Stanford Psychologist Says Parents Should Do This to Raise Confident Kids

Stanford Psychologist Says Parents Should Do This to Raise Confident Kids

Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of motivation, has emphasized differences between two mindsets that people use to understand themselves, guide their behavior and affect their achievement.

The first is Fixed Mindset, which suggests that your abilities are innate and unchangeable. The second is Growth Mindset, based on the belief that you can improve through practice.

Those with a Fixed Mindset are likely to give up when they face an obstacle. Meanwhile, those with a Growth Mindset will view obstacles as a chance to learn and grow.

Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?

This video reveals the power of “Growth Mindset”, how it can help students succeed in and out of the classroom, and how you can apply a Growth Mindset at home, at school and in your future career.

See the transcript here

World-renowned Stanford University’s psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea.  The power of our mindset.

In her early research, she studied how people cope with failures by watching how kids grapple with hard problems.  So she gave children in a school a series of puzzles to solve. 

The first ones were very easy, but the next ones were hard.  Confronted with the hard puzzles, one 10-year-old boy yelled out loud: “I love a challenge!!!”.  Another looked up with a pleased expression and said: “I was hoping this would be informative.” 

Carol always thought you coped with failure or you didn’t cope with failure.  She never thought that anyone LOVED failure. 

Not only weren’t these kids discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing.  They thought they were learning. At that time Carol thought that human qualities were carved in stone.  You were smart or you weren’t, and failure meant you weren’t. If you could arrange successes and avoid failures, you could stay smart.  Struggles, mistakes, and perseverance were just not parts of the whole being smart picture.  

The other hand those children on thought that human qualities such as intellectual skills could be cultivated through effort.  And it wasn’t just a feeling — working through challenges with this effort actually developed the brain. And that’s what they were doing, developing their intellectual skills or simply put, getting smarter.  So what does this mean for you?

It shows us how a mindset can have a profound effect on your life.  And that there are two mindsets: Fixed mindset and Growth mindset. If you believe that your qualities are carved in stone, you are showing a Fixed Mindset.  You believe you only possess a fixed amount of intelligence, a fixed personality, and a fixed moral character. And everything you encounter is a test to measure these traits.  Well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them! That’s why people with a Fixed Mindset shy away from challenges. They are scared their deficiencies could be unmasked through making mistakes. 

The Growth Mindset is the opposite.  Growth Mindset based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort.  Now Growth Mindset doesn’t mean everyone has the same talents and abilities, but it does mean everyone can grow through hard work, mentoring, and perseverance.  So why waste your time trying to look smart when you could actually be getting smarter?

Let’s take a quick look at the world of sports.  Michael Jordan actually wasn’t a natural. But he was the hardest working athlete, perhaps in the history of sport.  It’s well-known that Jordan was cut from the high school varsity team, he wasn’t recruited by the college he wanted to play for, and he wasn’t drafted by the first two NBA teams that could have chosen him.  Weren’t they foolish?

Now we know he was perhaps the greatest basketball player ever, and we think it should have been obvious from the start.  When we look at him he see MICHAEL JORDAN. But at that point he was only Michael Jordan. 

When Jordan was cut from the high school varsity team, he was devastated. So his mother told him “to go discipline himself”. Boy, did he listen?  After that he used to leave the house at 6 in the morning to go practice for 3 hours before school. He had a Growth Mindset. He believed he could improve his skills through hard work, and that’s how he became the Jordan we all know today. 

So what can we do to engrave Growth Mindset into ourselves and others?

Just knowing about the two mindsets can produce incredible results.  The other thing we can do is praise more wisely. When we praise people for the process they engage in, their hard work, their perseverance, they learn to stick to challenges.  

Praising talent, on the other hand, makes them vulnerable.  When we tell someone: “You did that so quickly, I’m impressed.”  They subconsciously hear: “If I didn’t do it quickly, you wouldn’t be impressed.” Or: “You got an A without working, you’re so smart!”.  They actually think: “Oh, if I work, you’re not gonna think I’m smart.”  

