In A Lot Of Ways, Presidents Are Just Like Us—Especially When It Comes To Standardized Testing!

The SAT and ACT are both forms of standardized tests that students take in their final two years of highschool to serve as a reflection of their competency over the coursework learned in highschool (or from homeschool/other education). The SAT, specifically, measures students competency on Reading/Language and Math.

In knowing what the SAT measures, we should find it important for our presidents—the representatives of the American people—to have scored highly on their SATs. Why would we want the representatives of America to show that they have competency in math and language? Well, math serves as a foundation for understanding the mechanics of logic and reasoned thinking. Understanding arithmetic and math helps us to understand how verbal argumentation works. We want our Presidents to be able to articulate what they will do for us and why the cause they are fighting for is important with reason and argumentation (logos), not through asserting claims boldly or appealing to our pathos. Further, we’d want our presidents to be competent in language so that they make for themselves a noble and eloquent verbal representative for our country. In this blog, I’ll be sharing speculated and confirmed SAT and ACT results of former presidents.

What Do SAT Scores Tell About Our Presidents?

As I stated in the brief introduction, the SAT scores display an individual’s competency in reading/language and math

If a President has displayed a high degree of understanding in the Math section of the SAT, it could be said that they are more in-tune with the structure and style of valid argumentation. This is not to say that they are better at rhetoric, i.e., empty argumentation that serves to sway the audience in a particular direction without concern for the arguments veracity; but instead that they are better at giving cogent arguments for why we should trust them in office.

If a President has, likewise, displayed a high degree of understanding in the reading/language section of the SAT, it could be said that they are more eloquent speakers, and may be more charitable when hearing out their opposition during debates. This is to say that this President may be more willing to ask questions that show an understanding of the opposition’s view while pushing back on their stance through arguments of their own.

Confidentiality Of Test Results

SAT scores for any individual who has taken the test are protected under FERPA as education records. Thus, if someone was to obtain an individual’s SAT score and share that score without the permission by the individual, they could face serious consequences through FERPA. The College Board ensures the maximum amount of security possible in processing scores to universities, however, the threat of potential consequence from FERPA certainly serves as an extra preventative measure for those with access to the scores to keep them confidential.

The Only Verified SAT Score Of A U.S. President Revealed

George W. Bush

SAT Score: 1206

University: Yale

George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States of America. He is also the only President to have a verified SAT score of 1206, while the rest remain only speculation. George W. Bush served his presidency as a member of the Republican party and his term lasted from January 20, 2001—January 20, 2009, where he was superseded by Barack Obama.

Supposed U.S. Presidents SAT Scores and ACT Results

Joe Biden

SAT Score: Unknown

University: University of Delaware and Syracuse University

Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States and is our current sitting President–in case you didn’t know by now! There is no known SAT or ACT score for Joe Biden, which is a good display of the security measures put in place with FERPA. 

Donald Trump

SAT Score: Unknown

University: Fordham University

Donald Trump was the 45th President of the United states and is certainly one of the more polarizing that we have had—at least in our lifetimes. However, much like Joe Biden, we have no knowledge of any SAT or ACT score for Donald Trump.

Barack Obama

ACT Score: Rumored to be 30

University: Columbia, Occidental College, and Harvard

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States and has a rumored ACT score of 30. The highest score that someone can get on the ACT is a 36, so if the score is accurate, it would be quite impressive.

Bill Clinton

SAT Score: 1032

University: Georgetown University and Yale

Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States and is rumored to have scored a 1032 on the SAT. During his presidency he was affiliated with the Democrat party and his term lasted from January 20, 1993—January 20, 2001.

Fun Tid-Bits About The Presidents

So, Who Is The Smartest U.S. President?

Though this is not typically how intelligence is assessed, for the sake of humoring the audience I will now go on to announce one of the Presidents as the smartest of all that were listed. In this instance the ‘smartest’ President is merely correlated to how high they scored on the SAT or ACT in contrast to the rest.

Surprise, George W. Bush Is The Smartest!

SAT Score: 1206

Because George W. Bush has the only non-speculated score of a verified 1206, we will crown him with the smartest President award. If it were not for the rest of the scores being either speculated or unknown, there may have been some interesting competition between Presidents and we can imagine them hashing it out amongst themselves with eloquent prose and cogent arguments.

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About The Author

Dahlia is a senior at Florida State University majoring in both philosophy and psychology. In her free time she enjoys filmmaking and photography, backpacking, and cycling.

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