Average National SAT Scores for 2012

Factors Influencing Average Scores

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 Over a million high-schoolers registered for the SAT in 2012. Their average scores provide some interesting insights into this group. Whether they wanted admission to the top public universities or another school of their choice, see how they performed.

Overall SAT Scores for 2012

The mean is the average score of every student who took the SAT from the fall of 2011 through June of 2012. Here are the mean scores for all testers by section:

See how these compare:

SAT Scores By Gender

As is often seen, boys were better on average in the Mathematics section and they also slightly outperformed girls as whole in the Critical Reading Section. But females outperformed them on average in the Writing section. You can compare your scores with the average for your gender.

  • Mathematics: Males: 532. Females: 499
  • Writing: Males: 481. Females: 494

SAT Scores By Reported Annual Income

Higher parental income is associated with a higher SAT score. This doesn't necessarily mean that wealthier families produce smarter children. But it likely has some relationship to parents sending their children to better schools and being more willing to purchase SAT prep. They may also be more willing to spend money on retakes of the examination.

  • $0 to $20,000: 1323
  • $20,000 to $40,000: 1398
  • $40,000 to $60,000: 1461
  • $60,000 to $80,000: 1503
  • $80,000 to $100,000: 1545
  • $100,000 to $120,000: 1580
  • $120,000 to $140,000: 1594
  • $140,000 to $160,000: 1619
  • $160,000 to $200,000: 1636
  • $200,000 and more: 1721

SAT Scores By AP/Honors Classes

It is helpful to know which courses in school tend to produce the highest SAT scores. You could guess that students who take AP courses or rigorous Honors courses are going to score higher on the SAT, but the degree to which they score better is significant. The question is which came first, the chicken or the egg? Do these students score higher due to their natural abilities, or do the courses themselves prepare students better for the SAT? Check out the stats:

AP/Honors Math

  • 1698: Mean SAT score for those enrolled in AP/Honors Math
  • 1404: Mean SAT score for those not enrolled

Percentage of SAT Testers Enrolled in AP/Honors Math by Ethnicity

  • All students: 36 percent
  • African American: 25 percent
  • American Indian: 31 percent
  • Asian: 47 percent
  • Hispanic: 31 percent
  • White: 40 percent

AP/Honors English

  • 1655: Mean SAT score for those enrolled in AP/Honors Math
  • 1404: Mean SAT score for those not enrolled

Percentage of SAT Testers Enrolled in AP/Honors English by Ethnicity

  • All students: 42 percent
  • African American: 34 percent
  • American Indian: 40 percent
  • Asian: 44 percent
  • Hispanic: 39 percent
  • White: 46 percent

AP/Honors Natural Science

  • 1698: Mean SAT score for those enrolled in AP/Honors Math
  • 1414: Mean SAT score for those not enrolled

Percentage of SAT Testers Enrolled in AP/Honors Natural Science by Ethnicity

  • All students: 35 percent
  • African American: 24 percent
  • American Indian: 28 percent
  • Asian: 43 percent
  • Hispanic: 28 percent
  • White: 38 percent

2012 SAT Scores Summary

The statistics say you'd have the best advantage on the SAT if you were a male of Asian ethnicity whose family who made more than $200,000 per year. You could always prepare regardless of your ethnic heritage or familial status. These statistics represent the mean, but do not, of course represent the individual. If you have nothing in common with the groups scoring the highest on the SAT, it does not mean that you can't secure a top-notch score. Start with some free SAT practice quizzes, grab some free SAT apps, and prepare yourself the best way you can.

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Roell, Kelly. "Average National SAT Scores for 2012." ThoughtCo, May. 22, 2018, thoughtco.com/average-national-sat-scores-for-2012-3211458. Roell, Kelly. (2018, May 22). Average National SAT Scores for 2012. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/average-national-sat-scores-for-2012-3211458 Roell, Kelly. "Average National SAT Scores for 2012." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/average-national-sat-scores-for-2012-3211458 (accessed May 28, 2018).