2014 SAT Data – Males Trump Females in Math, Females Do Better in Writing

The College Board has put up 2014 SAT score data on its website. If you look at the SAT percentile ranks for males and females, we get some interesting insights. Here’s a table which lists the mean scores of males and females in critical reading, mathematics and writing.

SAT Sections Average Male Scores Average Female Scores
Critical Reading 499 495
Mathematics 530 499
Writing 481 492

Here are some key takeaways from the 2014 SAT score data:

  1. The biggest gender gap exists in the SAT mathematics section. And that’s been a trend for many years now. College-bound males outperform college bound females by 31 points. While this number is one point lower than the last year, it still indicates a wide chasm.
  2. Now, let’s look at the top of the pile. While 9,835 males scored 99 percentile+ in the math section in 2014, less than half (4842) the number of females scored that number. The difference becomes even more significant when you see that the number of boys taking the exam (783,570) is less compared to the number of girls taking the exam (888,825). This means a much higher percentage of boys did better in the mathematics section of SAT.
  3. As a slight consolation for the girls, they did outperform boys in the writing section of the SAT by a good 11 points. While it is not as significant as the math numbers, it still goes to show that girls have a healthy lead in the writing section. Moreover, the difference is consistent since last year.
  4. If you look at the overall numbers, 3428 males scored above 99 percentile in writing while 3,980 females scored above that mark.
  5. The critical reading section is pretty even-steven with only a 4-point difference between male and female SAT scores. Again, this difference is one point lower than last year’s numbers. While 5330 males scored above 99 percentile, the corresponding number for female test takers is 5019.

The gender gap in the mathematics section has existed since a long time. This is even more surprising when you consider the fact that more girls secured A+ and are in the highest tenth of the school ranks. This fact shows that girls have the ability to excel in the mathematics section of SAT and have better representation in traditionally male-dominated fields such as engineering. However, the numbers speak a different story!

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