SAT Score Percentiles

The SAT Score Percentile shows the percentage of students whose score is equal to or lower than their score. Learn about SAT percentiles, SAT scores, percentile ranking and more.

Updated by TCM Staff on 17th December 2020

The SAT score percentile rank shows the percentage of students whose score is equal to or lower than their score.

For example, Milan attempted for an SAT Test. In his score-card, he saw Nationally Representative Sample Percentile as 67th & SAT User Percentiles as 58 in overall.

That means Milan’s score is compared to the scores of general U.S. students who attempted the SAT known as Nationally Representative Sample Percentile.

Similarly, SAT User Percentile will compare Milan’s score to the scores of students who typically take the SAT test.

What does the SAT score comprise of?

The SAT score constitutes of the following score sections:

Total Score

The total score (in the SAT score report) is the sum of the two-section scores, its scale is 400–1600. The two sections named Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Mathematics. The Essay Score is separated into the total score.

Percentile Ranking for Total Score (2020-2021)


Section Scores

Students receive scores on a scale of 200–800 for each of the two sections.

  • The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score is combined with the scores for the Reading, Writing, and Language Test. 

  • The Math section score is derived from the Math Test score, including the calculator and no-calculator parts.

Also Read: What is the Average SAT Score?

Percentile for Section Scores (2019-2020)



Total and Section Score User Group Percentile Rankings by Gender and Race/Ethnicity 

SAT test scores have a complex institution.  Factors such as gender, educational background, racial/ethnic background, household income, and parental education do not directly impact the scores but they form a symbiotic relationship.


Test Scores

The scale for the following test scores is 10–40 and it includes: 

  • Reading Test

  • Writing and Language Test

  • Math Test

Cross-Test Scores

The scale for this test score is also 10–40. These scores display performance on select questions across the three tests and show a student’s abilities in the following domains: 

  • Analysis in History/Social Studies

  • Analysis in Science


Subscores in the scale of 1–15 offer feedback on student performance in the following skill sets:

  • Command of Evidence

  • Words in Context

  • Expression of Ideas

  • Standard English Conventions

  • Heart of Algebra

  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis

  • Passport to Advanced Math

SAT Essay Scores

The following three scores for the optional SAT Essay are on a 2–8 scale:

  • Reading Test

  • Analysis Test

  • Writing Test

These scores aren’t mixed or combined with any other test scores. The online score report shows the result in the student’s responses to and the student’s essay.

Score Ranges

Student’s abilities are better displayed by score ranges than points. Score ranges are taken from the standard measurement of error and show how much a student’s scores would likely vary if they took a different direction of the test under identical conditions.

Score scales:

  • Total: ±40 points

  • Section: ±30 points

  • Test scores, subscores, and cross-test scores: ±2 points

What is a good score percentile for SAT 2020?

The thumb rule for a good SAT score percentile is generally any score that ranks you in the top half of the test-taking candidates.





99th (Best)

790 and above

750 and above

1510 and above





75th (Good)




50th (Average)












1st (Least)

310 and below 

330 and below

680 and below


A good SAT composite score generally leads to a high SAT percentile ranking. A student should secure an above-average percentile to get admittance in top colleges and universities. This would require diligence and untiring efforts from the student.

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