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Articles / Preparing for College / Report: Class of 2020’s Average SAT Score Drops to 1051

Sept. 14, 2020

Report: Class of 2020’s Average SAT Score Drops to 1051

Report: Class of 2020’s Average SAT Score Drops to 1051


Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused quite a few testing disruptions over the past six months, most members of the class of 2020 had already taken the SAT by the time coronavirus struck. In fact, about 2.2 million students from the spring graduating class took the test, which was nearly identical to the number of test takers in 2019.

One thing that did change slightly was the mean total score, which dropped from 1059 last year to 1051 for the class of 2020. The average Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score was 528, while the average Math score was 523.

School Days Gain Steam

The College Board's SAT School Day program continued to grow in popularity last year. The SAT School Day offers students the opportunity to take the SAT within the familiar environment of their school, during a school day, instead of taking the test at a testing center on a Saturday, which may interfere with job schedules or family commitments.

About 1.1 million students from the class of 2020 took the SAT during the SAT School Day, compared to just under 1 million students from the class of 2019 – that's 49 percent of the class of 2020 compared to 43 percent of the class of 2019.

"The increase in SAT School Day participation is significant because it provides additional access for underrepresented minority students," said Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of college readiness assessments with College Board. "We strive to provide opportunities for students from all walks of life, and SAT School Day is a significant part of advancing that mission."

Report Breaks Down Scores by Gender, Ethnicity

In addition to stating that the average SAT score was 1051, the College Board report breaks down the mean scores based on gender and ethnic background. For instance, the scores for males (average of 1055) and females (1048) were fairly close to one another, and the ethnic group with the highest mean scores (Asian students) logged an average SAT of 1217.

The report also breaks down mean SAT score by intended major, with a few examples as follows:

  • Mathematics and Statistics: 1247
  • Physical Sciences: 1206
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies: 1166
  • Social Sciences: 1166
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services: 1156
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities: 1153
  • Engineering: 1140
  • Library Science/Librarianship: 1137
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences: 1134
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies: 1132
  • English Language and Literature/Letters: 1122
  • Natural Resources and Conservation: 1121
  • History, General: 1108
  • Legal Studies, General: 1107

It will certainly be a different landscape for the class of 2021, because they have had far fewer opportunities to take the SAT or ACT. To read the complete 2020 SAT Suite of Assessments Annual Report, visit the College Board website.

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Written by

Torrey Kim

Torrey Kim

College Admissions Expert

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