Average SAT Scores

By | August 7, 2020

The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a standardized test that is used to measure the study ability of bachelor applicants at U.S. universities and colleges.

The SAT has existed for over 100 years. Originally the abbreviation SAT stood for Scholastic Achievement Test and later for Scholastic Assessment Test. For several years now, the short form has established itself in everyday language.

The nonprofit organization College Board makes the SAT since it was introduced. The SAT test score is now used by more than 6,000 U.S. universities and other educational institutions.

The SAT is almost always required for Bachelor applicants. However, the ACT is also often accepted. Basically, the following guidelines apply:

  • International applicants for undergraduate programs in the USA are not required to take the SAT. It is therefore advisable to carefully check the application requirements of the university of your choice.
  • If the university requests the SAT from international applicants, this includes applicants from the German-speaking area. Good grades in the Abitur or the Matura cannot replace the SAT.
  • Students who are already enrolled and who want to move to a higher semester of a bachelor’s program at a U.S. university as a transfer student do not usually have to take the SAT.

SAT Scores

Typically, SAT scores are available online 13 days after your test date. Here is a sample SAT score report form.

SAT Score Report

SAT Score Range

The SAT test consists of two required sections: Math and EBRW (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing). Score for each of Math and Verbal sections ranges from 200 to 800. And the total SAT score ranges from 400 to 1600. In other words, the highest SAT score is 1600 while the lowest SAT score is 400.  Note: the rating scale for the SAT Subject Tests also ranges from 200 to 800 points.

SAT Good Score

There is no so called “Good SAT Score“. Whether your SAT score is good depends on which universities you are applying to. In general, if your score is near to the average score of admitted students to your desired schools, then your SAT score is considered good.

Average SAT Scores

Below is a table showing average SAT score for the top 25 U.S. schools.

School Name Average SAT Score
Caltech 1560
Rice University 1535
University of Chicago 1530
MIT 1528
Harvard College 1520
Johns Hopkins 1520
Columbia University 1515
Yale University 1505
Washington University in Saint Louis 1505
Princeton University 1500
Carnegie Mellon University 1495
University of Pennsylvania 1490
Northwestern University 1490
Brown University 1488
Duke University 1485
Dartmouth College 1478
Vanderbilt University 1475
Cornell University 1470
Stanford University 1465
Notre Dame University 1445
Emory University 1435
Georgetown University 1435
University of California, Berkeley 1430
University of Southern California 1400
UCLA 1365
University of Virginia 1365

SAT Percentiles

SAT Percentiles

Preparation for the Scholastic Assessment Test

Since the result of the Scholastic Assessment Test has a great influence on the chances of admission to the university of choice, many American students start preparing early. Often this happens as part of private preparatory courses.

In many cases, the high school assists students in the preparatory phase. Since they work towards the SAT for months, most students are well acquainted with the test structure and situation on the exam date.

For applicants from the German-speaking area, however, standardized tests such as the SAT are often “new territory”. It is therefore particularly important for them to be intensive and targeted on the test preparation.

College Board offers various learning aids for this. Free practice questions and a full SAT are available to practice on the SAT official website. There are also learning materials for a fee, for example a study guide on DVD or an online course.