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What's a Good Math SAT Subject Test Score?

Learn What Math Exam Score You Need for College Admission and College Credit

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Is your Math SAT Subject Test score good enough to get you into a top college or to earn college credit? This article will give a general overview of what defines a good Math SAT Subject Test score for both the Level 1 and Level 2 exams.

The chart at the bottom of the page shows the correlation between Math SAT scores and the percentile ranking of students who took the Math 1 and the Math 2 exams. Thus, 83% of test takers scored a 700 or below on the Math 1 exam, and 65% scored below 700 on the Math 2 exam.

SAT Subject Test scores can't be compared to general SAT scores because the subject tests are taken by a higher percentage of high achieving students than the regular SAT. Primarily elite and highly selective schools require SAT Subject Test scores, whereas the majority of colleges and universities require SAT or ACT scores. As a result, the average scores for SAT Subject Tests are significantly higher than those for the regular SAT. For the Math 1 SAT Subject Test, the mean score is 593, and for the Math 2 exam the mean is 644 (compared to an average of about 500 for sections of the regular SAT).

Most colleges do not publicize their SAT Subject Test admissions data. However, for elite colleges you will ideally have scores in the 700s. Here are what a few colleges say about the SAT Subject Tests:

As this limited data shows, a strong application will usually have SAT Subject Test scores in the 700s. Realize, however, that all elite schools have a holistic admissions process, and significant strengths in other areas can make up for a less-than-ideal test score.

Note that colleges are more likely to award college credit for the AP Calculus AB exam or AP Calculus BC exam than for the SAT Math Subject Test. However, a few colleges will grant course credit for the SAT Math Subject Test, and many will use the exam as a math placement exam. For example:

Data source for the chart below: the College Board website.

Math SAT Subject Test Scores and Percentiles

Math SAT Subject Test Score Percentile (Math Level 1) Percentile (Math Level 2)
800 99 90
780 99 85
760 97 81
740 94 75
720 88 71
700 83 65
680 77 60
660 69 54
640 61 47
620 54 40
600 46 33
580 40 26
560 33 22
540 28 16
520 23 12
500 18 9
480 14 6
460 11 3
440 8 2
420 6 1
400 4 1
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