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Are Your SAT Scores Good Enough?

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Question: Are Your SAT Scores Good Enough?

What are good SAT scores? Do you have the SAT scores you need to get into your top choice schools? This article explains the relationship between college admissions and SAT scores. You can also check out these SAT links (or ACT links):

 

Also, schools usually make their SAT data public, and they know that their reputations depend upon high numbers. A college won’t be considered “highly selective” or “elite” if its students have an average SAT math score of 470.

So what is a good SAT score? The exam consists of three parts: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. The scores from each section can range from 200 to 800, so the best possible total score is 2400. The average score for each section is roughly 500, so the average total score is about 1500. For the 1.66 million test-takers in 2013, the mean scores were 496 critical reading, 514 math, and 488 writing.

Very few students get a perfect SAT score, even those at the country’s top colleges. The list below shows the middle range of SAT scores for different schools. The middle 50% of admitted students fell within these numbers. Keep in mind that 25% of students who were admitted scored below the lower numbers listed here.

Finally, you'll see that some of the school profiles include the critical reading and math scores, but not the writing scores. This is because the writing part of the exam is still new, and many schools do not yet use it in their admissions decisions. We're likely to see that change in the next couple years as colleges figure out the relationship between the writing score and academic success.

Click on the school names to see the full profiles.

Auburn (Main Campus)

  • Critical Reading: 530 - 630
  • Mathematics: 520 - 650
  • Writing: 520 - 610

Carleton

  • Critical Reading: 670 - 760
  • Mathematics: 670 - 760
  • Writing: 660 - 750

Duke

  • Critical Reading: 660 - 750
  • Mathematics: 690 - 780
  • Writing: 670 - 770

Harvard

  • Critical Reading: 700 - 800
  • Mathematics: 710 - 790
  • Writing: 710 - 800

MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Critical Reading: 670 - 770
  • Mathematics: 740 - 800
  • Writing: 680 - 780

Middlebury

  • Critical Reading: 640 - 740
  • Mathematics: 650 - 740
  • Writing: 650 - 760

Pomona

  • Critical Reading: 680 - 770
  • Mathematics: 680 - 760
  • Writing: 680 - 780

Stanford

  • Critical Reading: 680 - 780
  • Mathematics: 700 - 790
  • Writing: 700 - 780

UCLA

  • Critical Reading: 560 - 690
  • Mathematics: 610 - 740
  • Writing: 590 - 710

For SAT score information for hundreds of other colleges, explore the A to Z list of admission profiles.

If you'd like to receive weekly information on the SAT, ACT, colleges, and the admissions process, be sure to sign up for my free College Admissions Newsletter.

 

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