Wyoming in Top 10 States For SAT Scores For 2021
With SAT scores ranging from 400 to 1600, Wyoming comes in sixth across the country at an average score of 1233 in 2021.
The top state, Minnesota, has an average score of 1263, while the national average currently rests at 1060, with Delaware at the bottom with 984.
Morgan Henderson, an analyst with Learner and the Scholarship Institute, said that they were somewhat surprised with where the places had the highest SAT scores.
"It was a little bit surprising that there are some states who seem to be very vocal college and that kind of thing," Henderson said. "For example, California seems to be pretty vocal, or some of those states are known for their ivy league schools. A lot of those states ended up not having the highest average SAT scores...Is it poor preparation, is it because most of the people in those states are looking at schools outside of their state, or is it the opposite?"
What prompted the research in the first place Henderson said was the fact that the College Board announced the SATs would be moving digital, and they were curious what the difference in scores would be, and they plan on looking at the numbers in a year.
Henderson said that it's possible that lockdowns that happened over the past year in influenced SAT scores, as Wyoming is one of those states that didn't shut down in-person learning, while New York or California did.
However, over the past few years, Wyoming has been relatively consistent when it comes to average SAT scores, with 1220 in 2020, 1238 in 2019, 1257 in 2018, and 1230 in 2017.
Based on data from the College Board for Wyoming, few high school students in the state took the SATs, with 2% of students, or 99 total, in the class of 2021 taking the test at some point during high school, while 12% of 11th-grade students, or 827, took the test in the fall of 2021.
The U.S. as a whole has also been roughly the same, with SAT scores of 1051 in 2020, 1059 in 2019, 1068 in 2018, and 1060 in 2017.
As to why Wyoming is in the top 10, Henderson said she wasn't too sure as to what the reason could be, compared to a state like New York sitting at number 31 with an average score of 1057.
"Wyoming is thought of as more ranching, so it's bigger wide open spaces," Henderson said. "It's not known for this city life and buzzing bustling culture of having people who want to flock there all the time, it's more a rural area. Versus somewhere like New York, where you might expect New York to have a really high score...yet they didn't rank as the highest at all. Definitely very interesting, does it have to do with the education system there, does it have to do with the people or type of people taking the SAT. Is it just people that want to take it in Wyoming, versus people in New York are they all required, so some of them just don't care as much. A lot that could be explanatory there, but again I couldn't give the exact numbers as to why that's happening."