475

Participation Rate: 46.5%*

24. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – South Carolina

Total SAT: 1447

Critical Reading: 484

Mathematics: 495

Writing: 468

Participation Rate: 40.7%*

25. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Maine

Total SAT: 1389

Critical Reading: 468

Mathematics: 467

Writing: 454

Participation Rate: 87.1%*

**ACT STATES **

1. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)**– Iowa

Total SAT: 1798

Critical Reading: 603

Mathematics: 613

Writing: 582

Participation Rate: 2.7%*

2. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Minnesota

Total SAT: 1781

Critical Reading: 594

Mathematics: 607

Writing: 580

Participation Rate: 6.0%*

3. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Wisconsin

Total SAT: 1778

Critical Reading: 595

Mathematics: 604

Writing: 579

Participation Rate: 3.8%*

4. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Missouri

Total SAT: 1768

Critical Reading: 593

Mathematics: 595

Writing: 580

Participation Rate: 3.6%*

5. (tie) **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Michigan

Total SAT: 1766

Critical Reading: 585

Mathematics: 605

Writing: 576

Participation Rate: 3.8%*

**Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – South Dakota

Total SAT: 1766

Critical Reading: 592

Mathematics: 603

Writing: 571

Participation Rate: 2.0%*

7. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Illinois

Total SAT: 1762

Critical Reading: 585

Mathematics: 600

Writing: 577

Participation Rate: 4.67%*

8. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Kansas

Total SAT: 1752

Critical Reading: 590

Mathematics: 595

Writing: 567

Participation Rate: 4.7%*

9. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Nebraska

Total SAT: 1746

Critical Reading: 585

Mathematics: 593

Writing: 568

Participation Rate: 3.9%*

10. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)**– North Dakota

Total SAT: 1733

Critical Reading: 580

Mathematics: 594

Writing: 559

Participation Rate: 3.4%*

11. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Kentucky

Total SAT: 1713

Critical Reading: 575

Mathematics: 575

Writing: 563

Participation Rate: 5.0%*

12. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Tennessee

Total SAT: 1712

Critical Reading: 576

Mathematics: 571

Writing: 565

Participation Rate: 6.4%*

13. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Colorado

Total SAT: 1695

Critical Reading: 568

Mathematics: 572

Writing: 555

Participation Rate: 14.1%*

14. (tie) **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Arkansas

Total SAT: 1684

Critical Reading: 566

Mathematics: 566

Writing: 552

Participation Rate: 3.5%*

**Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Oklahoma

Total SAT: 1684

Critical Reading: 569

Mathematics: 568

Writing: 547

Participation Rate: 3.8%*

16. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Wyoming

Total SAT: 1683

Critical Reading: 570

Mathematics: 567

Writing: 546

Participation Rate: 3.6%*

17. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Utah

Total SAT: 1674

Critical Reading: 568

Mathematics: 559

Writing: 547

Participation Rate: 4.5%*

18. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Mississippi

Total SAT: 1666

Critical Reading: 566

Mathematics: 548

Writing: 552

Participation Rate: 2.2%*

19. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Louisiana

Total SAT: 1652

Critical Reading: 555

Mathematics: 550

Writing: 547

Participation Rate: 4.0%*

20. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Alabama

Total SAT: 1650

Critical Reading: 556

Mathematics: 550

Writing: 544

Participation Rate: 5.4%*

21. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – New Mexico

Total SAT: 1636

Critical Reading: 553

Mathematics: 549

Writing: 534

Participation Rate: 7.1%*

22. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Ohio

Total SAT: 1608

Critical Reading: 538

Mathematics: 548

Writing: 522

Participation Rate: 17.2%*

23. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Idaho

Total SAT: 1601

Critical Reading: 543

Mathematics: 541

Writing: 517

Participation Rate: 14.6%*

24. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – Montana

Total SAT: 1593

Critical Reading: 538

Mathematics: 538

Writing: 517

Participation Rate: 20.0%*

25. **Average SAT Scores by State (2010)** – West Virginia

Total SAT: 1522

Critical Reading: 515

Mathematics: 507

Writing: 500

Participation Rate: 13.2%*

*Extrapolated from U.S. Census school enrollment statistics and 2010 SAT State Profile Reports.

Source(s):

“College-Bound Seniors 2010: State Reports,” The College Board