Instead when you give praise to other people, you should try something like: “I like the way you tried all kinds of strategies on that math problem until you finally got it. You thought of a lot of different ways to do it and found the one that worked.”  This way you praise hard work and not the so-called “talent”. Also telling people they are “smart” is one of the biggest mindset crimes you can commit. In one study, they even discovered that telling people they are smart lowers their IQ!

Here’s a common question people have about mindsets: Can you have both mindsets?  Many people have elements of both. You can have different mindsets in different areas.  I might think that my personality is fixed, but that my intelligence can be developed. Or that my social skills are fixed, but my creativity can be developed. 

Carol found that whatever mindset people have in a certain area, that mindset will guide them in that region.  You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind and you can change your mind.  So try your best to put yourself in the Growth Mindset every time you face a challenge, that way you will be better than yesterday. 

Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this video, please like and subscribe to see more videos like this.  Leave us comments and questions below, and study with Everest Education to see how we apply these methods in the classroom.

Fun Quiz: What Type Of Learner Are You? Study Tips For Each Learning Style!

Fun Quiz: What Type Of Learner Are You? Study Tips For Each Learning Style!

Have you ever wondered why you can’t learn something super easy that all your friends have mastered?  Or giving someone the same lesson that you once had but it never worked out for them? Do you ever wonder what’s the case behind those myths?

That is because each student has their own way to absorb and store information.  And that’s also why giving everybody the same education can’t guarantee the same result.

As a new school year is approaching, it’s time we gained more insights into our learning styles and tailored a study roadmap.  In this article, we introduce the VARK learning styles model to help you reflect and identify your most suitable approach.

Before rushing into our 3-minute quiz to discover your preferred learning style, let’s take a look at what is VARK model and why is it important.

What is VARK model?

In the 1970s, the idea of individualized learning style became popular and after years of research at Lincoln University, New Zealand, Neil D. Fleming launched the VARK model. 

The VARK is a model suggesting that most students have a preferred learning styles and can be divided into 4 types: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write and Kinesthetic.  Some students find that they are a blend of two, three or even four learning styles. In this case, you have a multimodal learning style in which you will have to adapt different approaches into each stage. 

Why Learning Styles?

Understanding your preferred learning style can help tailor your own study road map and leverage academic achievements.  It is awesome that students know where they want to grow at a young age, and having a tool like VARK can help you get there much faster.  And because each student learns differently, VARK is a great reflection framework as it allows you to take full ownership over the way students absorb knowledge and get ahead at school. 

The 4 Learning Styles

Students can identify their own learning styles through several factors based on study habits as well as everyday activities.  Below are some characteristics and tips that you can use to reflect and design your own study plan.

1. Visual

Do you know that Steve Jobs is a Visual learner?  As a visual learner, he prefers to proceed information in form of pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, movies, clipart,…  You maybe a Visual learner if you:

  • Process information using charts and graphs
  • Need images to explain concepts & ideas
  • Prefer graphic elements over words

To excel in class, here are some tips for Visual learners:

  • Coloring code important information on your textbooks
  • Making flashcards with pictures or formulas
  • Taking advantage of sticky notes/ post-it notes
  • Drawing on your notes or use mind map

2. Auditory

Do you know Bill Clinton is an Auditory learner?  As an Auditory learner, he prefers to process information in a form of listening: through spoken words, discussions, group debates,…  Auditory learners are happy to attend lectures and receive instructions through phone. You maybe an Auditory learner if you:

  • Learn best when information is spoken
  • Prefer lectures & discussions
  • Process information by talking through things

To excel in class, here are some tips for Auditory learners: 

  • Reading aloud when revise lessons/information
  • Discussing lesson with a group of friends
  • Listening to podcast regularly. Check out the best podcasts from E2 pick here.
  • Recording lessons on your phone and play it to revise

