Adam Groden By: Adam Groden
What is a Good SAT Score?

What is a good SAT score? Many students take the SAT, get their scores back, then wonder how they did.

If you have not taken the SAT yet, it can be beneficial to have a goal score in mind. This will give you something to aim for and work towards.

We cover everything you will need to know regarding scores in our guide below.

Summary: Learn everything you need to know SAT scores. If you want to improve your score, consider investing in a best SAT prep course.

The easiest way to determine if you scored well on the SAT is to compare your score to historical percentages of previous students who have taken the SAT. Use the following information to quickly determine if you have a good SAT score:

  • Poor SAT Score: 900 or lower (bottom 25% of test-takers)
  • Average SAT Score: 1050 (even with 50% of test-takers)
  • Good SAT Score: 1200 (top 75% of test-takers)
  • Excellent SAT Score: 1350+ (90%+ higher than all test-takers.)

As you can see, a good SAT score would be any score above 1200. This would put you in the 75th+ percentile.

Example: If you are in the 75th percentile, this means you have scored better than 75% of all SAT test takers.

The SAT score range is between 400-1600 for your total score. There are 2 sections on the SAT – each section is scored between 200-800.

These 2 sections make up your total combined score. The two sections on the SAT are Math and a combined Reading and Writing section, more commonly referred to Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW).

The SAT is out of 1600. A 1600 would be the best score you can get.

The average SAT score was 1051 according to the CollegeBoard’s annual report. As you can see below, a score of 1050 would put you right around the 50th percentile – this means that you score 50% better than half the students who took the exam.

Use the following table to learn more about the SAT score range:

SAT Composite Score Range Percentile Score
1550-1600 99+
1500-1550 99 to 99+
1450-1500 97 to 99
1400-1450 94 to 97
1350-1400 91 to 94
1300-1350 87 to 91
1250-1300 81 to 87
1200-1250 74 to 81
1150-1200 67 to 74
1100-1150 58 to 67
1050-1100 49 to 58
1000-1050 39 to 49
950-1000 31 to 39
900-950 23 to 31
850-900 15 to 23
800-850 10 to 15
750-80 5 to 10
700-750 2 to 5
650-700 1 to 2
600-650 1- to 1
400-600 1-

Source: CollegeBoard

We now know that the average SAT score hovers around 1050. As you can see from the chart above, most students will score between 1000 and 1100.

Notice how when you jump from a 1000 to 1100, your SAT score percentile also jumps significantly? This is because most students score around that mark, so if you can improve your score just a little you can drastically increase your percentile score.

Percentile jumps are less of a factor as you get away from the average SAT score (1000ish). As you can see, an increase from 1300 to 1350 is only 4 percentage points.

In terms of what makes for a good score based on the percentile chart above, anything above 1050 would be considered above average, with a score of 1200 being a good SAT score.

A score above 1050 should be considered a great starting point for students taking the exam for the first time. Take a SAT practice test to prepare for your exam.

If you are curious about scores by section, you can view the table below to find out where your section score stands when compared to other students.

SAT Score EBRW Percentile Math Percentile
800 99+ 99+
750 98 96
700 94 91
650 86 84
600 73 75
550 57 61
500 40 42
450 24 27
400 11 15
350 3 5
300 1- 1
<250 1- 1-

Source: CollegeBoard

Finding what your SAT goal score is important for students to figure out. Finding what your goal score should be will help keep you motivated and give you something to work towards.

SAT Goal Score

(click on image to enlarge)

Step 1: Determine Which Schools You Want to Apply To

This should be the first step in determining your SAT goal score. Every school will have different SAT score requirements, so it is important to figure out which schools you want to apply to.

You should choose a variety of schools. Your list should include safety, target, and reach schools. Safety schools are schools you know you can get into. Target schools are schools that you should be able to get into. Reach schools are schools that will be a reach to get into.

Step 2: Find SAT Scores for the Schools You are Applying To

Once you have your list of schools, find SAT scores for applicants who applied and got into those schools. Luckily for you, we have listed scores for 100 public and 100 private colleges and universities below.

Find those scores and write them down next to each school you are applying to.

Step 3: Determine Your Goal Score

This step will be determined by your personality and your thought process, but it is best to aim for a lofty goal.

Look at the 75th percentile scores for the most competitive school on your list. That should be your goal. If you hit this score, you should be golden for admission to the other schools on your list.

If you miss by a couple of points, you should still be good for the other schools on your list. Make sure to review SAT test dates to ensure you have enough study time to meet your goals.

What may be considered a good SAT score for someone may not be considered a good score for someone else. A lot of what is considered a good score depends on your goals.

If you are someone who is trying to attend Harvard, you will need a top SAT score. If you are someone who just wants to get into college, an average SAT score will probably get the job done.

To make it really simple, a good SAT score is the score that allows you to be competitive when applying to your schools of choice.

We have collected data from the National Center for Education Statistics which outlines SAT scores for public universities. View the table below:

