What Is the Highest SAT Score Possible? Info for 2022-2023

Everyone dreams of getting the highest possible SAT score. Find out more about the 2022-2023 SAT max score and get some top tips for improving yours.

TCM Staff

2nd December 2022

These days, the acronym SAT doesn’t stand for anything. It used to mean Scholastic Aptitude Test, but the College Board dropped the meaning as the SATs continued to evolve over the years.

What is the Highest GPA
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Whether or not the acronym stands for anything, one thing’s for sure — your SAT score can significantly impact your college admission chances. Whether you get the highest score on your SAT or the lowest possible grade, many college admissions offices will consider your performance along with your application.

Because of how vital the SATs can be to your academic career and, ultimately, your future, it only makes sense to want to achieve the highest SAT score possible.

But what’s the highest SAT score possible, exactly? The highest you can get is 1600, which constitutes a perfect SAT score. But is it possible to earn a 1600? If not, what constitutes a good SAT result?

If you’re asking all of these questions and more, then you’re in the right place. This guide covers all the information you need to know, including the max SAT score in 2023 and how the SATs are scored. We also include some valuable tips to help you improve your results.

Let’s begin!

How Is the SAT Scored?

The way in which the SAT gets scored has changed over the years. For example, until 2005, The SATs included sections for Critical Reading and Mathematics. Back then, each section was scored from 200 to 800. Thus, during this time, the highest SAT score was 1600.

Then, in 2005, the College Board changed the SATs for the 2005-2006 academic year. Significant changes included the addition of a Writing section, which was also scored from 200 to 800. The Writing section tested examinees’ grammar and added an essay section to assess students’ writing capabilities.

This new format, which included the Writing section, lasted from 2005 to 2016. During this time, the max SAT score achievable was 2400. However, the format quite obviously didn’t last very long, as in 2016, College Board launched another version of the SAT — the version it uses today.

Until about a little over a year ago, the SAT had four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Mathematics, and an optional essay. However, in early 2021, the College Board got rid of the optional essay (as well as SAT subject tests).

That said, each section has a certain number of questions. Getting them correct means receiving a raw score. The raw score is then translated into a scaled score, as seen in the chart below. Scaled scores may vary depending on the section — reading and writing raw scores are first translated into a score of 10 to 40 before being added and further scaled (to a maximum of 800).

Raw Score

Reading Test Score

Writing Test Score

Math Scaled Score

0

10

10

200

1

10

10

200

2

10

10

210

3

11

10

230

4

12

11

240

5

13

12

260

6

14

13

280

7

15

14

290

8

15

15

310

9

16

15

320

10

17

16

330

11

17

17

340

12

18

17

360

13

19

18

370

14

19

19

380

15

20

19

390

16

20

20

410

17

21

21

420

18

21

21

430

19

22

22

440

20

22

23

450

21

23

23

460

22

23

24

470

23

24

25

480

24

24

25

480

25

25

26

490

26

25

26

500

27

26

27

510

28

26

28

520

29

27

28

520

30

28

29

530

31

28

30

540

32

29

30

550

33

29

31

560

34

30

32

560

35

30

32

570

36

31

33

580

37

31

34

590

38

32

34

600

39

32

35

600

40

33

36

610

41

33

37

620

42

34

38

630

43

35

39

640

44

35

40

650

45

36

 

660

46

37

 

670

47

37

 

670

48

38

 

680

49

38

 

690

50

39

 

700

51

40

 

710

52

40

 

730

53

 

 

740

54

 

 

750

55

 

 

760

56

 

 

780

57

 

 

790

58

 

 

800

The Highest SAT Score Possible [2022-2023]

So what is the max SAT score today?

After all of the changes to the SATs, today’s SAT includes three sections: Reading, Writing and Language, and Mathematics. These sections are further classified into two graded sections: Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW).

Each section’s minimum score is 200, while the highest possible is 800. Thus, the highest SAT score possible in the current version of the SAT is 1600, which you can get by scoring perfectly on the mathematics and EBRW sections.

In the SAT, the best score possible is potentially achievable with enough preparation. Let’s look at each section of the exam below.

What Is the Maximum Score in Mathematics?

As we mentioned above, the maximum score for the mathematics section is 800. To earn this perfect score, you must get every single one of the questions correct — all 58 of them. On rare occasions, you may be able to get 800 with 57 corrects, but it’s best to assume you’ll need 58.

The mathematics section includes arithmetic, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and trigonometry, so it’s best to start preparing early to ensure you can get the best SAT score possible. Math isn’t everyone’s strong suit. The national average math score in 2022 seems to be 510-520. So, if you want to increase your scores, prepare as best you can!

What Is the Maximum EBRW Score?

The scoring methodology is slightly a bit more complicated in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.

Each sub-section (reading and writing) is scored on a scale of 10 to 40, with 40 being the highest. This score is then converted to a scaled EBRW score of 800. To achieve the perfect score of 800 in EBRW, you must earn 40 in reading and 40 in writing, for a total of 80 points. Once scaled, this will equate to a score of 800.

SAT Percentile Ranks

We’ve answered the question, “what is the best score on the SAT?” Now, let’s look at percentiles to see the national average score and what result you should aim for on your score report.

The percentile score chart below covers information available in the 2022 College Board report. The scores below are composite scores (combined math + EBRW).

