So you just received your SAT scores and you're not sure whether you should celebrate or immediately register for the next test date. 

good SAT score

Well, it all depends on the colleges you are considering. A 1200 on the SAT may be an asset to your application for one university but a liability on your application for another school. 

Whether you took a practice test or the real thing, here's what you need to know to put your score into perspective.

Average SAT Scores

The SAT was redesigned in March 2016, and is now scored on a 400–1600 point scale. Here are the average s cores for a typical college-bound junior or senior. 

SectionAvg SAT Score
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 543
Math 541
TOTAL SCORE 1083

Source: The College Board

If you are close to the average, you will likely be accepted into a variety of colleges and universities (good grades will help!), but may not be considered at more selective schools. Above average scores improve your chances.

A score that is well below average is considered low at just about any four-year school. You may be able to balance low scores with a standout college application. But even if you're accepted, the school may ask you to take some college readiness courses before enrolling.

Good Scores for YOUR Goals

Not sure how you measure up? Check out the SAT score ranges for the schools on your wishlist, and see how your scores compare. You can use our college search to find the online profiles of schools you want to research. Find your dream school's profile and click over to the "Admissions" tab.


Sample College Profile

Test Scores

Learn about new SAT scores and college admission here
SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
530 - 630
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
560 - 670
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
540 - 640
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
25 - 29

Our college profiles report the middle 50% range of test scores for entering first-year students. Do your scores fall in the lower end, or even below, the school's average range? That school may be a long-shot (though still possible with some SAT prep!). Do your scores fall well within the school's average range? That school could be a match!

Remember, the SAT score range you see is from the old SAT because those students applied to college before the test was redesigned. To see how you measure, up, convert your new SAT scores to the old SAT scale using The College Board’s online conversion tool. Read the SAT conversion instructions here.  

The Higher, the Better

Unless you pulled a perfect 1600, you can always improve your SAT score. While colleges consider a lot of factors when they make admissions decisions, standardized test scores are an important piece of your college application. Higher scores mean mean more options for you.

A good SAT score can also help you snag additional merit scholarship money. Even if your dream college is test optional, or you have already been accepted to a college, you may want to consider taking the test again (say, in December or January of senior year) for scholarship applications. Our college counselors can help you with testing plans and matching your scores to schools.

What are My Options?

Want to talk about YOUR scores in more detail and figure out what comes next? Our SAT experts will go over your personal score report and help you determine what the next step should be. Get a FREE consultation on scores from the SAT exam.

Take a Free Practice Test