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Nearly 2.2 Million Students in the Class of 2020 Took The SAT At Least Once

Almost 2.2 million students in the high school class of 2020 took the SAT, essentially remaining level with the class of 2019

While many students were unable to take the SAT due to the impact of covid-19, the overwhelming majority of students in the class of 2020 who wanted to test were able to sit for an SAT administration before the virus caused global shutdowns. Disruptions to the SAT schedule caused by the virus have affected members of the class of 2021. Test administrations were canceled in the spring and summer due to the pandemic. The College Board is holding SAT administrations each month, including a recent one in August, through the end of the year to ensure that students can test safely. Local test sites determine whether testing may take place in accordance with public health and safety requirements, including those required by the College Board.

School Day Participation Continues to Rise

Close to 1.1 million students in the class of 2020 took the SAT on a school day, up from almost 1 million in the class of 2019, and 49% of the class of 2020 took the SAT on a school day, compared to 43% of the class of 2019.

College Readiness Benchmark Holds Steady Though Mean Scores Drop Slightly

The average SAT score is down slightly for the class of 2020—1051 compared to 1059 for the class of 2019. Holding steady from last year, 45% of SAT takers in the class of 2020 met or exceeded both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math college readiness benchmarks, indicating a high likelihood for success in credit-bearing college coursework.

Flexibility for the Current Admissions Cycle

For the class of 2021, the College Board has asked colleges to be flexible with students who have not had the opportunity to test, test late, or may have only tested once. In the longer term as the admissions process stabilizes post-covid-19, the College Board will support our higher ed members as they transition back to all students having the opportunity to submit scores. Research shows the value of using SAT scores as one part of the admissions process:

  • Test scores and grades together are the best way to predict success in college.
  • Considering test scores in context helps admissions officers make more equitable and inclusive admissions decisions.

Download the 2020 Reports

State Reports