What is a Good SAT score?

A perfect score SAT is not impossible. Learn about SAT Scores, how to prepare for SAT, tips to help you to find universities you can enroll in on the basis of your score and more.

Updated by Avinash H on 4th August 2020

SAT scores average

Source: Study abroad Careers360 | Good SAT Score

One recurring question about the SAT is, “What is a good SAT score?”

Also, Refer - What is the SAT?

Well, the answer may not be the one you’re looking for. The truth is that a “good” SAT score depends on how you define “good.” After all, if your goal is to earn admission to Yale, a “good” score will be significantly higher than it would be if your goal is to earn admission to the University of Connecticut.

It’s nearly impossible to predict the best SAT score.

To determine what “good” score will be for you, you first need to decide on a handful of potential colleges where you’d like to apply. For each college, you should determine the median SAT scores. The median SAT scores tell us where the middle 50% of previously admitted students scored.

However, a rough score of 1400 can probably get you admission to any of the colleges and universities of the country. The SAT score policy of the college has to be considered first. The average SAT scores that students receive range between 1050 and 1060.

College admissions in the United States are standardized with the help of a widely used test known as the SAT. The test was first called the Scholastic Aptitude Test in 1926. Then the name changed to Scholastic Assessment Test, SAT I: Reasoning Test, SAT Reasoning Test, and finally SAT.

How is the SAT scored?

The evaluating procedure starts with your raw scores — the number of questions you got right in each segment. The most noteworthy raw score you can jump on the math segment, for instance, is a 58, on the grounds that there are 58 questions.

Next, your raw score gets changed over to a scaled score. A raw score of 58 changes over to a scaled Math area score of 800, 57 changes over to a 790, etc down the line.

Graders include your Reading and Writing raw scores (each extending from 1 to 40) together. Along these lines, in the event that you got each EBRW question right, you would get a raw score of 80, which changes over to a scaled area score of 800.

To wrap things up, your Math and EBRW scores are added to accomplish your all out score out of 1600. The SAT does not deduct points for wrong answers, so you ought to dependably figure in case you don't know about an inquiry or if time starts to run out.

We have presented the SAT score distribution chart for you to have a better understanding oh how composite scores are converted into SAT percentiles.

SAT Composite Score   SAT Percentile 
1600 99+
1550 99+
1500 98
1450 96
1400 94
1350 91
1300 86
1250 81
1200 74
1150 67
1100 58
1050 49
1000 40
950 31
900 23
850 16
800 10
750 5
700 2
650 1
600 and below 1-

The SAT score distribution chart for Math and EBRW sections:

SAT Score EBRW Percentile  Math Percentile 
800 99+ 99+
750 99 96
700 94 92
650 86 84
600 73 75
550 56 61
500 39 41
450 23 26
400 10 13
350 2 4
300 1- 1
250 and below 1- 1-

Note - SAT section scores (Math and EBRW) are calculated out of 800 for each individual section. The cumulative scores of the sections give a total SAT score (scored out of 1600).

Read About How is SAT Scored?

What is the SAT score average?

The table below displays the average sat score for both the subscores as well as the total sat score out of 800 and 1600 respectively.

Total SAT score 1060 1600
SAT exam sections Average Marks Total Marks
Mathematics 527 800
Evidence-based reading and writing. 533 800
  • Based on the above table a good SAT score is the one that is above the National SAT Average Score, having above-average marks such as 1100-1200 increases your chances as well as provides you an ample number of options to choose from.

  • Having just above-average marks may still not be good enough for the most selective schools and colleges and they won't consider, but having above-average marks definitely increases your chances of attending a good college, school or university.

  • Scoring marks that are below average can result in fewer choices and probably you are left with choices for only a few four-year schools.

  • There are still a few colleges were having a good academic record can help you balance the below-average sat score with good academic records, however, this may also be applicable under certain terms and conditions.

What is a good score for SAT 2020?

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

TOTAL

Percentile

Math

EBRW

1510 and above

 (Best)

99th

790 and above

750 and above

1340

90th 

680-690 

670

1200-1210

(Good)

75th 

600 

610

1050-1060

(Average)

50th 

520

530

910

25th 

450 

460

800

10th 

380-390

400

680 and below

(Least)

1st 

310 and below 

330 and below

Also, read SAT Percentile

How to Score High in SAT?

The maximum score of the SAT is 1600. Out of millions of students who appear for the test usually, just 300 get the highest scores. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you ace your SAT.

