Analyzing the SAT®: What is a Good SAT® Score? | Albert Resources (2024)

The SAT® is crucial for college admissions. A good SAT® score can significantly impact your college options and scholarships. But what exactly is a good SAT® score? In this guide, we’ll explore SAT® scoring, what constitutes a good score, and how you can achieve it.

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Understanding SAT® Scores

Your SAT® score combines your performance in two sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math. Each section scores on a scale of 200-800, making the total possible score range from 400 to 1600. Additionally, subscores and cross-test scores provide detailed insights into your performance in specific areas.

Scores are calculated by converting raw scores (the number of questions you answered correctly) into scaled scores. This process ensures consistent scores across different test administrations.

What is a Good SAT® Score?

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A good SAT® score is often defined by the averages and specific requirements of the colleges you’re aiming for. Nationally, the average SAT® score is around 1050. However, competitive colleges typically expect scores well above this average. For example, Ivy League schools often look for scores in the 1400-1600 range. Therefore, understanding what is a good SAT® score for your target colleges can help you set realistic goals.

In order to highlight the score differences, here is a table with the average SAT® scores for different types of universities in New York state:

University TypeUniversity NameAverage SAT® Score
Public UniversityUniversity at Buffalo (SUNY)1180-1350
Private Non-Ivy League UniversityNew York University (NYU)1350-1530
Ivy League UniversityColumbia University1500-1560

Use this table to understand the score ranges you need to aim for depending on your college preferences. This knowledge will guide you in setting realistic and achievable SAT® score goals.

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Score Percentiles and Their Significance

Percentiles rank your performance compared to other test-takers. For example, if you’re in the 75th percentile, you scored higher than 75% of students. Accordingly, percentiles help you understand your score’s relative standing and guide you in setting realistic improvement goals.

Below is a table to help you understand the percentiles:

SAT® ScorePercentile

Benchmark Scores

The College Board provides college readiness benchmarks. These scores suggest a high likelihood of success in college courses. Thus, meeting or exceeding these benchmarks indicates that you’re well-prepared for college-level work.

For example:

  • ERW Benchmark: 480
  • Math Benchmark: 530

Achieving these benchmarks means you’re likely ready for college-level coursework.

Interpreting Your Scores

Different score ranges signify varying levels of college readiness:

  • 1200-1400: Competitive for many state schools and some private colleges.
  • 1400-1600: Highly competitive for top-tier universities and Ivy League schools.

Setting target scores based on the averages of your desired colleges can help you focus your preparation efforts. Additionally, knowing what is a good SAT® score for each institution is crucial for your planning.

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10 Strategies to Achieve a Good SAT® Score

To improve your SAT® score, consider the following strategies.

1. Use Official Prep Resources

Understanding how to achieve the highest SAT® score involves utilizing these resources effectively. Because The College Board makes the SAT®, they also free resources, including practice tests and study guides. Additionally, other programs, such as Albert, create test prep solutions for all of your SAT® needs.

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2. Study Regularly

Create a study schedule for consistent practice. Specifically, allocate specific times for each section and use breaks to maintain focus.

3. Create Detailed Study Plans

Creating a detailed study plan is essential for achieving a good SAT® score. Firstly, begin by assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, focus more on areas that need improvement, but don’t neglect your strong points. Thirdly, set specific, measurable goals for each study session to ensure steady progress. Incorporate a variety of study materials into your plan. Use textbooks, online resources, and SAT® prep books. Lastly, join study groups if possible, as discussing problems with peers can provide new insights and keep you motivated.

4. Use Effective Study Techniques

Use effective study techniques like spaced repetition and active recall. Spaced repetition involves reviewing material at increasing intervals, which helps reinforce your memory. Active recall, on the other hand, involves testing yourself on the material rather than passively reviewing it. This method enhances long-term retention.

5. Take Practice Tests

Practice tests help you familiarize yourself with the test format and identify areas for improvement. Take at least one full-length practice test each week. Additionally, make sure to simulate actual test conditions to build stamina.

6. Review Mistakes

Analyze practice test results to understand your mistakes and avoid repeating them. Furthermore, it is helpful to keep a journal of common errors. This allows you the opportunity to review these errors regularly.

7. Monitor Your Progress

Keep track of your progress by maintaining a study journal or log. Note the topics you’ve covered, practice test scores, and areas that need improvement. Generally, regularly reviewing your progress helps you stay focused and make necessary adjustments to your study plan.

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8. Balance Study and Rest

While it’s important to study hard, you also need to rest. Overworking yourself can lead to burnout and reduce your efficiency. Ensure you get enough sleep and take breaks during your study sessions. Also, incorporate physical activities into your routine to keep your mind and body healthy.

9. Determine Your Motivation and Change Your Mindset

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial for success. The first thing to remember is to stay motivated by reminding yourself of your goals and the benefits of achieving a high SAT® score. Set up a reward system to celebrate your small victories along the way. Above all, surround yourself with supportive friends and family who encourage your efforts.

10. Manage Your Time Efficiently

Effective time management is key to balancing your studies with other responsibilities. Therefore, create a daily schedule that allocates specific times for studying, breaks, and leisure activities. Stick to this schedule as closely as possible to ensure you’re consistently making progress.


Aiming for a good SAT® score requires understanding the scoring system, setting realistic goals, and dedicating time to preparation. With the right strategies and resources, you can achieve a score that opens doors to your desired colleges and scholarship opportunities. For more tips and resources, check out our other blog posts on SAT® preparation.

By following these guidelines and utilizing available resources, you can enhance your SAT® performance and achieve the scores needed for your college aspirations. Overall, understanding what is a good SAT® score and how to achieve the highest SAT® score will set you on the path to success.

Need help preparing for your SAT® exam?

Albert has hundreds of SAT® practice questions, free response, and full-length practice tests to try out.

Start practicing for the SAT® on Albert now!

Analyzing the SAT®: What is a Good SAT® Score? | Albert Resources (2024)
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