3. Read/Write

Do you know George Orwell (the greatest political writer of the 20th Century – author of the famous 1984) is a Read / Write Learner?  As a Read / Write learner, he prefers information to be displayed in text: report, manual, essay…  People with Read / Write learning style are those who like to read about a subject and rephrase it in their own words.  You maybe a Read / Write learner if you:

  • Prefer to receive written words
  • Enjoy reading and writing assignments
  • Process information by writing their own condensed version

To excel in class, here are some tips for Read/ Write learners :

  • Rephrasing texts using your own words
  • Reviewing textbooks, class printouts before lesson starts
  • Turning diagrams into notes

4. Kinesthetic

Do you know that Lionel Messi is a Kinesthetic learner?  As a Kinesthetic learner, he prefers to process information through physical and hands-on activities: touching, feeling, holding,…  The people with Kinesthetic learning style will be best able to perform new tasks by going ahead and learning as they go. You might be a Kinesthetic learner if you:

  • Learn best through tactile processes
  • Prefer to create concrete personal experiences
  • Process information by recreating & practicing
  • Like hands-on problem solving

To excel in class, here are some  tips for Kinesthetic :

  • Applying the Pomodoro Technique to study in short blocks of time (25 minutes study, 5 minutes rest)
  • Walking or moving while doing revision
  • Keeping your fingers busy while studying (typing notes on your computer, trace words or rewrite sentences to learn key facts)

Now, let’s take this 3-minute quiz to find out what types of learners you are and learn more, achieve more this school year!

WOOP – 4 steps to set your goals for the best school year ever!

WOOP – 4 steps to set your goals for the best school year ever!

It’s that time of year – for newly purchased textbooks, sharpened pencils all accounted for, washed desks awaiting handprints and chairs awaiting new friends.  The time of year that is crisp with newness. The time of year can feel like New Year’s Eve: filled with hope, promise, and resolutions.  

As the first day of school draws near, it’s a great time to envision your goals for the coming year.  Setting meaningful and actionable goals for school will help you get where you want to go. For parents, teaching your children to set goals is a valuable life skill. Through goal setting, students gain self awareness, self-efficacy, and resilience or “Growth Mindset.” 

In this article, we introduce WOOP – an easy-to-follow but effective goal setting framework to get you started.  We also include a blank planning template that students can use for themselves, or allow parents to have their child complete it as they set their own learning goals.

With all your energy recharged, let’s start thinking about what you want to do differently in this next school year.

What is WOOP?

Standing for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan, WOOP is a practical, accessible, evidence-based mental strategy that people can use to find and fulfill their wishes and change their habits.

“WOOP” is based on 20 years of research in the science of motivation by Dr. Grabiele Oettingen — a professor at New York University and the University of Hamburg — and her colleagues.  It presents a unique and surprising idea: The obstacles that we think most impede us from fulfilling our wishes can actually help us to realize them.  WOOP instructs us to dream our future dreams but then to identify and imagine what inner obstacles or hindrances of reality prevent us from achieving these dreams.  When you WOOP, you think about your ultimate goal, the best possible outcome, the personal obstacle(s) that stand in the way, and the plan for getting around those roadblocks.

Why WOOP matters?

A common mistake when setting a goal is to indulge in fantasies about how great life will be after accomplishing it—without considering what’s currently holding us back. This is also the most intriguing part of WOOP – it often requires us to mentally contrast our hoped for outcome with an obstacle that stands in our path.  WOOP also reminds us to step away from a particular goal if it conflicts with one another. WOOP works because it guides students through those in-between and oft-forgotten steps. Rather than pursuing goals that feel imposed by others, WOOP taps into a student’s intrinsic interests.

