What Is a Good SAT Score?
What is considered a good SAT score depends on the colleges and universities that you are applying at. Typically, the higher your SAT score, the greater your chances are of getting into a top school, but it's 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.
Check Out Our Lists of Colleges by Average SAT Score
The SAT has two sections, Math and Evidencebased 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?
Get a more comprehensive look at your odds of getting accepted into a specific school, taking your test scores and grades into account.
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.
The percentile ranking of your test scores against all test takers nationwide can show you how you compare to other undergraduatebound 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 Evidencebased Reading and Writing).
The median is the 50^{th} 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 75^{th} percentile composite SAT test score is 1215, the 90^{th} percentile is 1340 and the 95^{th }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 
>99 

>99 

1510 
99 
98 

97 

1410 
95 
94 

91 

1340 
90 
86 

80 

1220 
76 
72 

64 

1130 
60 
57 

1080 
50 
44 

1030 
40 
34 

30 

20 

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.