Total Score

Percentile

1600 (Perfect)

99+

1560 - 1590

99+

1530 - 1550

99

1500 - 1520

98

1470 - 1490

97

1450 - 1460

96

1430 - 1440

95

1410 - 1420

94

1400

93

1380-1390

92

1370

91

1350 - 1360

90

1340

89

1330

88

1310 - 1320

87

1300

86

1290

85

1280

84

1270

83

1260

82

1250

81

1240

80

1230

78

1220

77

1210

76

1200

75

1190

73

1180

72

1170

71

1160

69

1150

68

1140

66

1130

65

1120

63

1110

61

1100

60

1090

58

1080

57

1070

55

1060

53

1050

51

1040 (National average)

50

1030

48

1020

46

1010

45

1000

43

990

41

980

40

970

38

960

36

950

35

940

33

930

32

920

30

910

28

900

27

890

25

880

24

870

22

860

21

850

19

840

18

830

17

820

15

810

14

800

13

790

11

780

10

770

9

760

8

750

7

740

6

730

5

720

4

700 - 710

3

680 - 690

2

630 - 670

1

400 - 620 (Lowest Percentile)

1-

We’ve established that the highest you can get on the SAT is 1600. And while there are indeed some who score perfectly on their exam, they are the cream of the crop and sit at more than the 99th percentile. Those who got a perfect score and those who scored 1560 - 1590 did better than 99% of the test takers.

Going by the chart above, the 50th percentile is 1040. Thus, 1040 is the average SAT score nationwide. Achieving this average can constitute a good SAT score, though you can aim for above average to make your application more appealing to colleges and universities.

Finally, this table shows few people got the lowest SAT Score possible. In fact, the lowest SAT score is at the 1- percentile, and it’s pretty known that it’s practically impossible to get 0 on your score report.

How Many Score Between 1400 and 1600 on the SATs?

In 2022, College Board reported that 1.7 million students took the SATs.

1400 is at the 93rd percentile, which means 8% of students scored 1400 and above.

College Board does not directly disclose how many achieved a perfect score, but we can see that 1600 is at the 99+ percentile. This means less than one percent of the total examinees scored between 1560 and 1600.

1% of 1.7 million is 17,000. Thus, fewer than 17,000 students scored perfectly on the SATs.

List of Colleges Accepting high SAT Scores 

If you’re wondering which schools accept the highest SAT scores, here is a list of some of them. These institutions may or may not require SAT scores to be submitted with your application. They may also not publish an explicit score requirement. Thus, some of the scores below are the median score of the applicants in the most recent admissions cycle and should be the result you aim for if you want your application to be competitive.

Colleges/Universities

SAT Score

California Institute of Technology

1530

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1500

Tufts University

1428

Amherst College

1434

Brown University

1425

Harvard University

1460

Carnegie Mellon University

1432

University of Pennsylvania

1442

Yale University

1520

Rice University

1515

Top Tips for Achieving the Highest SAT Score Possible

If you want to get the highest possible score on your SATs, you’ll have to aim for perfection. We would typically advise against this as it can be an unnecessary source of stress. But, if you want to increase your chances of admission at some of the nation’s most competitive institutions, it’s just what you’ll have to do.

Of course, you can do a few other things to increase your chances of success. Here are a few of our top tips:

 

  • Remember your motivations. Keeping your motivation top-of-mind can help inspire you to continue studying and working hard to prepare for your SATs. Create a vision board or set your reason as your phone wallpaper, so you get small reminders every now and then.
  • Study well and use high-quality SAT prep materials. It’s not enough to spend all of your time studying. Instead, focus on optimizing your study time to ensure you absorb information as effectively as possible. Also, ensure you use high-quality SAT prep materials
  • Take plenty of practice tests. Once you’ve studied enough, you can start taking practice tests to best prepare yourself for the SATs. Do your best to get as many questions correct as possible, but if you don’t, then try to learn from your mistakes. Doing so will allow you to absorb everything you’ve learned in the best way possible.

In the end, the best thing you can do is to keep studying and taking practice exams. With this strategy, you can identify strengths and weaknesses. Continue refining your study methods until you feel confident enough in your ability to score high on the SATs.

Make sure that you take a few breaks here and there, too, just to give your mind a rest from all the stress!

Frequently Asked Questions

What was Mark Zuckerberg’s SAT score?

Mark Zuckerberg earned the prestige of being one of the SAT top scorers. It may surprise you that he achieved a perfect score of 1600, which is an incredibly rare result.

Will a perfect SAT get you into Harvard?

Unfortunately, even if you get a perfect score on your SATs, you don’t automatically gain admission into Harvard. Harvard University uses a holistic admissions approach, which considers your SAT score as just one component of your whole application. Thus, if the rest of your application is not up to par, your chances of admission decrease. It’s worth mentioning that Harvard also currently allows applications without SAT scores through 2030.

How important is the SAT for college admission?

A few years ago, the SAT would have been one of the critically important components of your application. People would constantly ask themselves, “what is the best score for the SAT I could get?” Nowadays, however, more schools are dropping the standardized test requirement or making it optional. It’s still a good idea to take the SAT (or ACT) and do well, as some of your dream schools may still require it.

Conclusion

So, what is the highest you can get on the SAT? The answer to that question is 1600 — the perfect score. 1600 sits in the 99+ percentile. If you can get a perfect score, that means you’ve done better than over 99% of test takers. Unfortunately, aiming for perfection can be incredibly challenging and stressful. 

Luckily, you don’t have to aim for the highest SAT score possible to be in the 99+ percentile. Scoring anywhere from 1560 to 1600 puts you in 99+. And if you score 1530 - 1550, you’ve already done better than 99% of the other examinees.

We hope this guide answers the question, “what are the highest SAT scores you can get?” Good luck!
We’ve discussed the highest, lowest, and average SAT score. If you still haven’t received your score on the SAT, check out our article on
when SAT scores come out (and when you can expect your score report).

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