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Thomas Broderick

SAT Test Statistics

Hello again, Magooshers! The new and improved SAT has been out for a few months, so it’s time to talk about some SAT test statistics.


SAT Test Statistics -Magoosh


Notice how I didn’t say ‘statistics on the SAT.’ If you need some math help, be sure to check out Top 10 New SAT Math Tips. With that’s said, let’s take a look at the numbers and percentages. I’ve also thrown in a little extra advice for students who are preparing to take the SAT for the first time.


This is the number of students who took the new SAT in March. Though this may seem a little small considering all the high school students in America (and international test takers), it represents just one test session. Rest assured, each year literally millions of students around the world take the SAT.

What This Means for You: Not too much, since millions of students would be taking the SAT this year even if the test hadn’t changed.


This is the percentage of students who reported that as they studied to take the SAT, they used the Khan Academy resources provided by the College Board. As a former teacher, I want to give a shout out to the students who used these amazing resources as part of their study plan.

What This Means for You: It’s time to get crackin’ on those FREE Khan Academy lessons. They’re also great for general studying, too.


71% of students reported that the new SAT better reflects what they’re actually learning in high school. This is a great sign because if the new SAT better reflects high school learning, more students will regard it as a true stepping stone to higher education.

What This Means for You: Don’t throw away your notes from your high school classes at the end of the year, especially Math. I would recommend this no matter what, because these tools can be invaluable in reviewing old topics.


This is the percentage of students who took the optional essay portion of the SAT. Making the essay optional was one of the biggest changes on the new SAT, so in some ways it is so surprising to see that so many students took it right away. The high percentage is most likely due to the fact that many colleges, especially selective ones, require the essay as part of their application requirements.

What This Means for You: Go ahead sign up for the optional essay when you take the SAT for the first time. I know; essay’s are hard. Still, it will give you good practice for a possible retake in the future.


56% of students reported that they already had taken the ACT before taking the new SAT. This is a good sign that many students are trying out both tests to see which one works best for them.

What This Means for You: As I’ve suggested before, try both tests to see which one works best for you. Whichever one you do better on the first time, focus on that test for a future retake.

Final Thoughts

The new SAT might have shaken up the college admissions world a bit, but it looks like the changes are having positive effects, especially for students like you. That’s all for now, Magooshers. Best of luck as you prepare to take the SAT!

About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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