What’s a Good SAT Score for YOU?

You’re not alone if you’re wondering what a good SAT score is. 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 2021 was 1060.  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?

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, if you’re a junior taking the SAT for the first time, any score is good because it gives you valuable information about the academic areas you need to work on. Then you can focus on improving those areas and retake the SAT.  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 an adamant 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.

Steps to Finding Your Goal Score

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

Below 5 simple steps will be the key to helping 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. To find out your baseline, see how it compares to typical scores at your target schools. While colleges consider many 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.

College Board
Blog Prepscholar


Register For A Free Trial Class