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In March 2014, the College Board announced a significant redesign of the SAT. Designed to make it easier for students to show their best work, the new SAT:

  • Measures the essential knowledge and skills for college and career readiness and success, as shown by research
  • Connects to classroom learning
  • Inspires productive practice

This new test was first administered in March 2016.

Participation Highlights

The class of 2017 is the largest SAT cohort in history. More than 1.8 million students took the old or new SAT at least once during high school. 

As reported in the 2017 Suite of Assessments Annual Report (.pdf/402KB), 1.7 million of these test takers took the new SAT. Of these 1.7 million:

  • 25% used a fee waiver
  • 80% had taken the PSAT/NMSQT in 10th and/or 11th grade
  • 70% completed the SAT Essay

Detailed Participation Results: New SAT

New SAT Participation, by Race/Ethnicity
  Number Percent
American Indian/Alaska Native 7,782 0%
Asian 158,031 9%
Black/African American 225,860 13%
Hispanic/Latino 408,067 24%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 4,131 0%
White 760,362 44%
Two or More Races 57,049 3%
No Response 94,199 5%

Performance Highlights

This year's SAT performance results set a new baseline for future year-to-year comparisons.

Here are a few important notes on this year’s SAT performance results:

  • They can’t be compared to previous results. Results from earlier reports were based on the old SAT, which was based on a different score scale and different benchmarks.
  • They reflect test takers from the 2017 graduating class who took the new SAT (93% of the cohort). They do not factor in performance on the old SAT. 

When we redesigned the SAT, we also redesigned our college and career readiness benchmarks. 46% of students in the class of 2017 who took the new SAT met or exceeded the new benchmarks, showing they are likely ready to take and succeed in entry-level, college-credit bearing courses.

It is important to note that college readiness is a continuum—students scoring below the SAT benchmarks can still be successful in college, especially with additional practice and perseverance. Learn more about the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmarks and see how students and educators use them to track progress and prepare for college and career.

The mean total score for students in the class of 2017 who took the new SAT was 1060. The mean score for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section was 533, and the mean score for the Math section was 527.

Detailed Performance Results: New SAT

New SAT Performance, by Race/Ethnicity


Mean Scores

Met Benchmark

  Total ERW Math Both ERW Math None
Total Group 1060 533 527 46% 70% 49% 27%
American Indian/Alaska Native 963 486 477 27% 53% 29% 45%
Asian 1181 569 612 70% 81% 76% 12%
Black/African American 941 479 462 20% 49% 22% 50%
Hispanic/Latino 990 500 489 31% 58% 33% 39%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 986 498 488 32% 57% 34% 40%
White 1118 565 553 59% 83% 61% 15%
Two or More Races 1103 560 544 54% 80% 56% 18%
No Response 961 475 485 27% 48% 33% 47%

Official SAT Practice

More than 400,000 students in the class of 2017—the first graduating class to have access to Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy —linked their College Board and Khan Academy accounts to receive a free, personalized SAT study plan. The numbers continue to increase for future graduating classes, with more than 650,000 linked students in the class of 2018 already, and a growing number in the class of 2019.

Data released this spring link time spent on Official SAT Practice to substantial score gains on the new SAT.

  • Studying for the SAT for 20 hours on free Official SAT Practice is associated with an average score gain of 115 points between the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT, nearly double the average score gain compared to students who don’t use Khan Academy.
  • Out of the nearly 250,000 class of 2017 test takers studied, more than 16,000 gained 200 points or more.
  • Results showed that practice advanced students regardless of their gender, race, income, and high school GPA.

These findings underscore what educators already know: Access to early and ongoing practice matters and is key to student success.

To support the use of Official SAT Practice to boost college and career readiness, the College Board, Khan Academy, and the Council of the Great City Schools launched the Official SAT Practice All In Challenge for large urban districts last fall. Over a six-month period, 28 districts encouraged 168,000 students to link their College Board and Khan Academy accounts to receive free, personalized SAT practice. 22% of these students practiced for at least 10 hours.

Five of the 28 districts saw exemplary engagement and were honored (.pdf/162KB) with awards this summer.

The College Board's two-year partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), announced earlier this year, is supporting organizations like the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Rural Education Association, TNTP, and districts and states across the country to expand the benefits of Official SAT Practice to many more students.

SAT School Day

SAT School Day allows students to take the SAT at their own school, during the school day. That means:

  • Testing on a school day doesn’t interfere with weekend work, sports, extracurricular activities, or family obligations.
  • Stress is lower because testing happens in a familiar setting with people they know.
  • Students who have been struggling academically have another opportunity to show their college readiness to colleges and universities.
  • More low-income students have access to tangible benefits like college application fee waivers and free SAT score sends.

In the 2016-17 school year:

  • More than 800,000 students participated in SAT School Day, up from more than 458,000 in 2015-16 and nearly 219,500 in 2014-15.
  • Nine states—Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—and the District of Columbia administered the SAT statewide, at no cost to students. (In the 2014-15 school year, three states—Delaware, Idaho, Maine—and the District of Columbia did.) Colorado and Illinois switched from offering the ACT to offering the SAT to all juniors as of spring 2017.
  • In addition to these states, more than 250 school districts administered the SAT district-wide, at no cost to students. Some of the largest school districts in the country now participate in SAT School Day, including Baltimore City Public Schools in Maryland, Broward County School District in Florida, Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Ohio, Houston Independent School District in Texas, Long Beach Unified School District in California, New York City, and Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma. (In the 2014-15 school year, about 110 districts administered the SAT district-wide at no cost to students.)

Expanding Opportunity and College Access Through the SAT

Historically, only districts and states could participate in SAT School Day. After years of rapid growth and increased interest from educators, the College Board has simplified how the program works and can extend its benefits to more schools.

Starting in the 2017-18 school year, schools across the country can participate in SAT School Day. These schools will have the flexibility to order as many or as few tests as needed, and the flexibility to choose from multiple administration dates—all during the school day.

A growing body of evidence shows offering the SAT at no cost to students during the school day propels more students into college. New independent research from Michigan suggests students who take college entrance exams in states that administer them statewide see higher college attendance rates—and low-income students benefit the most. This research echoes findings from a 2015 study, which found four-year college-going rates among Maine students increased significantly when the SAT was offered statewide.

Educators who want their schools to participate in SAT School Day can learn more and sign up here.

More Resources

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