The Persisting Gender Gap in SAT Scores

Women tend to do better than men once they get to college, but according to the latest data from The College Board, men are better prepared for college than women.

The average score for men in the high school Class of 2012 on the critical reading and mathematics sections of the SAT college entrance examination was 1030. For women in the Class of 2012, the mean score was 992. This is a gender gap of 38 points. Much of the gap occurs from scores on the mathematics section where, on average, men outscored women 532 to 499. Women made up only 38 percent of the SAT test takers who scored in the top range of 700 to 800 points on the mathematics section.

The gender gap in SAT scores has dropped over the past 20 years. In 1992, the gender gap was 45 points. Ten years ago in 2002, the gap was 39 points.

Since its inception in 2006, women have always outperformed men on the writing section of the SAT. But it is widely believed that college admissions officers do not assign the same weight to scores on the writing test as they do scores on the critical reading and mathematics sections of the SAT. This year the mean score for women on the writing section of the SAT was 494, compared to a mean score of 481 for men.

Filed Under: Gender GapNews


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  1. Linda says:

    Wondering if a higher percentage of women take the SAT than men, which could mean that the less prepared men are not taking the test…just a thought.

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