Attempting every question is the mantra

Try to miss a maximum of just 1 or 2 questions when you appear for the reading section. You’ll have to score for all the questions in the mathematics section. You can miss one question at most in the writing section.

Practice makes a man perfect

Begin by taking a timed, full-length practice test. And if your score is bad, don’t fret.

Hustle

Keep motivating yourself. Only hard-work would work to bring the best out of you.

Research 

Once you’ve graded your practice test, research the concepts you missed. Try to discover which ones the College Board considers easy, medium, and hard. Once you know the “easy” topics you missed, focus on them alone during your test-prep sessions.  They are the “low hanging fruit” that should deliver the biggest score improvement for your time investment.

Refer the best

Avoid low-quality and third party materials when you can prepare for the test with the best study materials which come from the College Board.

How many trials are allowed for the SAT?

Students can write the exams as many numbers of times and the College Board is more than happy to let you attempt any number of tests. Only the 6 most recent scores will stay on the file. But it is more welcoming to attend the test for a maximum of 4 times in total.

Some colleges do not permit the Score Choice option which allows you to submit the best scores for evaluation. So, it is necessary to understand the Score Choice policy of your college and then act accordingly. 

If you want to keep your scores high, you can take up training sessions. But, if you are trying your luck by attempting one exam after the other, you might end up losing your time and money. So decide on the number of times, you’ll be attempting the test along with other competitive exams like the ACT.

The first attempt can be a trial to know about the question patterns and effective time management. After further training, you can improve your performance upon each new attempt.

Read More - SAT Dates

How Good is Your SAT Score Compared to Others?

The SAT score can be considered good when it’s either above-average or it satisfies the requirement of the school or college you are considering. Having above-average marks or suppose having secured 1350 or more marks puts you in the 91 percentile category, which means you scored better than the rest 90 % of students appearing for the same test. 

These marks are good enough for a lot of prominent schools, colleges, and universities. Though a few selective schools may demand more marks but have just above average marks are good enough for a variety of colleges.`

A "perfect" SAT score or the highest possible score on the examination is 1600 points. The present average SAT score is in 1060.

A "good" SAT score depends on the colleges and universities you're considering. A score of 1200 at the SAT is a reasonably good score above the present national average at the 76th percentile and can make you a strong applicant at several universities, but it's going to fall below the average score for accepted students at more selective colleges. 

How good is your SAT score?

Source: Quickmeme

SAT scores (2019-2020) for top 10 schools

We have prepared a list of good SAT scores with the 25th and 75th percentile for the top 10 schools( based on US Weekly ranking ).  

Rank

School

25th percentile

75th percentile

1

Princeton

1440

1570

2

Harvard

1460

1580

3

Columbia

1450

1560

4

MIT

1500

1570

5

Yale

1450

1560

6

Penn

1440

1560

7

Stanford

1420

1570

8

UChicago

1470

1570

9

Northwestern

1430

1550

10

Duke

1380

1540

SAT scores (2019-2020) for top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges

The prepared list is based on US Weekly rankings. We have enlisted the 25th-75th percentile score range for the top 10 Liberal Arts colleges in the US.

Rank

College

25th-75th percentile

Score range

1

Williams

1410-1550

2

Amherst

1390-1540

3

Swarthmore

1380-1550

4

Wellesley

1350-1520

5

Pomona

1430-1560

6

Bowdoin

1420-1550

7

Carleton

1380-1530

8

Claremont Mckenna

1350-1500

9

Middlebury

1390-1460

10

Washington and Lee

1380-1480


What if you have a low SAT score?

A low SAT score can make you anxious and dampen your spirits for enrollment in the school of your choice. However, there are a plethora of options for students with “unmet” SAT scores. The United States of America has an excellent education system with opportunities for everyone. Many top-ranking schools do not require an exquisite score for admittance. Many institutions hold individual entrance exams to decipher an ‘eligible’ student. 

Refer to the aforementioned step-by-step guide to meet your desired SAT score and vanquish SAT blues.   

The Takeaway

There are multiple ways to define what a good SAT score is. The broadest comparison means observing your SAT score and comparing it to the average score - 1059 (2019-2020). If you scored at or above the average SAT score, you probably did well; if you scored below this score, you probably did not.

Ultimately, a good SAT score is one that gets you into the colleges you would like to go to. And how much your preparation is effective, at last everything boils down to your efforts on improving your score.

Also read: When do SAT scores come out?