In schools, WOOP significantly improves effort, attendance, homework completion, and GPA.  WOOP develops self-control so that students can earn better grades, develop physical fitness, and build stronger relationships.  WOOP can help with any kind of wish, whether it’s something large (“I want to start a school newspaper”) or comparatively small (“I want to get an A in Science this quarter”). When used regularly, WOOP builds up what educators call “student agency” or the drive and motivation for students to take control over their own learning.  

The 4 steps of WOOP 

WOOP works in a simple 4-step process: students develop their own goals, they envision what the goal would feel like, they think about why they might not meet their goals, and then they plan ahead on how to deal with these problems. 

Step 1: Wish

Something you really want to accomplish. A wish that is exciting, challenging, and realistic.

First off, think about this school year, what is your one dearest wish that you would like to fulfil and that you also think you could fulfil during this time frame?  Fulfilling your wish should be challenging for you, but you should feel that it is possible. For best results, make it SMART:

  • Specific
  • Manageable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-sensitive 

For example: “read three books over each month”, or “finish at least one SAT practice test each week”, or increase my GPA to a 3.0 before end-of-term exams”. 

If you have several wishes, select the one that is most important to you.  The wish can be about your school, relationships, your health, a job, or anything else that is important to you.  Find this one specific wish, summarize it in 3 to 6 words, and keep it in front of your mind. 

Step 2: Outcome

The best outcome that would result from accomplishing your goal. 

Now, identify your best outcome and take a moment to imagine it as fully as you can.  What is the best thing, the best outcome that you associate with fulfilling your wish?  If your wish is fulfilled, where would that leave you?  What would be the best, most positive outcome? How would fulfilling your wish make you feel?  Find the best outcome, summarize it in 3 to 6 words, and keep it in front of your mind. 

For example: “I have more energy and feel better about myself”, or “My GPA is good enough to apply to top colleges”

Step 3: Obstacle

The personal obstacles that prevent you from accomplishing your goal. 

Next, let your mind go and imagine any potential inner obstacle.  What is your main inner obstacle? What is it within you that holds you back from fulfilling your wish?  It might be an emotion, an irrational belief, or a bad habit. Think more deeply—what is it really?

For example: “I’m tired when I get home from work and just don’t feel like reading.” or “I procrastinate and get distracted by Facebook”

When it comes to Obstacle, some students may ask: “What if I cannot control the obstacle?”  However, remember that we’re searching for internal obstacles.  When we look for obstacles within us, we are better able to control and to overcome them.  We often have limited power to change our environment. What we can change is how we respond to and deal with our environment.  If you have trouble identifying an obstacle that feels surmountable, take the obstacle you have thought of and see if you can break it down into several smaller, more surmountable obstacles. 

Step 4: Plan

Finally, we get really practical.  How are you going to make your Wish happen?  Let’s create a simple If-Then plan.

What can you do to overcome your obstacle? Identify one action you can take or one thought you can think to overcome your obstacle. Make the following plan for yourself: If / When _________ (obstacle), then I will __________ (action to overcome obstacle).

For example: “If I get up in the morning, then I immediately put on my sneakers and go for a run even if I don’t feel like it.”, or “If I get distracted during my work, then I will block all distracting websites and get back to work.”


WOOP is a scientifically proven tool that helps us change our behaviors and achieve our goals.  It’s the combination of mental contrasting and implementation intentions. In short, WOOP is just about this simple but powerful question:

“What is it that holding you back from fulfilling your wish?”

We highly recommend you to make WOOP a habit.  The more you do it, the more comfortable and successful they will be with the process.  Pick a goal that’s meaningful to you, and work through the WOOP process.

Last but not least, we also include a blank WOOP template below to guide you through this process.  

Let’s use WOOP to excel at school, learn more, achieve more, and enjoy each day at school more.  We wish you the best school year ever! 


Top 7 brain foods for Back-to-school season!

Top 7 brain foods for Back-to-school season!

School has started again!  This time of year can be crazy: vacation is over, schedules are all over the place, and getting healthy food on the table (and in the lunch boxes) can be tough.  It’s the perfect time to think about some healthy recipes that we’re all in need of.

