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What is a Good SAT Score in 2024?

two young women excited looking at sat score

What is considered a good SAT score depends on the colleges and universities you are applying to. Typically, the higher your SAT score, the greater your chances of getting into a top school.

But your score is just one component of an application. It's considered in tandem with your grades, any essays or statements submitted, as well as extracurriculars, volunteer work, and more. That being said, it's still a good goal to do as well as possible on your SAT so that you have abundant choices when finally deciding on a college. 

The new Digital SAT in 2024

This year, students will take the new digital SAT. According to Eric Flessa, SAT Coordinator and Student Support Specialist with My College Planning Team, this change comes with a big list of benefits. To start, it will allow the tests to be scored more quickly, resulting in faster results and fewer random scoring errors that come with physical tests.

The digital SAT is also shorter and has fewer questions, going from 3 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 14 minutes this year. You can also use a calculator on the test's math section, which is included in the testing software. 

However, the most significant change with the digital SAT could be that the test adapts to each student as they progress through the questions. 

Eric Flessa explained it like this:

If you excel in module 1 of a section, you will face more challenging questions in module 2. Conversely, if you struggle, the questions will become easier. This adaptive nature affects the scoring of the exam and can influence the perceived difficulty of the test. 

That means you might feel like the digital SAT is easier. But let's talk about scoring now.

How SATs are scored

The digital SAT is divided into two main sections: a 64-minute reading and writing section with roughly 50 questions and a second 80-minute math section with roughly 40 questions. 

If you do well enough to receive the more difficult questions, you'll need to answer fewer questions correctly to earn a higher score. This means you can answer fewer questions correctly and still earn the same or higher score than other students who answer more of the easier questions correctly.

When you download your PDF score report, you'll see the total score and individual scores for each section. 

SAT total (composite) score

You will get a total score, which is the total of both individual section scores. The possible range is 400 to 1600.

SAT section scores 

You will also receive section scores ranging from 200 to 800 for each section. Since you are not penalized for guessing, these are just the number of questions you answered correctly. 


How does your SAT score compare?

See what SAT score it takes to get into any particular college when applying.


Understanding your SAT score

Comparing the percentile ranking of your test scores against all test takers nationwide can show you how you compare to other students. The percentile is the percentage of test takers who get lower test scores than you. 

For example, the average composite SAT score is 1050. This average lands at the 50th percentile, meaning half of all test takers got lower, and half got higher scores. Any score above 1050 is above average. 

The 75th percentile composite SAT test score is 1200, the 90th percentile is 1440, and the 95th percentile is 1520. 

You can log into your College Board account for more detailed insight into how you stack up against your peers. You can isolate the comparison by segments like only test takers at your school, district, or state, or look at all testers nationwide.

What is the average SAT score?

According to the College Board, the average SAT scores in 2023 were:

  • Total score: 1028
  • Math: 508
  • Reading and Writing: 520

Percentile chart for composite SAT scores 

This table, which is based on College Board data, lists the percentile ranking for various composite SAT scores.

Composite Score

(Out of 1600)




This table shows the percentile ranking of SAT test scores on the math and reading/writing sections.

Section Score

(Out of 800)









Your SAT score & scholarships

There are a few other reasons to strive for a great test score: merit scholarships. Some colleges and universities award merit scholarships based on high school GPA and admissions test scores to recruit academically talented students.

In fact, the PSAT is a precursor to the SAT. It's taken in October of the junior year in high school specifically to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship—as well as introduce students to standardized testing.

Should I take the SAT? 

If you haven't taken it yet, you might ask yourself if you have to take the SAT or if it is worth it. With test-optional, test-flexible, and test-blind schools, you have a lot to think about now.

According to a 2022 study of new college freshmen, 15% of students said they applied to a school specifically because it did not require them to submit an SAT or ACT score with their application. But you shouldn't do something simply because other people are doing it.

Start deciding whether or not to test by determining if the schools on your list require it. Then, even if they don't, look into whether or not the department you want to study under does.

If you still are in the clear, you'll want to consider whether or not you want to apply for merit scholarships, which we mentioned above. If the answer to these questions is no, then you really have to decide if there's a benefit to taking it.

If you decide to take the SAT and don't like the score you get, you do not have to share your test score with your applications. In that regard, it does not harm at all for you to take it, especially if you can get a fee waiver. You can read more about applying to test-optional schools here.

In the end, the best advice is to evaluate your GPA and extracurricular activities and decide whether you think studying for and taking the test might push you over the edge and help you get into an institution where you might have otherwise been sitting on the fence.

You might also want to look at the ACT if you find you enjoy writing and really like science

Your SAT score & college applications

Now that you know what's considered a good SAT score and how a slight increase in your score can impact your rank compared to your peers, it's time to use that information to decide where you'll apply to college

Click the button below to create a free Appily account to see how competitive you'll be if you apply to the schools on your list. You can also search for additional schools using your SAT score and GPA, in addition to other criteria, to find your perfect match. 

Know where you stand with your SAT score

Find out what your target, reach, and likely schools are with your test scores and grades.



Is your SAT score good enough?

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