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What is a Good SAT Score in 2022?

a notebook and pen used to study for the SAT

What is considered a good SAT score depends on the colleges and universities you are applying to. Typically, the higher your SAT score, the greater your chances of getting into a top school. But your score is just one component of an application. It's considered in tandem with your grades, any essays or statements submitted, as well as extracurriculars, charity work, and more. That being said, it's still a good goal to do as well as possible on your SAT.

How SATs Are Scored- the Background

The SAT has two sections, Math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing, with each scored on a scale from 200 to 800. To get into one of the top 100 most selective schools, you will generally need to have a composite SAT score of at least 1200, preferably 1400 or more. Composite SAT scores of more than 1400 are in the top five percent of test takers.

 

How does your SAT score compare?

See what SAT score it takes to get into any particular college when applying.

 

Your SAT Score & Scholarships

There are a few other reasons to strive for a great test score: merit scholarships. Some colleges and universities award merit scholarships based on high school GPA and admissions test scores to recruit academically talented students.

In fact, the PSAT, a precursor to the SAT, is taken in October of the junior year in high school specifically to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship—as well as introduce students to standardized testing.

 

See what other scholarships you're eligible for

 

Understanding Your SAT Score

The percentile ranking of your test scores against all test takers nationwide can show you how you compare to other undergraduate-bound students. The percentile is the percentage of test takers who get lower test scores than you. For example, the median composite SAT score is 1083 (541 Math, 543 Evidence-based Reading, and Writing).

The median is the 50th percentile, meaning that half of all test takers got lower scores and half got higher scores. If you get a composite SAT score of 1083 or more, you are above average. The 75th percentile composite SAT test score is 1215, the 90th percentile is 1340, and the 95th percentile is 1410.

This table, which is based on College Board data, lists the percentile ranking for various composite SAT scores.

Composite Score

(Out of 1600)

Percentile

Rank

1600

>99

1550

>99

1510

99

1500

98

1450

97

1410

95

1400

94

1350

91

1340

90

1300

86

1250

80

1220

76

1200

72

1150

64

1130

60

1100

57

1080

50

1050

44

1030

40

1000

34

980

30

920

20

830

10

770

5

650

1

640

<1

400

<1

This table shows the percentile ranking of SAT test scores on the math and reading/writing sections.

Section Score

(Out of 800)

Math

Percentile

Rank

Reading/Writing

Percentile

Rank

800

>99

>99

750

97

99

700

92

94

680

89

91

650

86

84

600

73

69

590

70

66

560

60

56

550

57

52

530

49

45

510

40

38

500

34

35

490

30

31

460

21

22

450

18

20

410

10

11

400

8

9

380

5

6

300

1

<1

200

<1

<1

Lastly, the graph demonstrates that a 50-point increase in your test scores yields a bigger increase in your percentile ranking around the median than among the higher test scores. That’s because SAT scores form a normal distribution center on the median. As shown in this graph, which shows the percentage of test takers in each 50-point increment, the test takers tend to bunch up around the middle.

sat chart

 

Should I Take the SAT? (New for 2022)

If you haven't taken it yet, you might be asking yourself if you have to take the SAT or if taking it is worth it. With test-optional, test-flexible, and test-blind schools, you have a lot to think about now.

According to a 2022 study of new college freshmen, 15% of students said they applied to a school specifically because it did not require them to submit an SAT or ACT score with their application. But you shouldn't do something simply because other people are doing it.

Start deciding whether or not to test by determining if the schools on your list require it. Then, even if they don't, look into whether or not the department you want to study under does.

If you still are in the clear, you'll want to consider whether or not you want to apply for merit scholarships, which we mentioned above. If the answer to these questions is no, then you really have to decide if there's a benefit to taking it.

If you decide to take the SAT and don't like the score you get, you do not have to share your test score with your applications. In that regard, it does not harm at all for you to take it, especially if you can get a fee waiver. 

In the end, the best advice is to evaluate your GPA and extracurricular activities and decide whether you think studying for and taking the test might push you over the edge and help you get into an institution where you might have otherwise been sitting on the fence.

Your SAT Score & College Applications

Now that you know what's considered a good SAT score and how a slight increase in your score can impact your rank compared to your peers, it's time to use that information to decide where you'll apply to college. 

Click the button below to create a free Cappex account to see how competitive you'll be if you apply to the schools on your list. You can also search for additional schools using your SAT score and GPA, in addition to other criteria, to find your perfect match. 

Know where you stand with your SAT score

Find out what your target, reach, and likely schools are with your test scores and grades.

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