A healthy, balanced diet is not just good for your child’s body, it’s good for her brain, too.  As you might know, our brain is a very hungry organ – it consumes more than 20% of our daily calories intake, and is the first of the body’s organs to absorb nutrients from the food we eat,  according to Bethany Thayer, MS, RD, a Detroit nutritionist and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Therefore, the right foods can also improve our child’s brain function, memory, and concentration, and get her ready for another successful school year ahead.

We’re all aware of the importance of enough fruit and vegetables, but what else can you offer your children to optimise their chances of having a good day at school?  Below are our top seven nutritious and delicious school snacks to include in your child’s diet weekly.

These are the best foods for the developing brain:

Here’s a quick list of 7 nutrient-dense foods that will boost your child’s brain power:

1. Eggs 

Eggs contain all the nutrients children need to grow.  Children’s brains are developing at a significant rate, especially for the first years of their life.  Rich in choline, the yolk of an egg almost meets the daily needs of children up to eight years old. Eggs are also high in protein and contain iron, folate and vitamin A – all of which are important for growth, repair and development of cells.  So encourage your child to eat eggs regularly, unless she is allergic to it. 

Meal ideas: Hard boiled eggs mixed with a small amount of mayonnaise is perfect in a sandwich, or dipping bread in egg and frying it up to make French toast as a weekend breakfast when you have a little more time.

2.  Oily fish

Rich in omega-3 which is vital for brain development and health, oily fish has so many benefits.   Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components of the building blocks needed for cell development. Certain types of omega-3 fats are the most abundant fat found in the brain and some studies have shown they may help manage behavioural problems due to their role in neurotransmitter function.

Other studies have linked poorer reading ability with low levels of omega-3 and supplementation was linked to improved memory function. 

Salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, trout, sardines and herring are great sources of omega-3 oils and should be eaten once a week.  Try substituting one of your child’s meat dishes to include one of these healthy fish choices with family-friendly recipes.

Meal idea: Tuna sandwiches, or sandwiches with salmon salad – canned salmon mixed with reduced-fat mayo or non-fat plain yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and carrots make a great lunch.

3. Oats, cereals & whole grain breads

Packed with carbohydrates, whole grains provide essential glucose and energy to fuel the brain. They are also full of vitamin E, zinc, and B-complex vitamins, which nourish a healthy nervous system.  Numerous studies have shown that a breakfast filled with whole grains improves short-term memory and attention, when compared with refined carbohydrates or no morning meal at all.  Whole grains are found in oats, granary bread, rye, wild rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Whole grain foods are also high in fiber, which regulates glucose supply into the body.  So, why not try and start your child’s days with whole grain cereals, breads or oats? 

Meal idea: Whole grain crackers with tasty toppings such as cheese, mashed avocado or banana are a great treat; hummus or a bean dip with whole grain pita is an easy and quick idea for lunch boxes; or swap rice for whole wheat couscous for dinner.

4.  Berries 

Berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, dark cherries, mulberries, goji berries, etc.) are lunch-box-friendly and packed with vitamins that help boost memory and cognitive functioning.  They are also great sources of natural sugars and fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. “In general, the more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries,” says Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, LD/N, a St. Petersburg, Fla. consultant and ADA spokeswoman…  

Berries boast high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which may help prevent cancer. Studies have shown improved memory with the extracts of blueberries and strawberries.  “But eat the real thing to get a more nutritious package,” Krieger says. “The seeds from berries are also a good source of omega-3 fats.”

Meal idea: Add berries to veggies that may need a flavor boost — like sliced sweet cherries with broccoli or strawberries with green beans.  Toss berries into a green salad. You can also add berries to yogurt, hot or cold cereal, or dips. For a light dessert, top a mound of berries with nonfat whipped cream.

