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10 Smartest States in America by SAT Scores

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Before we reveal to you the smartest states in America by SAT scores, let us tell you something more about SATs. OK, you all know what the SATs are, but do you know when these standardized tests for college admission were developed? Way back in 1926. Yes, they have a very long history of assessing college applicants. At that time SAT was the “ultimate” college test, until it gained competition in 1959 in the form of ACT. So, what is the difference between SAT and ACT tests?

There aren’t that many differences, so the big dilemma parents and students have in fact shouldn’t be that big. Furthermore, there are more than 950 accredited colleges that don’t use either of these tests to assess their future students. In any case, the main differences between these two tests are: in SAT, there is one Math section for which students can’t use the help of a calculator, whereas ACT has an additional Science Test. Don’t be intimidated by this Science test, because the test is formed to assess the way students think and analyze, and not their particular science knowledge. Also, the tests differ in the allotted time, so those that work better when there is time pressure should perhaps consider taking ACT, whereas those that like to have a little bit more time to think should opt for SAT. If you still need help in figuring out which test to take, you can get some help from the quiz we found on The Princeton Review, a source that has also provided us with some of the stated useful information.

10 Smartest States in America by SAT Scores

Marijus Auruskevicius/

And for those who are still thinking about whether some colleges favor one test over the other, we are glad to say: no. So, you can go ahead and pick the one according to your preferences.

The main question behind this article is – do SAT scores show peoples’ intelligence?

Definitely not. I mean, first, we need to explain that there is a difference between being smart and being intelligent. Intelligence is something that you are born with, while being smart is something that is (l)earned throughout life. They are connected, however, because your innate intelligence quotient actually reflects your ability to become smarter through learning. So, to sum it up, having a high score on your SAT can show how much you know, and in a way how smart you are, but it cannot show how much time you needed to learn something (what are you inherent intelligence capabilities).

There can be million ways to estimate the 10 dumbest states or the 10 smartest states. For example, in our older article on 10 Dumbest States in America, we’ve used education as our parameter for ranking. This is one way to go. Average IQ by state is another. And don’t worry, we are also preparing an article that shows the other end of this spectrum – dumbest states in America by SAT scores. So, even though SAT scores can give us an idea of how smart a person, or a state is, it should never be used as the definitive parameter, because there are many other factors to consider – for example, when it comes to states – educational budget plays a large role.  And if you are interested to know which are the most intelligent states by their IQ, we got you covered as well with 10 States with the Highest Average IQ in America.

Nevertheless, we are still interested in finding out the states that have the highest average score on their SAT. But before we start our list, we should tell you, for reference sake, what the national average SAT score is, so that you can have an idea how high these scores on our list of smartest states in America by SAT scores are. It is 1000.

We found the most recent data about average SAT scores by state in America on PrepExpert, a site created by the famous Shaan Patel. If you don’t know who he is, then you really should head on to our article The Story of Shaan Patel, His Shark Tank Video and SAT Prep Classes. In short, Shaan Patel needed to raise his average SAT score a lot, and he developed a focused way of preparation which helped him score 2400 – the perfect score. Not only that he could enroll any college with this score, but he actually used his method of preparation for business, winning the reality TV show Shark Tank, and opening his famous SAT test prep company. So, if you need the best possible SAT preparation, PrepExpert is the site you are looking for. To make this article more interesting we’ll also provide you with the average IQ for each state on our list, but keep in mind that the data for the IQ score is from 2006, but this was the only credible research we could find. It is interesting, because even though we’ve already said that these scores don’t measure intelligence, and that they can’t be taken as the ultimate way of ranking the smartness of a state, the state that has the highest IQ is also the one with the highest SAT score on our list. So, in this case there are some overlaps. What about the other states? Before we finally start the countdown and find out, you should know that the average national IQ for the US is 98, which puts it in the 9th place in the world. What country has the highest IQ you ask? It is Hong Kong with 108.

And now, without any further ado, let’s see what the smartest states in America by SAT scores are, and how intelligent they are as well:

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