What is a Good SAT Score for a Junior?

This is a question I get a lot from parents wondering whether their child should take the SAT as a junior or wait until senior year.

Their thinking is that if the student does well enough on the SAT for a junior, then they don’t have to worry about taking the SAT as a senior. The thing is: colleges don’t give preferential treatment to those who take the SAT at a younger age. You can take the SAT in 6th grade, get an 1800, and then never take the SAT again. That 1800 isn’t any different from a senior’s 1800.

Good Junior Year SAT Score

So the real question, then, is what is a good SAT score?

Yet, it might not be quite so simple. Given that, at least on average, students become more intellectually mature in an extra year of schooling–vocabularies enlarge, a sense of proper grammar becomes more fine-tuned, the ability to concentrate through dense increases slightly–a senior might expect to see a 50-point increase in an SAT score. That might not seem like much, but going from a 1950 to a 2000 does look like a big deal on paper.

Provided that you continue to pay attention in school and you continue to do some SAT prep in your spare time, you will probably do a little bit better as senior, but not by too much.

A good SAT score for a junior, therefore, is about 50 points less than what a good SAT score is for a senior. As to what a good SAT score is for senior? Well, that is a little more difficult to answer. It depends on the schools you are applying to, your current GPA, on a host of other factors, such as your essay or extracurricular activities. 1800 is a pretty good score; 2000 is clearly a good score and 2100+ is a great score.

If you are a junior and you have enough time to study, then getting close to 2000 is a good score.



  • Chris Lele

    Chris Lele is the Principal Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh. Chris graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and has 20 years of experience in the test prep industry. He's been quoted as a subject expert in many publications, including US News, GMAC, and Business Because. In his time at Magoosh, Chris has taught countless students how to tackle the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT (CARS), and LSAT exams with confidence. Some of his students have even gone on to get near-perfect scores. You can find Chris on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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