5. Beans

High in protein and packed with vitamins and minerals, beans are an excellent food choice for your kids.  Beans are special because they have energy from protein and complex carbs — and fiber — plus lots of vitamins and minerals.  “These are an excellent brain food since they keep a child’s energy and thinking level at peak all afternoon if they enjoy them with lunch.” Krieger says. Kidney and pinto beans contain more omega-3 fats than other beans which we know are important for brain growth and function.  Not only do they release energy slowly which keeps children filled with energy, it will help them concentrate in the classroom.

Meal idea: Sprinkle beans over salad and top with salsa.  Mash vegetarian beans and spread on a tortilla – and add shredded lettuce and low-fat cheese.  Mixing beans in spaghetti sauce or swapping them occasionally for meat will also make a good dinner choice.

6. Milk, yogurt & cheese

Milk, yogurt and cheese are nutritious and packed with protein and B-vitamins which are essential for growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters and enzymes which all play an important role in the brain.  Another benefit is that these foods are high in calcium which is vital for the growth of strong and healthy teeth and bones. Children have different requirements for calcium depending on their age, but you should aim to include two to three calcium-rich sources a day.  

Meal idea:  Low-fat milk over cereal – and calcium – and vitamin D-fortified juices – are easy ways to get these essential nutrients.  If your child isn’t a lover of milk, don’t worry, as there are other ways that you can add dairy into the diet: use milk instead of water when making porridge, puddings or pancakes.  Cheese sticks and yogurt are great snacks and usually popular with children.

7.  Meat (or alternative meat)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends meat as a first food because it’s such a great source of protein, zinc, iron, and fat.  Plus, a developing brain needs more saturated fat than an adult one. Iron is an essential mineral that helps kids stay energized and concentrate at school.  Lean beef is one of the best absorbed sources of iron. In fact, just 1 ounce per day has been shown to help the body absorb iron from other sources. 

Meal idea: Meatballs on spaghetti, healthy spring rolls, or mini beef and mushroom burgers are great kid-friendly choices for your child (and adults love that, too!). For vegetarians, black bean and soy burgers are great iron-rich meatless options.  Eat tomatoes, red bell peppers, orange juice, strawberries, and other “Cs” with beans to get the most iron.

What’s a Good SAT Score for YOU?

What’s a Good SAT Score for YOU?

If you’re wondering what a good SAT score is, you’re not alone. It’s one of the top questions we often get from both students and parents.

As you might already know, a perfect SAT score is 1600.  The minimum score is 400. And the average for the class of 2018 was 1068.  But what is a “good” score? The answer is simply short: It depends on who you are and what you want to do with your score.

What’s Considered a Good SAT Score?

A 1060 is about average, so anything above that is above average, and might be considered a good score.  A good score will be different for each student.  A good score for you is based on the schools you want to go to. Generally, the higher ranked a school is, the better score you need to get in.  It also depends on the other pieces of your application. If you have a near perfect GPA, your SAT score can be a little lower to still be competitive.  Schools also look at your letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, background, and admissions essays.

For most colleges, a score of 1300 (88th percentile) and up will make you a competitive applicant.  And a 1500 or higher pretty much opens the door to any institution in the country.  But, what really makes a “good” SAT score is an SAT score that makes you competitive at the schools you are interested in attending.

For instance, iIf you’re a junior taking the SAT for the first time, any score is a good score because it gives you valuable information about the academic areas you need to work on. Then you can focus on improving those areas and take the SAT again.  If you’re a senior applying to college, a good score depends on where you’re applying and what the rest of your application says about you.

Putting SAT scores in perspectives

Now, let’s look at the 25th and 75th percentile SAT/ACT scores for MIT, Stanford and all Ivy League schools:

If you’re scoring lower than the 25th percentile on either the SAT or ACT, you’ll have a really tough time getting accepted to an Ivy League school. Unfortunately, you just won’t measure up to all the other highly qualified applicants who have extremely impressive SAT/ACT scores.

