In order to discuss whether a SAT score is high or not, we must first discuss how the SAT are scored, and what they are for. The SAT is a tool designed to assess your academic readiness for college. Every SAT test should only test what students have already done in class, and all students of all backgrounds should have an equal chance of doing well on the SAT.
The SAT is scored by allotting 1 point for every question that is correctly answered, and subtracting 1/4 points for each incorrect question. After each student’s test is graded, the SAT then goes into a process of “equating” the scores. Equating the scores ensures that different forms of tests will not affect student scores.
Out of a perfect score of 800 in each section, or a total of 2400 in all three sections, studies have shown that the overall average score is 1500. Here is a look at typical SAT scores some colleges look for:
- Auburn (Main Campus) : 1570 – 1890
- Carleton : 2000 – 2270
- Duke: 2020 – 2300
- Harvard: 2120 – 2390
- MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 2090 – 2350
- Middlebury: 1940 – 2240
- Pomona: 2040 – 2310
- Stanford: 2080 – 2350
- UCLA: 1760 – 2140
As we can see from this list of requirements, a high SAT score is relative to the college or university that you are applying to. A SAT score of 2000 could be high to a school like Auburn, but may not be enough for Harvard University. However, the scores above are average scores, which imply that students with lower scores may also be accepted. In general, the definition of a high SAT score is very subjective and depends on each school’s records of their previously accepted students.
Is a Good SAT Score Enough?
Instead of focusing solely on boosting SAT scores, the more important question is: what do you offer to colleges and universities other than your SAT score? Do you have a diverse array of extracurricular activities? Have you demonstrated leadership capabilities in the extracurricular activities that you have done? As we can see from these questions, the SAT scores are simply an easy way for universities and colleges to filter out which students to look at. However, once those students are filtered, these criteria become the next set of standards that colleges pay very close attention to.
As Marilyn McGrath, director of undergraduate admissions at Harvard College, noted: “Generally speaking, the SAT is not very important; it helps us calibrate a student’s grades.” Furthermore, admission officers from a variety of schools have stated that students accepted into their schools were not chosen merely on their SAT test score. Jarrid Whitney, executive director of admissions and financial aid at the California Institute of Technology, says “The SAT is still just one part of the entire package, it does not drive our decisions.”
Why Bother Getting a High SAT Score?
After discussing all the important application information that is required aside from a good SAT score, can we say that having a good SAT score is unnecessary? Absolutely not! Even though we have shown that having a good SAT is not enough, it does not mean that it is not necessary. As we have previously discussed, the SAT scores are an easy way for universities and colleges to filter out the students to look at. If a student does not have a good SAT score, how will they be able to show off their amazing extracurricular or their leadership activities? Having a high SAT score gives students a better opportunity of being recognized by universities and colleges.
Furthermore, higher SAT scores allow students to be accessible to more scholarships, especially entrance scholarships by the schools that they have applied to, should they get accepted. Not only will universities and colleges offer scholarships, companies such as Coca-Cola, or even Toyota offer scholarships to student who ACTIVELY APPLY for the scholarships and satisfy the requirements that they ask for.
What Can I Do Now?
No matter what stage of education you are at, whether you are starting high school or preparing to apply for a college/university, it is still important to start being involved in a variety of activities. Demonstrate an active extracurricular lifestyle by participating in a variety of clubs and teams. Being active by taking leadership roles in a variety of volunteer or school based activities will also look very appealing to colleges.
However, as we previously stated, your academic well-being is also a very important aspect of your application towards a higher education. An important concept to understand is that education in high school builds the foundational concepts and ideas to prepare students for the more specific educational content that will appear in university/college. One way to both solidify your educational concepts and to enrich yourself for better education is to seek some extracurricular education, such as tutoring.
A recent trend in tutoring has been the shift from physical one on one tutoring to a more technological based one on one tutoring. The benefits of online tutoring seem to encompass that of physical tutoring, such as being interactive, personalized, unique, cost efficient, and even fun.
SchoolTutoring Academy is the premier educational services company for K-12 and college students. We offer tutoring programs for students in K-12, AP classes, and college. To learn more about how we help parents and students in San Jose, CA visit: Tutoring in San Jose, CA.