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SAT Score Range: Your Guide to 2023 College Admissions 

SAT score range

Getting into college can be challenging, but knowing the SAT scores range can ease the process. Every year, we get a lot of questions like What is a good SAT score range and What is the range for SAT scores for my college. 

So, this article will answer: ‘What is the range of SAT scores?’, provide insight into how colleges interpret these scores, and suggest a good SAT score range to target for your college admissions.

The Basics of SAT

The SAT is a standardized test that many colleges in the US use to decide who gets in. The College Board creates it. It’s a written, multiple-choice test.

It checks if high school students are ready for college. Colleges look at SAT scores along with GPA, classes taken in high school, teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities, personal statements, and occasionally essay scores to decide. A higher SAT score can give you more college choices and better chances to get merit scholarships.

The SAT consists of two primary sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW). EBRW includes both a Reading test and a Writing and Language test. Meanwhile, SAT Math is divided into a no-calculator test (where calculators are prohibited) and a calculator test (where calculators are allowed).

There’s also an essay session, but it’s optional for your college application. Before deciding whether to write an essay, students should look at the admission requirements of the colleges they want to apply to.

READING 65 mins52
TOTAL180 mins154

The SAT Scoring System

The maximum SAT score attainable is 1600, while the minimum is 400. Your overall SAT score consists of scores from the Math section and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section. Both sections have scores ranging from 200 to 800 points. You won’t lose points for wrong answers; you only get points for the ones you answer correctly.

What is the SAT Score Report?

The official SAT score report from the College Board shows your total score and scores for each section. Colleges look at these scores when reviewing your application. Your SAT score report also includes cross-test scores and subscores that evaluate different skills.

  • Total Score: The total SAT score is the sum of your EBRW and Math section scores.
  • Section Score: Scores that measure your academic skills in the Math section and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
  • Test scores[ 10-40]: Scores for Reading, Writing and Language, and Math
  • Cross-Test Scores [10-40]: Scores for Analysis in History/Social Studies and Analysis in Science from specific questions on the Reading, Writing, Language, and Math tests.
  • Subscore [1-15]: Scores for Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions (Reading and Writing), Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math (Math)

What are SAT Percentiles?

The Percentile score shows how you rank compared to others who took the SAT. Refer to these charts to see what SAT percentiles are for 2022. Note that the percentile scores may change slightly yearly. So, it’s essential you check annually.

95-99+1440-1600710-800 750-800
90-941350-1420680- 700690 – 740
85-891290- 1340650- 670660- 680
80-841250- 1280630-640630-650
75-791200- 1230610- 620600- 620
70-741170-1200 590- 600580- 590
65-691130- 1160570 – 580570
60-641100-1120560- 570550- 560
55-591070-1090540 – 550530- 540
50-541040- 1060530- 520- 
40-49980-1030500- 520490-510
30-39920-970470- 490450- 480
20-29860-910430- 460420- 440
10-19780-850400- 420380- 410
1-9 630-770300- 390280- 370
Less than 0400- 620200- 290200-270

National Representative Sample Percentile

This percentile shows how you did compared to all US students in your grade, even those who usually don’t take the test.

National User Percentile

It shows how you compare to all 11th and 12th-grade students taking the SAT who plan to go to college. The user percentile is a better way to judge your chances of getting into college because it only looks at how you did compared to others who took the SAT and are applying to college.

If you got a 75 percentile, it means 75% of the students scored below you, and if your math percentile is 47, you did better than 47% of students in math.

Understanding SAT Scores: The Good, The Bad, and The Excellent Scores

What is a good SAT score? 

Generally, an SAT score above the 50th percentile is good. It indicates you’ve outperformed over half of the test-takers. 

However, a score at the 50th percentile might not be sufficient for more selective colleges. It’s advisable to target scores in the 75th percentile, ideally 1200 or above, due to the increased competition in such institutions. But the ultimate goal should be to achieve scores surpassing most applicants for your target schools. 

What is a Bad SAT Score? 

If you score 1040 or less on the SAT, it’s below average. Also, if it’s 890 or less, you’re in the lowest 25% of test-takers. If your score falls in this category or under, consider retaking the test to better your chances for a good college.

What is an Excellent SAT score? 

An excellent SAT score is above 1400, with 1500 or higher being top-tier. However, what’s considered ideal can vary by college, so check the scores of each school on your lists for guidance.

What SAT score is good for Ivy Leagues?

When aiming for Ivy League colleges, students should recognize that they’re vying for spots in some of the world’s top academic institutions. Therefore, striving for the highest possible score is essential. A solid benchmark would be an SAT score of 1540 (out of 1600). 

Brown University1540
Columbia University, NY1530
Cornell University1530
Dartmouth College1550
Harvard University1550
Princeton University1540
University of Pennsylvania1540
Yale University1540

What’s a good SAT score for 2023 college admissions?

The College Board shares the average SAT scores of graduates every year. Here are the average scores since the SAT changed in 2016.


The average scores, or the middle 50%, have been relatively stable, with some change. The top 25% of students usually score around 1200 or more. A score of 1400 will increase your chances of getting admission into the top 100 colleges. However, average scores vary for colleges, so you should set your target score to exceed or meet these ranges.

How to Find Your Target School SAT Score Requirement

1. Visit the School’s Official Website

Most colleges have an ‘Admissions’ or ‘Prospective Students’ section on their website. Browse these sections for information about admitted students’ average scores.

2. Check College Admissions Data

Many schools share info about the students they accept, like SAT score ranges, in the “Freshman Profile” or “Class Profile.” This may help you understand the scores of the middle 50% of students they admitted.

3. Contact the Admissions Office

If you can’t find the information online, don’t hesitate to contact the admission office directly. They’re usually happy to provide information about test score requirements or averages.

4. Look at Historical Data

The most recent information is most important, but checking scores from the past years can show you how the scores at that school have been changing.


Your SAT score is a critical factor in college admissions. Aiming for a score that matches or exceeds the range your preferred college looks for is essential. Always give the test your all, and try to answer every question, treating each attempt as crucial.


Will the SAT be easier in 2023?

The SAT is changing to digital in 2023. It will be shorter and have concise reading parts, straightforward questions, and more digital tools. The aim is to make the test easier to take and administer and to keep it updated.

Do SAT scores matter for the class of 2023?

Many four-year colleges won’t need SAT scores for fall 2023 admissions. But even if they’re optional, these scores still matter.

How many times are the SATs given this year?

The SAT is given seven times yearly: in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December. Pick a date that fits your schedule and ensures you receive your scores when needed.

How long does it take to get SAT scores? 

You can see your SAT scores about 14 days after the test. They’ll be ready by 8 a.m. ET on the release date.



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