SAT Test Demographics by Income and Ethnicity

The disparity in SAT scores by income and ethnicity was a major factor in our decision to offer our SAT Prep material for free.

To illustrate this disparity we looked at the College Board’s 2009 California demographic research study and parsed out the data showing scores by income and ethnicity, and then added an aggregate mean for additional review. This data shows that test-takers with family incomes of less than $20,000 a year had a mean score of 1310 while test-takers with family incomes of over $200,000 had a mean score of 1715, a difference of 405 points. Further calculations showed a 40-point average score increase for every additional $20,000 in income. Comparing the scores by income against the scores by ethnicity one can further extrapolate which ethnicity is able to spend more on SAT test preparation.

Lets look at some of the data below:

Mean SAT Test Scores by Family Income

SAT

Test-Takers

Critical Reading

Mathematics

Writing

Test-Takers Who Described Themselves As:

Number

Pct

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

$0 - $20,000

18,412

14

432

99

447

111

431

97

$20,000 - $40,000

24,139

18

457

99

470

110

445

97

$40,000 - $60,000

18,606

14

484

102

495

111

481

100

$60,000 - $80,000

16,840

12

504

101

514

109

499

100

$80,000 - $100,000

14,832

11

521

101

532

109

516

101

$100,000 - $120,000

13,292

10

529

100

542

108

525

101

$120,000 - $140,000

7,076

5

531

100

544

107

528

101

$140,000 - $160,000

5,809

4

539

100

555

106

537

101

$160,000 - $200,000

7,124

5

543

101

555

108

541

104

$200,000 +

10,210

7

565

103

581

107

569

106

No Response

70,961

 

505

119

520

128

505

120

 

Aggregate SAT Score by Income

Test-Taker Family Incomes:

Total Mean SAT Score Improvement by Income

$0 - $20,000

1310  

$20,000 - $40,000

1372 +62

$40,000 - $60,000

1460 +88

$60,000 - $80,000

1517 +57

$80,000 - $100,000

1569 +52

$100,000 - $120,000

1596 +27

$120,000 - $140,000

1603 +7

$140,000 - $160,000

1631 +28

$160,000 - $200,000

1639 +8

$200,000 +

1715 +76

Average Score Improvement per $20,000 increase in Annual Income:

+40

 

Mean SAT Test Scores by Ethnicity

SAT

Test-Takers

Critical Reading

Mathematics

Writing

Test-Takers Who Described Themselves As:

Number

Pct

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

American Indian or Alaska Native

1,276

1

497

100

501

102

486

98

Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander

44,026

21

515

116

568

124

519

120

Black or African American

13,860

7

439

99

428

102

436

96

Mexican or Mexican American

39,799

19

447

94

451

98

445

91

Puerto Rican

707

0

485

102

483

108

480

98

Other Hispanic, Latino, or Latin American

19,194

9

443

101

441

106

441

99

White

71,501

34

543

99

549

103

539

100

Other

9,164

4

514

112

524

117

519

113

No Response

7,774

4

512

126

513

127

504

124

Total

207,301

100

500

112

513

121

498

112

                     

* Demographic Information by Collegeboard 2009 California