The Link Between SAT Scores and Music

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By Leigh

Two completely different, but important aspects in terms of dictating your social standing and future career in college, are your SAT scores and musical tastes. One would presume they are totally unrelated, but there have been plenty of research studies conducted into how your taste in music can predict the outcome of your SATs. Why is this important? They show that high SAT scores are linked to certain types of music.

Why the link?

What you achieve in your SATs is obviously an important aspect in how you’ll fare once you graduate. This is a nervy time for high school students and will be a main focus. As well as this, your happiness can be determined on your social standing and your choice of music is one that helps you gain a belonging amongst your peers. Nevertheless, your taste in music is a variable you can essentially control, whatever your favorite genre of music turns out to be, if it is shown to be a determinant into what college you end up going to.


With so many musical genres out there, which ones are predictors of success according to the research on SAT scores and music?

  • You don’t have to be a fan of classical music to ace the SAT… but listening to Beethoven will surely provide a major boost to your score.
  • Those interested in the more intellectual, progressive rock and alt/indie artists, tended to score above the national average of 1070.
  • Whilst those fans of rap and repetitive pop songs are more likely to score a lot lower on SATs.

This data of course just shows a link and whatever you choose to listen to, it is not set in stone that this will determine your performance in your exams. You are a result of causation and the environment you grow up in. Successful SAT scores will help, but not be a main factor in how your career will pan out. But the correlation of SAT scores and music is certainly worth looking at.


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