What’s a Good SAT Score?

The best SAT score for college applicants depends on their target schools, experts say. Here is an article that recently appeared in the USA Today.

By Delece Smith-Barrow |July 25, 2017

Admissions teams often consider applicants’ socioeconomic background when analyzing their scores, says one expert. Teens who plan to submit SAT scores for college applications can use summer break to study, but it may not always be clear which SAT score should be their goal.

The SAT, an admissions exam many colleges and universities require of applicants, is administered by the College Board and scores students on a scale of 200 to 800 for various sections. The exam tests students on critical reading, math and writing, but the essay section is optional. The new SAT was released in March 2016. With such a wide potential score range – the lowest combined score someone can receive is 400 and the highest is 1600 – admissions experts encourage prospective students to understand what colleges consider a good SAT score.

The short answer is: It varies. “It kind of depends on your background,” says Michele Hernandez Bayliss, co-founder and co-president of Top Tier Admissions, which helps prospective college students around the globe with test preparation. Admissions teams, she says, “factor a socioeconomic kind of calculation in their head.” The SAT score expectations might be higher, for example, for a privileged white high schooler than a teen from inner-city Harlem, says Bayliss, who previously worked on the admissions team at Dartmouth College.