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Jon Chang

What’s a Good SAT Score?

Good SAT Score - image by Magoosh

Wondering what SAT score you should be aiming for based on your academic goals? Not even sure what qualifies as a good SAT score these days? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Watch the embedded video below for a quick overview of what qualifies as a “good SAT score” in 2019, and keep reading to find out what SAT score range you should aim for–no matter where you’re applying to college!

A good SAT score depends on where you want to go to college.

You don’t need to have a super-detailed spreadsheet of every single university in the United States and your chances of getting in (though you can see ours, if you scroll down 🙂 ). But you should have a rough idea of whether you want to go to the college half an hour from your house, or the ultra-prestigious school at the opposite end of the country.

Pick a few schools: some that you’re fairly confident you’ll get into, and some that you’ll have to work hard to impress. If you don’t have any idea where to start, make an appointment with your guidance counselor to talk about what colleges are out there and what you should aim for.

Next, look up the school’s admissions data, either on their official website or through a website like BigFuture.

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Let’s use my alma mater, Lewis & Clark College, as an example. The average scores for incoming Lewis & Clark in fall 2018 were 635 in Math and 665 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, making the average Composite SAT score 1300. If your own score is in that neighborhood (plus or minus 50 points in each section), then you’re in pretty good shape for applying to Lewis & Clark. You can use this method to figure out a good SAT score range to aim for, depending on which schools you’re interested in.

You can also use SAT percentiles to find a good SAT goal score. Scoring around the average percentile is usually a fine goal – unless your transcripts are really lacking. To give yourself the absolute best chance at acceptance, you should aim for a score in the 75th percentile.

Not sure where you want to apply yet? Take a look at this table of SAT score ranges for the top 100 universities in the United States. The numbers are from the middle 50% score range (meaning 25% of admitted students had lower scores and 25% had higher scores).

Expand the table by clicking “Next” or type the name of your chosen school in the search box to find its the middle 50% SAT score range!

Universities and CollegesSAT (25th to 75th Percentile Scores)
Princeton University1430-1570
Harvard University1480-1560
Yale University1420-1590
Columbia University1490-1590
Stanford University1510-1580
University of Chicago1490-1560
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1510-1580
Duke University1490-1560
University of Pennsylvania1420-1550
California Institute of Technology1530-1590
Johns Hopkins University1460-1580
Dartmouth College1420-1560
Northwestern University1420-1560
Brown University1405-1570
Cornell University1390-1550
Vanderbilt University1400-1550
Washington University in St. Louis1470-1570
Rice University1450-1560
University of Notre Dame1370-1520
University of California - Berkeley1290-1510
Emory University1430-1550
Georgetown University1380-1470
Carnegie Mellon University1330-1510
University of California - Los Angeles1240-1490
University of Southern California1300-1500
Tufts University1410-1550
Wake Forest UniversityTest Optional: 1320-1500
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor1380-1540
Boston College1340-1480
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill1280-1470
New York University1350-1530
University of Rochester1280-1490
Brandeis University1340-1510
College of William and Mary1310-1490
Georgia Institute of Technology1360-1490
University of California - Santa Barbara1290-1500
University of California - Irvine1195 - 1435
University of California - San Diego1300-1520
Boston University1420-1530
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute1320-1500
Tulane University1410-1510
University of California - Davis1260-1480
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign1270-1480
University of Wisconsin - Madison1280-1450
Lehigh University1330-1500
Northeastern University1360-1540
Pennsylvania State University1250-1430
University of Florida1330-1460
University of Miami1220-1410
Ohio State University - Columbus1240-1450
Pepperdine University1190-1390
University of Texas - Austin1170-1410
University of Washington1250-1430
Yeshiva University1140-1400
George Washington University1280-1460
University of Connecticut1130-1340
University of Maryland - College Park1330-1470
Worcester Polytechnic Institute1300-1460
Clemson University1220-1390
Purdue University - West Lafeyette1190-1390
Southern Methodist University1280-1460
Syracuse University1180-1370
University of Georgia1300-1460
Brigham Young University - Provo1190-1420
Fordham University1310-1450
University of Pittsburgh1270-1430
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities1310-1460
Texas A&M University - College Station1140-1360
Virginia Tech1100-1320
American University1220-1380
Baylor University1190-1360
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick1190-1410
Clark University1200-1390
Colorado School of Mines1290-1450
Indiana University - Bloomington1150-1360
Michigan State University1110-1250
Stevens Institute of Technology1330-1480
University of Delaware1180-1350
University of Massachusetts- Amherst1200-1390
Miami University - Oxford1200-1380
Texas Christian University1150-1340
University of California - Santa Cruz1170-1400
University of Iowa1120-1330
Marquette University1150-1320
University of Denver1170-1370
University of Tulsa1150-1440
Binghamton University -SUNY1290-1430
North Carolina State University - Raleigh1250-1390
Stony Brook University -SUNY1220-1440
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry1150-1300
University of Colorado - Boulder1150-1360
University of San Diego1190-1490
University of Vermont1180-1360
Florida State University1200-1350
Saint Louis University1170-1390
University of Alabama1060-1280
Drexel University1170-1380
Loyola University Chicago1120-1310
University at Buffalo - SUNY1140-1310
Auburn University1150-1310

Like what you see?

Click on the name of any school listed above to check out our latest posts on how to get accepted to your school of choice–including a full breakdown of admissions data, tips, and frequently asked questions specific to each college!*

*For colleges which we have not yet covered in an admissions post, the link will direct you to the school’s admissions website, where you can do some poking around!

SAT score not as good as you hoped? Time to schedule a retake.

If you didn’t make it anywhere close to your target score, you may want to consider retaking the SAT.

Plan to take the test a second time 3-6 months from now. Here are a few tips to prepare:

  • Set aside a couple of study periods during the week where you focus only on test prep and nothing else.
  • Learn what your weaknesses on the SAT are and talk with your teachers, tutors, or really smart friends about how to overcome them.
  • Y’all also know that Magoosh has a huge bank of SAT practice questions too, right?

good sat score

However, don’t get too obsessed over your SAT score. If you get a 1350 combined score on your retake, it probably isn’t worth taking the SAT again if you were aiming for a 1400.

Remember that your SAT score is just one piece in a complex process of college applications. Admissions offices will be looking at your G.P.A., extracurricular activities, recommendations, and essays along with your SAT score. A good SAT score is important, but you still have other things to focus on that will make your application as strong as possible.

Good luck! Your dream school awaits! 🙂

Good SAT Score -Magoosh

About Jon Chang

Jon has a degree in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and a degree in science journalism from New York University. It's safe to say that he's learned a lot of things over the past decade, but he's learned how to write about those things too. All the while, he’s been tutoring students, helping them better understand their own coursework and showing them how to crack the code of the SAT and ACT. When he's not doing that, you can usually find him singing, playing violin, or coming up with bad puns.

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