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SAT Score Range: What Is A Good, Bad, Or Excellent SAT Score? 

Sep 4, 2023

Your SAT score is crucial for various colleges and universities abroad to offer you an international platform to study further. Read further to find out about the SAT score range.

An Overview 

In the past few years, the idea of studying abroad at renowned universities has been on the rise as it seems to ensure career opportunities for aspirants. While some might find it unworthy, it is unlikely that the number of applicants will be minimized as we advance into the future.


It hardly matters which undergraduate course you are looking to pursue; you need to take the SAT exam, particularly for any university in the US. As clearing the SAT test is the first step to starting the course of action to get into the best universities, you need to know more about the SAT. 

What is the SAT?

The SAT, which stands for Scholastic Assessment Test, is the first step for students pursuing undergraduate courses abroad. The SAT was previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and its purpose is to assess the student appearing for its verbal, written, and mathematical skills. Students appear for the SAT, particularly for admissions in US and Canadian universities. 


The importance of SAT scores in admission varies from institute to institute. However, like every examination, the higher your SAT score is, the better flexibility you will have in terms of admissions to colleges. 

To give you an idea of the range of possible SAT composite scores, we’ve included the following condensed chart with percentiles: 


Comparison of SAT Composite Score and Percentile Rank 

1500-1600 98-99+% 
1400-1500 94-98% 
1300-1400 86-94% 
1200-1300 74-86% 
1100-1200 59-74% 
1000-1100 41-59% 
900-1000 25-41% 
800-900 11-25% 
700-800 3-11% 
650-700 1-3% 
600-650 or lower 1% or lower 

SAT Scoring System 

Each section is rated between 200 and 800 points. You have the option of completing the test’s optional essay section. This part is assessed independently. On the SAT, there is no penalty for selecting the incorrect response. Your raw score is based solely on the number of questions you answered correctly. 

Before you receive your score report, remember the following things: 

  • It is impossible to score a 0. 
  • There is no negative marking  
  • The new perfect score is 1600. 
  • There are only two sections that are required. 

What Is a Good SAT Score?

The SAT scores range from 400-1600, and for each of the two sections, the SAT scores range from 200-800. Wherein one score section has math, and the other includes writing and reading scores called Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ( EBRW).

Like other examinations, the higher your SAT score range, the better your chances are amongst all the candidates in terms of opportunities. But it doesn’t answer the obvious question of what is a good SAT score range. Or is there any cutoff that indicates a score as “good”?


To know the correct answer to this question, you need to find out how SAT scoring works. Your total SAT score of 1600 is aligned with a percentile ranking. Your SAT percentile refers to the student’s percentage that resembles your score or is less than that. So, if you get a percentile score of 70, you’ve scored better than 70 percent of all the other applicants. 

Talking about the average SAT score of 1060. The test is intentionally designed to ensure the average score floats around 1000. The average math score is 528, and the average score for EBRW is 533.


An SAT score range ensures a normal distribution, meaning the student’s performance tends to float around the middle of the scoring scale. The middle score is 1000, the minimum is 400, and the maximum score is 1600. Very few students are close to the minimum and maximum scores.

What Is A Bad SAT Score?

SAT scores correspond to a sliding scale of academic skills. Based on that, a “bad” SAT score is subjective. Various state schools consider the SAT College and Career-Readiness Benchmarks as minimum scores of 530 for the Math section and 480 for the EBRW part.


Colleges will minimize your chances of consideration if any score below these minimum benchmarks is recorded. However, please note that the average SAT score for Math scores of 528 is lower than the benchmark score of 530, which means if your score is missing the benchmark, it doesn’t mean you won’t get into college. 

However, you can reappear for the SAT to showcase your academic caliber. But the number of times you appear for the SAT has its repercussions as colleges ask for the number of times you appear for the SAT and some also ask for the scores. 

As a result, it makes a shaky impression of your academic skills on the college authorities when considering your candidature. To avoid such an unwanted situation, you must prepare for each test as your last chance and perform well. 

What Is an Excellent SAT Score?

There is not one score that can be seen as an excellent SAT score. While some consider a set of scores excellent, there are no particular standards to follow. Logically speaking, in the case of an SAT score, it is essential to see how your score matches the range accepted by your target colleges. Yes, the highest SAT score possible is 1600, and making up for this requires you to get 800 in both the Math and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections

The good news is that there is no minus marking for wrong answers on the SAT. So, we strongly recommend you attempt every question on the SAT with the best knowledge you have. Answer even if you are not sure or if it is a fluke.

If you want a maximum score, you need to ensure you don’t miss even a single question, with both the Math and Writing sections having 58 and 40 questions, respectively. The reading part can allow you to miss one question out of 52. 

Please note that your priority is to reach a score that gets you into your target college.

What SAT Score Should You Target?

There is no particular score you need to target. However, it is always preferable to target a score that falls within the range readily accepted by colleges to which you want to apply. Every college has a different range of SAT scores that they generally consider when selecting a student. You can search for the average SAT on Google by adding the university name.

The result will show you the middle 50% of accepted SAT scores for that particular college, which will range from the 25th-75th percentile. We strongly recommend you target a score within this range if you intend to apply to that college. However, if you can get into that range, it will not mean rejection but will reduce your chances of admission. 

How to Find Your Target College SAT Score Requirement?  

You must be wondering how to determine what makes a good SAT score for you based on the schools you’re applying to. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. For each of the colleges that you want to know the score of go to our College-wise SAT requirements section and find your desired college. 

The next step is to note down the scores; this will make your goal known. My recommendation is to write it down and stick it on your wall, which will give you reminders every time you see the wall. 


Your SAT score plays a significant role in how your prospective college assesses your candidature. However, your selection is subject to the SAT score a particular college considers.  You must perform your best and score within the range of your prospective college-accepted SAT scores. Also, consider every attempt as your last and answer every question to maximize your chances.

Sat Score Range


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