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How do I know if my SAT Scores are good?

Dec 19

Every student or parent wants to know what SAT scores are considered to be “good.”  There’s no easy answer to that.  Much of it depends on the college of choice and importance they place on the test scores in the application process.  What one school considers to be outstanding scores may only be acceptable or good at another.

According to the College Board, the average scores for the Class of 2013 were 496 Critical Reading, 514 Mathematics, and 488 Writing.

Most colleges also release data showing the average SAT scores for first year students.  This is a good way to measure whether a particular college is a good fit for you or your student.  In generally, average SAT scores are higher for schools with a more rigid selection process.    But admissions are not based on scores alone.    Colleges also take a close look at academic records as well as things like volunteer and community service, extracurricular activities, and athletics, all of which should be accompanied by recommendations as well as strong essays written by the prospective student.  Still, higher scores are to be desired and will give the prospective student a wider range of options when submitting college applications.

Comparing SAT Scores

When looking at colleges comparing the student’s SAT scores with those of the average scores for students in their first year at the preferred college is one of the best ways to determine whether the SAT scores are high enough for that particular school.  The chart below shows the average score for several prominent U.S. colleges.  You can also search the scores for your school of choice on the College Board’s College Search web page.

School Average First-YearSAT Scores Acceptance Rate How important are the test scores?
American University 590-700 CR 53% Important
580-670 M
580-690 W
Auburn University 520-640 CR 80% Very Important
540-660 M
510-620 W
Boston University 570-660 CR 58% Important
600-690 M
590-680 W
Cornell 630-730 CR 19% Very Important
660-770 M
Duke 660-750 CR 19% Very Important
680-780 M
660-760 W
George Washington 600-690 CR 37% Important
600-690 M
600-690 W
Harvard 690-780 CR 7% Very Important
690-790 M
690-780 W
MIT 650-760 CR 11% Important
720-800 M
660-760 W
Princeton 690-790 CR 10% Very Important
700-790 M
700-780 W
Stanford University 660-760 CR 8% Very Important
680-780 M
670-760 W
University of Virginia 600-710 CR 32% Important
630-730 M
610-710 W
Yale 700-800 CR 8% Very Important
700-780 M
700-790 W

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