Want to get the best SAT score possible? This guide will show you the way.
As you begin your college search, you’ll likely have to take a standardized test and send your test scores to schools. The SAT is one of those tests. Despite popular test-optional policies, the SAT is still a relevant exam that can show admissions committees your academic prowess!
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 get a competitive SAT score, and more!
It’s important to understand how the SAT is scored to interpret your results!
Your SAT score is the sum of your section scores. Each section uses a scale of 200-800 points in 10-point increments, so total scores range from 400 to 1600. You earn points based on the number of correct answers you get.
Your SAT scores are typically available a few weeks after the test date. SAT scores must be reported from the College Board directly. When you sign up for an SAT date, you can register to send free score reports to a maximum of four target schools (and pay for extras).
If you took the SAT a while before actually applying to college, you should check to make sure your SAT scores are still valid. Some colleges set an expiration date for SAT scores, so you may need to re-take the test.
If you've completed the SAT exam and find yourself in need of a SAT to ACT score conversion, check out our automatic SAT to ACT score converter.
Although there isn't a universally agreed-upon definition of a "good" SAT score, we recommended aiming for a score of at least 1200+, which puts you in the 75th percentile of test-takers. Securing a strong SAT score can enhance your acceptance chances, so aim for an SAT score within or higher than your target college’s middle 50% range.
So, what is a good score on the SAT for selective programs? Here’s a chart for the top 25 schools in the U.S. and their SAT score statistics.
Below we’ll cover successful SAT score ranges for the Ivy league.
Using the numbers from the above chart, here’s an example of how you would calculate a great SAT score for the Ivy League. Say you want to apply to Harvard, Yale, and UPenn. Harvard’s middle 50% range is 1490-1580, Yale’s is 1460-1580, and UPenn’s is 1510-1560. So, it’s wise to aim for a score in the range of 1460-1580.
What’s considered a competitive SAT score for Ivy League schools depends on class profile data. However, you should aim to score toward the 75th percentile for the most competitive Ivy League school on your list. That way, you’ll have competitive SAT scores for all the schools you want to attend.
The highest possible score you can achieve on the SAT is 1600. It’s certainly not easy to get a perfect SAT score, but with lots of studying and dedication, it is possible!
A score above 1028 is above average, and a score above 1200 puts you in the 75th percentile (the top 25% of test-takers). The mean SAT composite score is 1028, with the average score for Math being 508 and EBRW being 520.
Here’s a chart of SAT scores and their percentiles, meaning what percentage of test-takers got a specific score.
Source: College Board
Keep in mind that these numbers may vary slightly every year.
So, how do you get a great SAT score? If you haven’t already taken the SAT or you’re planning to retake it, these valuable tips can help you maximize your chances of success and ensure you’re ready for the SAT.
If you’re unhappy with your score, consider retaking the SAT. Invest the time to work on your weaknesses and take time to do SAT practice tests and questions.
Still have questions about your SAT scores? We’ve got you covered.
While it’s a good idea to aim for 1200, a successful SAT score is whatever score is competitive at your desired colleges.
An SAT score of 1100 can get you into many schools. Below are some colleges that accept students with an 1100 SAT score.
The average score on the SAT is 1200. 1200 is a good score on the SAT and would put you in good standing at these colleges:
A score of 1300 means you have an above-average SAT score. 1300 is a great SAT score if you want to apply to any of these schools:
1400 is an excellent SAT score. You can get into many popular colleges with a 1400 SAT score.
A score of 1400 is great for the SAT. Remember, many colleges have adopted test-optional applications. A strong SAT score isn’t the only element that matters. If your test scores don’t reflect your academic potential, ensure your application shows off your strengths!
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 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 participates.
The best possible SAT score is 1600.
Achieving a 1500 SAT score would put you in the middle 50% range of admitted students’ scores. A 1500 SAT score is good for Harvard, but a score closer to 1580 (the 75th percentile) will make you a more competitive applicant.
There’s no minimum number that can be considered a good SAT score. But if you want to attend a top-ranked school, aim for 1440-1570 to match the average applicant.
Now you better understand how the SAT is formatted and how you can prepare. You should study regularly for the SAT because the more you practice, the easier it will be. Good luck!