Advantage Testing SAT Q&A

What is a good SAT score in 2021?

Each year, median and mean SAT scores change slightly, but every year, what defines a “good” SAT score depends on your goals. First, keep in mind that everyone starts their SAT preparation at a different point, and your goal score should be one that you can achieve with hard work and sustained study. Second, SAT scores vary greatly among colleges and universities, so ideally your goal score is within the range of the schools to which you are hoping to apply. For example, if your score is above the 75th percentile of students enrolled at your top-choice college, you can feel confident that you have a “good” score.

The two primary SAT components are (1) Math and (2) Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (commonly known as “Verbal”). Each of these is scored on a scale from 200 to 800, for a total SAT score ranging from 400 to 1600. For students who graduated in 2019, the mean Math score was 528, the mean Verbal score was 531, and the mean SAT total score was 1059.

Many colleges with competitive admissions have average scores that are much higher than these national averages. Check the websites for the schools to which you plan to apply to find the mean and 75th percentile SAT scores of enrolled students.

Note that prior to 2016, the SAT provided three main scores scaled from 200 to 800, for a total score from 600 to 2400, so obviously, a total score from this period will be much higher than a total score from today’s test!

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