The Gender Gap in SAT Scores

CollegeBoardLogoThe College Board recently released the results on the SAT college entrance examination for seniors in the high school Class of 2013. The average mean composite score on the SAT was 1512 for men and 1486 for women.

When we break down the scores by gender on the three components of the SAT test, critical reading, mathematics, and writing, we see significant gender differences. Men outscored women on the critical reading portion of the test by five points (499 for men and 494 for women). On the mathematics section, the gender differences were more pronounced. The average test score for men was 531, whereas the average score for women was 499. On the writing test, women outperformed men 493 to 482.

The gender gap on the SAT has decreased. A decade ago the gender gap on the reading test favored men by nine points, compared to five points this year. On the mathematics portion, the gender gap was 34 points 10 years ago and 40 points 20 years ago, compared to 32 points this year.

At the top of the SAT scoring pyramid – those students who score 700 or above on one section of the test – the gender gap is most pronounced on the mathematics test. There were 74,461 men who scored 700 or above on the mathematics test, compared to 46,040 women. Thus, women made up only 38 percent of the top scoring group on the mathematics section of the SAT.

Filed Under: Gender GapNews


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