SAT Scores by State 2012

EDITORS NOTE: Click here for the 2014 SAT Scores by state

How did states compare on the SAT in 2012?

The College Board’s 2012 annual report on college and career readiness includes average SAT scores by state.  Since this data can be difficult to find on the College Board’s website, we’ve organized and compiled it below.

It’s difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison between states simply by ranking them on mean SAT score. Some states have a high SAT participation rate, which means a larger percentage of the student population—and more lower-achieving students—take the test. Pennsylvania is one of these states and tends to have a lower mean SAT score because of it.

To account for this, we’ve also ranked Pennsylvania among states with similar participation rates in another tab on the spreadsheet below. This gives us a better idea of how we rate against comparable states.

Pennsylvania ranks 38th in mean SAT score, lagging behind most of its Mid-Atlantic and New England neighbors.  Notably, Pennsylvania was outscored by New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Virginia, all with comparable participation rates (see page 39).

The College Board’s Pennsylvania state profile shows Pennsylvania’s SAT scores have remained flat since the data was first compiled in 1972, despite a doubling of education spending since 1997.  In fact, last year Pennsylvania earned its lowest ever score in Critical Reading.

All of this suggests that pouring more money into failing schools will not bring results absent fundamental education reform