What is a Good Score on the SAT?

Most colleges and universities require that you take a standardized test and submit your score as part of the application process, which is why you might want to know what’s a good score on the SAT. the SAT and ACT are the two most common standardized tests given to high school students, but you only need to take this test if you plan on going to college. The testing board once called a 1600 a perfect score, but changes in the modern era led to this score rising.

SAT Sections

The SAT only has two sections, but the exam features questions on three different types of subjects. The first section asks you 52 questions that test your reading comprehension. You’ll read short articles or passages and answer multiple choice questions on those readings. The math section features 58 questions that require knowledge of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The last section, which focuses on language and writing, is the shortest. It features just 45 questions. You can also take the optional essay portion of the test, which gives you 50 minutes to write an essay based around a statement or passage given to you.

Score Range

According to The Princeton Review, the average score among all students who took the SAT is 1500. Each of the three main sections on the test is worth 800 points, which means a perfect score is a 2400. Very few students who take the SAT receive a perfect score. The top 25% of all students who scored the highest on the test earned an average score of 1800. A good score on the SAT is somewhere between a 1500 and an 1800. The Princeton Review claims that the average or good score from the ACT is a 20 or 21.

Benefits of a Higher Score

Your score on the SAT is just one factor that colleges look at when weighing your application. Those schools also look at the types of extracurricular activities you did, your total grade point average and your class ranking. A good or high score on the SAT can help you get into a better college, even if you lack extracurricular activities or graduated lower in your class. Your score may also help you secure scholarships from public and private sources, and some colleges award full scholarship packages to those who get a perfect or near perfect score.

Improving Your SAT Score

Many schools now require that students take the PSAT early in their studies. Your score on that test will give you an idea of how well you will score on the SAT. Most students take the test as a sophomore or junior. Taking it during your sophomore year will show you which areas you need to work harder in to improve your score. Computer software programs now let you practice taking that test on your home computer and get some tips for preparing for the test. You may want to sign up for an SAT test prep course too.

Scoring higher on the SAT can help you get more financial aid and get into a better school. While a good score on the SAT ranges from a 1500 to an 1800, some students earn a perfect score of 2400 after going through a test prep course and better preparing for the test.

Related: What is the Difference Between the SAT and the ACT?