What Is A Good SAT Score?

test taker wondering what is a good sat score
June 7, 2022
How Colleges Use SAT Scores for AdmissionThe SAT: Percentiles and Scores What is An Above Average SAT Score?What is a Good SAT Score?Good SAT Scores for Popular Colleges in the USWhat is a Good SAT Score For the Ivy League?How to Get a Good SAT Score FAQs: What Makes a Good SAT Score?Ready to Get a Great SAT score?

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/29/22

Want to get the best SAT score possible? This guide will show you the way. 

As you begin your college search, you will most likely have to take a few standardized tests and send your test scores to potential schools. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is one of those tests. 

You may be wondering, what’s a good SAT score? Competitive SAT scores ultimately depend on which schools you want to attend and how competitive the applicant pools for those schools are. 

Keep reading to find out what the SAT is, how to prepare for it, and how you can determine what a good score is for you.

Book a Free 30 min Call

The SAT: Percentiles and Scores 

Your SAT score is the sum of your two section scores. Each of these sections uses a scale of 200-800 in 10-point increments, so the total ranges from 400 to 1600. You earn points based on the number of correct answers you get.

What are the Sections on the SAT?

Here is a chart summarizing the format of each section of the SAT. 

Table outlining the topic, time limit, and number of questions for each section of the SAT test

Your SAT scores are typically available a few weeks after the test date. SAT scores must be reported from the College Board directly, so when you sign up for an SAT date, you can register to send free score reports to a maximum of four target schools. 

What is An Above Average SAT Score?

The average SAT composite score is 1051, with the average score for math being 523 and EBRW being 528. A score above 1040 is above-average, and a score above 1200 puts you in the 75th percentile–or the top 25% of test-takers. 

Here is a chart of SAT scores and their percentiles, meaning what percentage of test-takers got a specific score. These numbers may vary slightly every year. 

Table outlining section adn total SAT scores are converted into test percentiles

What is a good SAT score in 2022? Read on to find out. 

What is a Good SAT Score?

It’s a good idea to aim for a 1200 minimum, but the expectations of different schools vary. You should research the admission statistics for the schools on your college list and aim to score around the 50th-75th percentile.  

Keep reading to learn what is a good score on the SAT for popular colleges.

Good SAT Scores for Popular Colleges in the US

What is a good score on the SAT for selective programs? Here is a chart for the top 11 schools in the U.S. and their SAT score statistics. 

Table outlining the rank 25th percentile SAT score, 75th percentile SAT score, and acceptance rate of Princeton University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, and Northwestern University 

Source: Princeton University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, and Northwestern University 

What is a Good SAT Score For the Ivy League?

Using the numbers from the above chart, here is an example of how you would calculate a good SAT score for the Ivy League. Say you want to apply to Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Chicago. Harvard’s middle 50% range is 1450-1570, Yale’s is 1460-1580, and the University of Chicago’s is 1510-1560. 

So, what is a good score for the SAT? The highest score in the 75th percentile among all three Ivies is 1580. You should aim to get an above-average SAT score for the most competitive Ivy League school on your list. That way, you will have competitive SAT scores for all the schools you want to attend. 

Tips to Get a Good SAT Score 

If you have not taken the SAT yet, you will want to know how to get the best score possible. And if you have already taken the SAT, you will want some tips to get a better score. 

Here are some tips to maximize or improve your scores. 

If your SAT score is still too low, consider retaking the SAT. Invest the time to work on your weaknesses and practice taking the test repeatedly. The best way to improve your test score is by thoroughly preparing for it. 

How Colleges Use SAT Scores for Admission

Most colleges use the SAT to evaluate your college readiness. They also consider your high school GPA, transcripts, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. 

You do not need a specific score to pass the exam. An above-average SAT score can increase your chances of getting accepted into top-ranked schools. 

In 2022, a good SAT score isn’t necessarily the most important part of your application. Not all colleges require SAT scores, so make sure your target schools require or recommend the exam before taking it. 

