What’s the difference between a 500 or a 600 score on the new SAT math section? How about a 700 score? Will that get you into the school you’re aiming for?

If you’re like me, the first thing you’re wondering about the new SAT is: what’s a good score? The top score on the new math section is still 800, but did anything change since the old test?

It can be particularly confusing if you try to do the research all by yourself. There’s a lot of information out there and it’s hard to put it together. Not only that, but it’s just stressful to think about it on top of studying for school classes and the SAT at the same time.

Let me come in and lend a hand here. Here I’ll break down how to come up with a target score to strive towards.

## 1. Research the Average SAT Scores of Your Target Schools

First, start by researching the schools that you are hoping to get in to. College Navigator has data on all U.S. colleges and universities along with the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen.

If you are wondering what the numbers mean, read up on this guide on how to figure it out. Basically, you want to be at least between the smaller and bigger number. If you exceed the bigger number, then you’re a rock star! If you fall below that number, then you have some studying to do.

## 2. Take the Combined Score and Multiply By Two-Thirds

Because the old SAT is out of 2400 and the new SAT is out of 1600, we will have to do some math in order to convert the scores. I recommend taking the scores you wrote down from step 1, adding them together to get a combined score out of 2400, and multiplying them by two-thirds.

College admissions officers are (in general) more concerned with your combined SAT score and not your specific section scores. Therefore, you should focus more on your overall score rather than just one specific section.

It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best way to get a good idea of where you need to be. Because not many students have taken the new SAT, there isn’t much data on what scores are ‘good enough’ for colleges.

## The Final Word

Though SAT scores aren’t everything, they are still an integral part of your application. That means that you will need to work hard to get a score that is in line with the average scores for incoming freshmen at your dream school.

If you’re knocking that score out of the park though, then start working hard to make other parts of your application just as strong. It’ll do you more good to fix up an average personal statement than to boost your SAT score from a 1560 to a 1580.