College students who major in physical sciences tend to be smarter than those who major in psychology, judging from the
2013 SAT Report on College & Career Readiness from the College Board.
The report includes data on SAT scores by intended major for the college-bound class of 2013. We’ve taken the liberty of ranking majors based on these scores, which are the best commonly available proxy for intelligence. Although the results are somewhat limited, seeing as different majors require different skills and anyway the SAT is not a perfect test, some notable trends emerge.
Multi/interdisciplinary studies students have the highest combined scores, which makes sense since they need a wide array of talents and are likely to be either ambitious double majors or intellectual scholars.
Physical science majors (physics, chemistry, etc.) have the second highest combined scores; naturally they tend to be serious students, bravely embarking into fields where B.S. is not an option.
A large group of undecided students beat out the similarly ruminative Philosophy majors by one point, claiming the tenth highest combined score.
As we go down the ranking of combined scores, there are increasingly technical majors — these students aren’t wasting their time with a liberal arts education.
Here’s a ranking by combined scores:
Now, a ranking of majors by critical reading score. Naturally, the humanities subjects rise higher, but check out that still-impressive score for physical science majors:
Next, a ranking of majors by maths scores — and the winner is … maths majors.
Finally, a ranking of majors by writing score. Multi/interdisciplinary scores win here too.
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