However, the more selective schools may still require minimum scores for admission. 

You can submit your SAT score for test-optional schools if you feel like your score represents you as a student. A good SAT grade can showcase your potential to thrive in your future educational endeavors. 

FAQs: What Makes a Good SAT Score?

Still have questions about your SAT scores? We’ve got you covered. 

1. What is a Good SAT Score? 

While it’s a good idea to aim for a 1200, a good SAT score is whatever score can get you into your desired college. 

Read on to discover colleges that accept various scores. 

2. Is 1100 A Decent SAT Score? 

An SAT score of 1100 can get you into many schools. Below are some examples of colleges that accept students with an 1100 SAT score.

Table outlining the 25th percentile SAT score, 75th percentile SAT score, and acceptance rate of Georgia State University, University of Northern Iowa, CSU Long Beach, University of Hartford, and Western Kentucky University

Source: Georgia State University, University of Northern Iowa, CSU Long Beach, University of Hartford, and Western Kentucky University

3. Is 1200 a Good SAT Score?

The average score on the SATs is 1200. You can get into several popular colleges with a 1200 SAT score.

Table outlining the 25th percentile SAT score, 75th percentile SAT score, and acceptance rate of University of Colorado Boulder, Auburn University, Michigan State University, University of Tampa, and Washington State University

Source: University of Colorado Boulder, Auburn University, Michigan State University, University of Tampa, and Washington State University

4. Is 1300 a Good Score?

A score of 1300 means you have an above-average SAT score. This table shows some schools that you can get into with a 1300 test score.  

Table outlining the 25th percentile SAT score, 75th percentile SAT score, and acceptance rate of Ohio State University, Fordham University, UC Davis, Loyola Marymount University, and Florida State University

Source: Ohio State University, Fordham University, UC Davis, Loyola Marymount University, and Florida State University

5. Is 1400 a Good Test Score?

1400 is an excellent SAT score. You can get into many popular colleges with a 1400 SAT score. 

Table outlining the 25th percentile SAT score, 75th percentile SAT score, and acceptance rate of University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, UC Santa Barbara,  Villanova University, and George Washington University

Source: University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, UC Santa BarbaraVillanova University, and George Washington University

Remember that many colleges have adopted test-optional applications. A good SAT grade isn’t the only element that matters. If your test scores aren’t reflective of your academic potential, make sure that the rest of your application shows off your strengths! 

6. What is a Good SAT Essay Score? 

Previously, a good SAT Essay score would be a 5-6 in reading, writing, and analysis. However, the College Board has discontinued the optional SAT Essay. 

As of January 19th, 2021, the SAT Essay is only available in states that require it on SAT School Days. Contact your principal or school counselor to see if your school will be taking part.

Ready to Get a Great SAT Score? 

So, what is a good SAT score? There is no minimum number that can be considered a good SAT score. But if you want to attend the top-ranked schools in the U.S., you will want to aim for a score of 1440-1570 to match the average applicant. 

Now you have a better understanding of how the SAT is formatted, how colleges use your score, and how you can prepare. Remember to do as much research on your target schools as you can. 

You should sit down and study for the SAT because the more you practice, the easier it will be. You will need to delegate enough of your time toward your SAT as you do for the other parts of your college application. 

Get A Free Consultation

Speak to a former college admissions officer about how we can help you get into your dream school
Schedule a Call

You May Also Like

Before you go, here are a few facts about us!

The Quad Factor: Working with us can increase your chances of admission by 7x!

The Best of the Best: Our team comprises of only 99th percentile tutors and admissions counselors from top-ranking universities, meaning you work with only the most experienced, talented experts.

The Free Consultation: Our experts would love to get to know you, your background, goals, and needs. From there, they match you with a best-fit consultant who will create a detailed project plan and application strategy focused on your success.
Exclusive Webinar: Securing Strong Letters Of Recommendation - our experts are ready to deliver expert advice and share strategies to attain compelling recommendations!
Register NowClose