What is a good SAT score 2023? Analysis, SAT score for top 10 Universities

What is a good SAT score? – Experts say, a good SAT score can be anything that gives your admission to your preferred university. Still, it is understandable that a higher SAT score will be needed for admission to top ranked universities such as Princeton, MIT or Harvard. 

The average SAT score in 2022 was 1050. So, if your SAT score is 1050+ then it is a good score. Such a score will be acceptable to most of the colleges in the USA.

If we further break down the 2022 SAT average score into each section, the average score for evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) was 529 and 521 for math. 

How to know what is a good score in SAT?

Experts suggest that students should do ample research about universities before taking the admission or even before appearing for the SAT exam. Take the 50 best universities in USA and check their scores for 25th and 75th percentile in the previous year. Now, this is what you have to target. If you score in the range of the above target, your SAT score is good for college admission.

Now lets go deeper into the score reports by College Board to understand what is a good score in SAT. Below, we have provided the 2021 SAT score data for students’ understanding.

Score rangeNumber of test takers
SAT score data

The above data indicates that a majority of students score in the range of 1000-1200. Students who score in this range have many college options to choose from. 

Now, if your target is to secure admission to top ranked universities, you will have to put some extra effort. Effort that is good enough to put you among the top 10% students. Meaning, a SAT score of 1400+. With such a score you have great chances of getting into the following colleges.

What is a good SAT score? SAT score for top Universities

Princeton University (NJ)146015704%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology151015804%
Harvard University (MA)148015804%
Stanford University (CA)147015704%
Yale University (CT)148015805%
University of Chicago151015806%
Johns Hopkins University (MD)151015708%
University of Pennsylvania148015706%
Duke University (NC)148015706%
Northwestern University (IL)146015607%
Good SAT Score for Top Universities

Understanding SAT percentile

The above table is important. It shows 25th and 74th SAT score for top universities in USA. Princeton University, one of the best in the USA shows 1460 as 25th SAT score. Meaning, More than 25% of students had a score 1460 or above!

Similarly, Harvard University SAT score for 25th percentile was 1480. Now, connect these numbers with the SAT score 2021 data given above. It shows 7.9% test takers scored in the range of 1400-1600. So, this is your SAT score for top ranked universities.

Experts suggest students do their research and look up the “middle 50” – the range of scores between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile for the last admitted class – on each college’s website to see if their score falls within or above that range. Students should set their target score to either meet or exceed those ranges. They can also aim to reach a school’s minimum score requirement for merit aid.

How to improve my SAT score?

SAT is a challenging exam. The best way to improve your SAT score is to use the official SAT practice. College Board and Khan Academy offer official SAT practice in collaboration. This should be your guide, mentor and friend during your SAT preparation.

Students are advised to take full length tests in a time bound manner. Practising a full length test makes you exam ready and enhances your overall performance manifold. 

Use the practice SAT score data to analyze your performance and identify key areas where you really need to work hard. Some general SAT preparation tips are given below.

  • Improve your vocabulary 
  • Work on your reading and writing speed
  • Use College Board’s SAT Prep books and SAT premium prep
  • Take official SAT Prep tests
  • Learn writing structured essays by practice
  • Practice math questions