Instiutuion Name Percent Admitted SAT 25th % Score SAT 75th % Score
Arizona State University 86% 1120 1360
Auburn University 81% 1150 1320
Boise State University 77% 1030 1230
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona 55% 1010 1270
California State University-Fresno 58% 940 1130
California State University-Fullerton 53% 1030 1200
California State University-Long Beach 39% 1040 1250
California State University-Los Angeles 48% 890 1080
California State University-Northridge 59% 910 1130
California State University-Sacramento 82% 940 1140
Clemson University 51% 1230 1400
Colorado State University-Fort Collins 81% 1070 1290
East Carolina University 79% 1040 1190
Florida Atlantic University 63% 1080 1240
Florida International University 58% 1110 1280
Florida State University 36% 1200 1340
George Mason University 87% 1110 1320
Georgia Institute of Technology 21% 1300 1510
Georgia Southern University 54% 1050 1200
Georgia State University 76% 1060 1250
Grand Valley State University 83% 1050 1250
Indiana University-Bloomington 78% 1150 1360
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis 81% 1000 1200
Iowa State University 92% 1100 1340
Kennesaw State University 75% 1050 1230
Kent State University at Kent 86% 1040 1230
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College 75% 1080 1310
Michigan State University 71% 1100 1320
North Carolina State University at Raleigh 45% 1250 1420
Ohio State University 54% 1250 1460
Ohio University 82% 1050 1260
Oklahoma State University 70% 1060 1280
Old Dominion University 89% 980 1180
Oregon State University 82% 1080 1320
Pennsylvania State University 76% 1070 1310
Portland State University 96% 1000 1220
Purdue University 60% 1190 1440
Rutgers University-New Brunswick 61% 1210 1430
San Diego State University 34% 1110 1320
San Francisco State University 67% 940 1150
San Jose State University 64% 1020 1260
Stony Brook University 44% 1230 1440
Texas A & M University 58% 1160 1390
Texas State University 81% 1010 1180
Texas Tech University 69% 1070 1260
The University of Alabama 83% 1080 1340
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville 79% 1150 1330
The University of Texas 32% 1230 1480
The University of Texas at Arlington 83% 1040 1250
The University of Texas at Dallas 79% 1240 1460
The University of Texas at San Antonio 77% 1030 1220
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 80% 950 1130
University at Buffalo 61% 1160 1340
University of Arizona 85% 1110 1360
University of Arkansas 77% 1120 1300
University of California-Berkeley 16% 1330 1530
University of California-Davis 39% 1170 1410
University of California-Irvine 27% 1170 1420
University of California-Los Angeles 12% 1300 1530
University of California-Riverside 57% 1130 1330
University of California-San Diego 31% 1250 1490
University of California-Santa Barbara 30% 1230 1480
University of Central Florida 44% 1170 1340
University of Cincinnati 77% 1120 1350
University of Colorado Boulder 78% 1140 1360
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus 67% 1000 1220
University of Connecticut 49% 1200 1410
University of Delaware 71% 1160 1350
University of Florida 37% 1310 1470
University of Georgia 45% 1240 1420
University of Houston 65% 1140 1310
University of Illinois Chicago 73% 1030 1260
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 59% 1210 1470
University of Iowa 83% 1130 1340
University of Kentucky 96% 1070 1320
University of Maryland-College Park 44% 1280 1470
University of Massachusetts-Amherst 64% 1190 1390
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 23% 1340 1530
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 57% 1260 1480
University of Missouri-Columbia 81% 1120 1340
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 78% 1120 1360
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 81% 1030 1250
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 23% 1310 1500
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 65% 1120 1290
University of North Texas 74% 1060 1250
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus 80% 1110 1310
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 57% 1260 1440
University of South Carolina-Columbia 69% 1180 1370
University of South Florida 48% 1170 1330
University of Utah 62% 1143 1380
University of Virginia 24% 1340 1520
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 52% 1220 1470
University of Wisconsin-Madison 54% 1300 1480
Utah State University 91% 1050 1310
Virginia Commonwealth University 87% 1070 1260
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 70% 1180 1390
Washington State University 76% 1020 1230
Wayne State University 73% 1010 1230
West Virginia University 84% 1030 1230

If you are looking for various ways to increase your SAT score, check out some of the tips listed below. One surefire way to increase your score is by utilizing a prep course.

Our team reviewed the best SAT prep courses. Use those reviews to find the best course for you.


In other words, practice, practice, practice! Become comfortable with the types of questions they are going to ask as well as completing as many questions as you can under the time restraint.

There are many resources, including test prep classes, and tutors, that can help you improve your score, so take advantage of them!

Use our free SAT practice questions to become more familiar with the SAT.


You have as many chances to take and re-take the test as you want. Many students gradually increase their score as the number of attempts increase and as they become more used to the test.

If you don’t have the time to re-take the test and your score puts you at risk for acceptance into your top university, consider adding several “safety” schools.


Many universities will consider superscoring all your SAT’s which essentially means picking and choosing the highest scores from various attempts at the SAT.

So, if your second attempt had your highest math score and your first attempt had your highest reading/writing score, you can combine them. All the more reason why taking the test multiple times is beneficial.


There will be trick questions and there will be questions you have absolutely no clue what the answer is. The great thing about the SAT? Wrong answers do not count against you! If you don’t know the answer, make an educated guess and move on.

It does not serve in your best interest to waste 10 minutes on a question and then not be able to answer all the other questions in that section.

One great way to use your time better is to enroll in a SAT prep course. We reviewed the best SAT prep courses to help our users find the best fit for them.


You are given short breaks in between sections- utilize them! Bring a snack, quickly decompress, and then get ready to dive back in. When you are well-rested and feel great before going into the exam, chances are that you will score better.

This applies to your mentality too. If you go in unsure of yourself with poor confidence, chances are you will doubt yourself and score lower.

Is a 1200 good on the SAT?

Yes, 1200 is a good score on the SAT. With the average SAT score being around 1050, a 1200 would put you well above the average.

A score of 1200 would put you around the 74th percentile which means you scored better than 74% of other test-takers.

What is a decent SAT score?

A decent SAT score would be around 1050. The average SAT score hovers around the 1050 mark. If you score a 1050, you will have a fighting chance of admission at plenty of colleges and universities.

Can I retake the SAT?

Yes, you can retake the SAT as many times as you would like. Many students end up taking the SAT more than once. It is actually recommended that you take the SAT more than once.