Average SAT Scores


The SAT is the more popular of the two college readiness exams among California’s students.  The other major standardized test used for college admissions in the United States is the ACT.  However, it is becoming more common for California’s college-bound students to take both exams.

The SAT has four required sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (with calculator), and Math (no a calculator).  As of March 2016, the Essay portion became the optional fifth section. According to the College Board, the SAT now has a scoring range of 400 to 1600, compared to the original scale of 600 to 2400.  Each required section is reported on a scale of 200 to 800 whereas the optional Essay section is graded from a scale of 2 to 8.

Regarding the modification of the required test sections, the Los Angeles Times quoted a statement from the College Board in an op-ed, “While the College Board remains steadfast in its commitment to the importance of analytic writing for all students… one single essay historically has not contributed significantly to the overall predictive power of the exam” (April 2018).  The College Board used this argument to justify the elimination of the Essay portions from the required sections.