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What Are Good SAT Scores?

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 2018 high school graduates are 536 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 531 Math. 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 630-700 ERW 32% Considered (not required)
590-680 M
Amherst College 690-760 ERW 13% Very Important
700-780 M
Arizona State University 570-670 ERW 85% Very Important
560-690 M
Auburn University 580-650 ERW 75% Very Important
570-660 M
Barnard College 660-760 ERW 14% Important
650-740 M
Bates College 640-720 ERW 18% Considered (not required)
650-740 M
Baylor University 600-680 ERW 39% Very Important
590-690 M
Boston College 650-720 ERW 28% Very Important
670-770 M
Boston University 650-720 ERW 22% Important
680-780 M
Bowdoin College 650-740 ERW 10% Important
650-770 M
Brown University 700-760 ERW 8% Very Important
720-790 M
Bryn Mawr College 660-730 ERW 34% Considered
660-770 M
Claremont McKenna College 670-730 ERW 9% Very Important
680-770 M
Colby College 670-740 ERW 13% Considered
680-770 M
Colorado State University 540-640 ERW 84% Important
530-640 M
Cornell University 680-750 ERW 11% Very Important
710-790 M
Dartmouth College 700-770 ERW 9% Very Important
720-790 M
Duke University 670-750 ERW 10% Very Important
710-790 M
Emory University 660-730 ERW 19% Important
690-790 M
George Washington University 640-720 ERW 41% Considered
640-720 M
Georgia Institute of Technology 640-730 ERW 23% Important
690-790 M
Hamilton College 670-740 ERW 21% Important
680-770 M
Harvard College 720-780 ERW 5% Considered
740-800 M
Ithaca College 590-670 ERW 69% Considered (not required)
570-670 M
Middlebury College 660-730 ERW 17% Important
670-770 M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 720-770 ERW 7% Important
780-800 M
Northwestern University 700-760 ERW 8% Very Important
730-790 M
Princeton University 710-770 ERW 5% Very Important
730-800 M
Stanford University 700-770 ERW 4% Very Important
720-800 M
University of Chicago 720-770 ERW 7% Very Important
750-800 M
University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)  640-720 ERW 22% Very Important
630-750 M
University of Pennsylvania 690-760 ERW 8% Very Important
730-790 M
University of Virginia 660-730 ERW 26% Important
670-770 M
University of Wisconsin (Madison) 630-700 ERW 52% Important
670-780 M
Virginia Tech 590-680 ERW 65% Very Important
590-710 M
Washington University in St. Louis 710-770 ERW 15% Very Important
760-800 M
Yale University 720-770 ERW 6% Very Important
730-790 M

Related Topics

  • 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.

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