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Essay Sat Score 1220

The SAT seems to have changed its format many times in the past few years, going from a perfect score of 1600 to 2400, and now back down to 1600. The SAT essay, which used to be required, is now optional and has a different format. Because of this, it can be difficult for students and parents alike to decide if their score SAT is good or not.

But you don’t need to worry because we’ve got you covered.

Many different elements can determine a “good” score on the SAT. Below, you’ll find a list of all of them.

Just a quick reminder: as of March 2016, all future SATs given will be the revised version, meaning that the highest possible score is now a perfect 1600. All the information in this article is about this new exam.

The Higher the Better

As mentioned, the highest score that you can earn on the new 2016 SAT is 1600. To earn this score, you must achieve an 800 in math (there will be two sections; you may use a calculator on the first, but not the second) and on the two-part section called Evidence-based Reading and Writing. Unfortunately, few students will achieve these top marks. When 2400 was a perfect score, the national average was about 1500, so as long as your scores were “above average” you could consider them good.

Nowadays, things are obviously a little bit different. But scholars are predicting that the national average for the new SAT will be about 1000, so roughly 500 on each of the sections.

So what does this mean for you?

Obviously, you want your SAT score to be the highest that it can be. You also want to have a consistent performance between the two categories. That is, it would look bizarre to colleges if you scored an 800 in math and a 200 in Evidence-based Reading and Writing. Your extremely low score would practically cancel out your perfect one, so if you know one subject will be particularly tricky for you, make sure to allocate more study time so that your scores will be on consistent across the board. This doesn’t mean that you should get the same score on each section, but since colleges are looking for well-rounded students who are capable of doing a variety of work, it’s best to get them as close as possible.

How does the SAT affect my college application?

This is where what constitutes a “good” SAT score becomes extremely relative since it depends on what kind of school you want to attend.

If you are looking into a school that is more selective and has a highly competitive admissions process, like an Ivy League school, Stanford, Rice, etc., then you will need SAT scores that are well above the national average. They should be as close to perfect as you can get them, and no less than a 650 on each of the sections.

But, maybe you aren’t as interested in those highly competitive schools. Maybe you want to go to a larger university like Baylor, a liberal arts school like Rollins College, or maybe even a state school close to home. If that’s the case, a good SAT score is one that puts you in the top 25% of that respective school’s applicants.

Let us break that down for you:

When you take the exam, whether for the first, second, or third time, you need to go into the test with a target SAT score range. For example, “On the May SAT, I will score between 700-750 on both math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing.”

Now, maybe you don’t need to score that high. What’s important is that your scores are competitive for the school that you want to go to.

The first thing you need to do is make a list of the schools you are interested in attending. If you aren’t sure what kind of school you want to go to quite yet, pick a state school and private university near where you live and start from there.

Then, you’ll then want to create a table that looks something like this:

School Name

25th Percentile (2400)

75th Percentile (2400)

75th Percentile (1600)

Baylor University165019701310
Rollins College165519601310
University of Texas (Austin)169020601370

After you’ve inserted the names of your favorite schools, you will want to do a quick internet search for their average test scores. So for Baylor, you would look up “average SAT scores Baylor.” In your results, you should find the 25th and 75th percentile score ranges for each school.

The 25th percentile means that students who report these scores are only better than 25 % of their classmates. In other words, they are the bottom of the class. If you score in this range, you will need to compensate in other areas of your application. Meaning that if you have low SAT scores, you’ll need a fantastic personal statement, a great GPA, and stellar teacher recommendations.

The 75th percentile means that students who fall in this SAT score range are better than 75% of their classmate. To have a good chance of being admitted, you need to make sure that your scores fall into the 75th percentile or higher.

Now, most of the SAT score ranges available will be for the old SAT. So, if you’re taking the SAT in March 2016 or after, you have a little bit more work ahead of you.

You’ll now need to convert the old SAT scores into the new ones.

