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:
- MIT: The middle 50% of students scored between 740 and 800 on SAT II Subject Tests in math (from MIT's admissions statistics for the class of 2013)
- Middlebury College: "We are accustomed to seeing ... SAT IIs that range from the low to middle 700s" (from Middlebury admission FAQs)
- Princeton University: the middle 50% of admitted applicants averaged scores between 710 and 790 on their three highest SAT II Subject Tests (from the 2006 - 07 Princeton Profile)
- UCLA: about 75% of admitted students scored between 700 and 800 on their best SAT Subject Test; 19% scored between 600 and 690; for admitted students, the average score for the best SAT Subject Test was 734 (675 for the second best subject) (from the UCLA Profile of Admitted Freshmen)
- Williams College: For the class of 2013, 33% of students scored between 750 and 800; 22% scored between 700 and 740; 21% scored between 650 and 690; 13% scored between 600 and 640; and 8% scored between 550 and 590 (from the Williams class of 2013 profile)
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:
- Loyola University of Chicago: A score over 535 on either the Math Level 1 or Level 2 exams will exempt students from taking the Math Placement Assessment, and students will be placed into the appropriate math course (see the LUC Math Placement FAQs).
- Texas Christian: Place into Calculus I with a score of 520 or better on the Math Level I exam or 490 or better on the Math Level II exam (see the TCU math placement guidelines)
- University of Texas at Austin School of Engineering: If your score is 560 to 590 [level 1] (530 to 550 [level 2]), you are eligible to enroll in M 408C but are encouraged to enroll in M 408K. If your score is 600 [level 1] (560 [level 2]) or greater, you may enroll in M 408C (see the UT Austin Placement Test policy)
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)|