Clearly, these are very high standards. In fact, all 75th percentile scores for Ivy League schools are in the 99th percentile nationwide. To be at the top of the Ivy League application pool, you will need to be one of the top 1% of test takers in the country!

While these SAT/ACT scores for the Ivy League can be used as standard guidelines, everyone has a different target score. This means that you’ll need to know the SAT/ACT score target that’s right for you. But how do you figure this out?

Again, your target SAT/ACT score will be based on the colleges you’re applying to. You’ll need to find the average SAT/ACT scores of admitted students for all the schools you’re interested in attending, specifically their 75th percentile scores. Aiming for the 75th percentile will give you the best chance of getting into all the schools on your list.

5 Steps to Finding Your Goal Score

For most students, getting a good SAT score is an attainable goal, with the right amount of preparation, strategy, and experience.

Below 5 simple steps will be the key to help you define a near perfect SAT score (or at least one that will get you into your dream school) 

To sum up, a good SAT score is a score that makes you competitive for the schools you want to attend. So find out your baseline, and then see how it compares to typical scores at your target schools . While colleges consider a lot of factors when they make admissions decisions, standardized test scores like SAT are still important pieces of your college application. Higher scores mean more college options for you.

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      Our free ebook will provide you with everything you need to know about the SAT test, how to set the right target and define your good study plan.

      Register to grab Everest Education’s complete guide to the new SAT and achieve your dream score here 💯

Understanding SAT Score Percentiles

Understanding SAT Score Percentiles

College and university admissions officers also focus on SAT score percentiles. Therefore, knowing your SAT percentiles is an important aspect of the preparation process. Do you really know what SAT percentiles mean?

This article will explore percentiles in an effort to shed some light on a sometimes confusing topic. Hopefully, you will understand the way percentiles come into play with undergraduate admission and should you have a projected SAT score of your own handy you will probably be able to determine your own percentile.

What Are SAT Score Percentiles?

In addition to the composite score you get on the SAT (i.e., that number between 400 and 1600), you’ll get a percentile ranking, ranging from 1 to 99. The SAT gives you a percentile ranking for your overall composite score as well as for each of the two section scores: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math.

Your percentile tells you how you did on the SAT compared with everyone else who took the test.  

Your percentile score is not like a grade out of 100. For instance, if you get a percentile of 90, this doesn’t mean you got exactly 90% of the questions right. It just means that compared with everyone who took the SAT, you scored higher than 90% of them. 

How are Percentiles useful?

The National Percentile statistic helps you:

Colleges use percentiles to compare you with other students. If you got, say, an SAT score in the 90th percentile, this would make you competitive for many schools since you scored better than 90% of students nationwide.

Paying attention to your percentile ranking, as well as your composite score, can give you the best idea of your performance and help you make strategic choices about which colleges to apply to.

What Are the Percentile Ranges for the SAT?

OK, so you get that percentile rankings are important. But if you haven’t taken the SAT yet or have taken it and plan to retake it, what composite SAT score should you shoot for in order to get a certain percentile ranking?

Luckily, the College Board releases data about composite scores and matching percentile rankings to help you figure this out. These numbers change slightly from year to year, but we have the most recent info from 2018. We’ve summarized the SAT percentile ranges here in a percentile chart. Just find your score to see your estimated percentile.

In the end, raising your percentile is dependent on a higher score. So instead of worrying about where you may line up in terms of a percentage, try instead to focus on effective test day strategies and techniques that will increase and expand your already impressive score. Study hard, stay the course, and don’t forget that knowledge is power. Knowing your percentile and checking in with it every so often as you take mock SAT exams will help bring you insight and clarity into your path forward.




      Our free ebook will provide you with everything you need to know about the SAT test, how to set the right target and define your good study plan.

      Register to grab Everest Education’s complete guide to the new SAT and achieve your dream score here 💯