One of the most frequent questions we get from high school parents and students is “What are good SAT scores?” The truth of the matter is, there’s no simple answer to that question. It depends on which colleges a student plans to apply to, how selective those colleges are, and how important standardized test scores are in the admissions process. What are considered good SAT scores for one college could be considered exceptional scores for another.
Are My SAT Scores Good Enough?
The average SAT scores for 2009 high school graduates are 501 Critical Reading, 515 Math, and 493 Writing. However, most colleges release data regarding the average SAT scores for first-year students at their schools, which is one of the best ways for students to determine whether their SAT scores are considered “good enough” for a particular college. Typically, the more selective a college is, the higher its average SAT scores for first-year students will be. Keep in mind though that SAT scores are just one piece of the college admissions puzzle. In most cases, high SAT scores that aren’t backed up by other aspects of a student’s application (like a strong high school record, extracurricular and volunteer activities, strong application essays and recommendations, etc.) are unlikely to win a student admission to a college. However, when it comes down to it, the higher a student’s SAT scores are, the better, as strong SAT scores will give a student more options when applying to colleges.
SAT Scores Comparison Chart
As we mentioned above, one of the best ways to find out if a student has good SAT scores for a college is to compare the student’s SAT scores with the average SAT scores for first-year students at that particular school. The comparison chart below shows the SAT scores for the middle 50% of first-year students, the acceptance rate, and the weight given to standardized test scores for a variety of popular colleges and universities. Though a student’s goal should be for his or her SAT scores to fall within or above the middle 50% range for a college, remember that 25% of first-year students at that college scored below that range and still gained acceptance to the school. If you don’t see the college you’re looking for on this list, go to the College Board’s College Search site.
|College/University||SAT Scores for Middle 50% of First-Year Students||Acceptance Rate||Weight Given to Standardized Test Scores in Admissions Process|
|American University||590-700 CR||53%||Important|
|Amherst College||660-760 CR||15%||Very Important|
|Arizona State University||470-590 CR||91%||Very Important|
|Auburn University||520-640 CR||80%||Very Important|
|Barnard College||630-730 CR||31%||Important|
|Bates College||620-700 CR||27%||Considered (not required)|
|Baylor University||530-640 CR||50%||Very Important|
|Boston College||610-700 CR||30%||Very Important|
|Boston University||570-660 CR||58%||Important|
|Bowdoin College||660-750 CR||19%||Considered (not required)|
|Brown University||650-760 CR||11%||Important|
|Bryn Mawr College||600-700 CR||49%||Considered|
|Claremont McKenna College||630-730 CR||18%||Very Important|
|Colby College||630-720 CR||34%||Important|
|Colorado State University||500-610 CR||72%||Important|
|Cornell||630-730 CR||19%||Very Important|
|Dartmouth||660-770 CR||13%||Very Important|
|Duke||660-750 CR||19%||Very Important|
|Emory||640-730 CR||30%||Very Important|
|George Washington||600-690 CR||37%||Important|
|Georgia Tech||580-680 CR||59%||Important|
|Hamilton College||660-740 CR||30%||Important|
|Harvard||690-780 CR||7%||Very Important|
|Northwestern||670-750 CR||26%||Very Important|
|Princeton||690-790 CR||10%||Very Important|
|Stanford University||660-760 CR||8%||Very Important|
|University of Chicago||690-780 CR||27%||Considered|
|University of North Carolina||590-700 CR||32%||Very Important|
|University of Pennsylvania||660-750 CR||18%||Very Important|
|University of Virginia||600-710 CR||32%||Important|
|University of Wisconsin (Madison)||550-670 CR||57%||Important|
|Virginia Tech||540-640 CR||67%||Very Important|
|Washington University||680-750 CR||22%||Very Important|
|Yale||700-800 CR||8%||Very Important|
- For more general information about the SAT Test, visit our SAT Test page.
- Students have options when it comes to sending SAT scores to colleges. Find out why StudyPoint recommends viewing SAT scores before sending them to colleges. Visit our Sending SAT Scores page.
- For information about upcoming SAT test dates, visit our SAT Test Dates page.
StudyPoint is a national leader in one-to-one, in-home test prep and academic tutoring. The test-taking techniques and strategies taught in our SAT tutoring and ACT tutoring programs enable students to earn higher test scores and gain admissions to competitive colleges and universities. Our expert subject tutors and personalized lesson plans help students earn better grades and become happier, more confident students. Whether you’re looking for a math tutor or any other type of academic tutoring, StudyPoint can help. To learn about tutoring programs in your area, feel free to contact us for more information.