To do this, take each school’s 75th percentile score and multiply it by 2/3. This because 1600 is 2/3 of 2400, the old perfect score. Then, since SAT scores only end in 0, you’ll need to round your answer to the nearest 10. So, for Baylor, you would do the following:

1970 X 2/3 = 1313.33333, rounded to the nearest 10 is 1310.

Thus, to have a good chance of being admitted to Baylor, you would need about 1310 on the new 2016 SAT.

After you’ve determined the target score for each school that you’re interested in, you should average them out. So using the examples above, your target score on the new SAT would be 1330.

What if you’ve already taken the SAT and don’t want to take it again?

Unless you scored a perfect 1600, taking the SAT multiple times is pretty much always in your best interest. There is always room for improvement! However, perhaps you’re a senior and application deadlines are quickly approaching. You need to know where you can apply with the scores you have now.

You should start with a quick search of “schools that accept X SAT score” or, you can visit this list and see where you fit in.

Are You In Need Scholarship Money?

If so, a high SAT score can work in your favor. In this case, a good SAT score is one that earns you the financial aid that you need, although as usual, the higher the score, the better the scholarship.

You can find these scholarships directly on colleges’ websites, or from third party websites like this one. Typically, to receive scholarships from third parties, you will need to score in the 75th percentile or higher on the SAT. However, most colleges do offer financial or need-based for scores lower than this, often in the form of a grid or calculator on their website. You can see an example here. That is, if you earned X on the SAT, you are given Y in scholarship money. These score ranges are normally very cut and dry, meaning that there are no exceptions.

What Do You Want to Major in?

The field that you want to go into also affects what a good SAT score is for you. For example, if you want to go into the engineering field, then you will need to have higher math scores. It is also essential that your scores are on par with what that college requires. Often, low scores will bar you from entering a certain major within the school, even if you qualify for the school in general.

If you are going into the humanities field, then your math scores can be anywhere from 50 to 75 points lower than the recommended score, and you will still be considered a viable candidate for admission. However, your Evidence-based Reading and Writing scores will need to be higher to highlight your strengths.

What Score Do You Want?

Your target SAT score should not be the score that your parents want you to get or the score that your friends got. While encouragement and academic peer pressure can be beneficial to a certain point, it is important to pay attention to your goals and dreams.

Your friends are not on the same track that you are. While you may be in the same classes now, when you go to college, your academic paths will probably be different. You need to determine what scores you’ll need to get into the school that you want to go to.

That may mean that you only need 1000, or maybe you’re Harvard-bound and need that perfect 1600. Work for the score that you want to have and a score that you will be proud to justify when you apply for colleges.

Key Takeaway When Answering, “What is a Good SAT Score?”

Please remember that SAT scores are not the only piece of the college admission puzzle. Your grade point average, club participation, volunteer experience, essays, and teacher recommendations will also heavily impact how the admissions committee views you.

Also, keep in mind that your SAT scores do not define you, so if your scores are not where you want them to be, then do not worry. You can always retake the test.

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Like the test itself, the new SAT score reports are a departure from the score reports of years past. The experts at C2 Education have broken them down in a new publication called Your Total Guide to Your New SAT Score – download your copy here!

SAT scores are undeniably important in the college admissions process. SAT or ACT scores allow college admissions officers to make an apples-to-apples comparison among students with widely differing academic backgrounds. After all, an A at one school may not reflect the same effort and skill as an A at another school, but SAT scores have the same meaning no matter where a student graduates from.

Knowing the importance of SAT scores, you might be justifiably concerned (or elated) by your initial score report. But no matter how you feel about your first SAT scores, it’s important to recognize that they represent a floor, not a ceiling. Our score report guide offers insight into how these scores can inform your decisions as you work towards college admission.

Your Total Guide to Your New SAT Score has answers to all of your score report questions, including:

  • What’s a good SAT score?
  • What’s the difference between test scores, benchmarks, subscores, and cross-test scores, and what do they all mean?
  • How do your new SAT scores compare to ACT scores and old SAT scores?
  • Should you retake the SAT or switch to the ACT?
  • What are your next steps?
/by C2 Education

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