What is a good SAT score? May 31, 2008Posted by Jason McDonald in : College Related , trackback
For years past, many dynamics have played a part in the admission process . . . essays, interviews, community involvement (i.e., extra curricular activities), recommendations written by teachers or community leaders, your high school GPA, and your SAT scores. More and more colleges in the last decade or two are questioning the validity of SAT scores. Do good SAT scores really predict success in college? Do bad SAT scores predict failure? Of course not.
So who cares about your SAT scores? Colleges. Most do, anyway. There are three sections on the SAT: Writing, Math and Critical Reading worth a possible 800 points each. An average SAT score is around 1540 out of 2400 points. Students with an average SAT score have many options, but a score above 2100 would place you in the 90th percentile (meaning you scored better than 90% of the test takers) and might cause the “name brand” schools to take a closer look at your admission application.
Listed below are some colleges that require SAT scores and “rough, unofficial estimates” of the SAT scores for those admitted at each school.
Iowa State – 1825
Ohio State – 1800
DePaul – 1750
Arizona – 1700
Indiana University- 1650
Brown University – 1380
Harvard – 2200
Williams – 2125
University of Virginia – 2000
UCLA – 1900
There are many colleges that are “SAT optional.” In fact, some of the administrators at these SAT-optional schools claim that the test is not a good predictor of success in college. They also argue that the SAT exaggerates the difference between wealthy students whose families can afford expensive SAT prep courses and poorer students who see the exam for the first time on test day. If this is true, then the SAT isn’t serving the purpose for which it was designed, which is to give equal opportunity to all students.
Robert Schaeffer, the public education director of FairTest (a research center that is opposed to standardized tests) says, “SAT-optional, it seems, is no longer a euphemism for ‘second-rate.’ Many of the most selective campuses in the country are concluding that they can make better admissions decisions without the SAT.” Students who don’t necessarily score well on standardized tests would be relieved to know that their admission to certain colleges could be based on other strengths, such as personal interviews and serving in their community.
Many colleges and universities have gone the way of SAT optional in their admissions process. For a complete list visit SAT optional schools. The schools listed below are just a few who consider the SAT scores only if the minimum GPA or class rank requirements are not met. As you’ll see if you visit the above link, there are hundreds and hundreds of schools that are SAT optional.
University of Texas
George Mason University in Virginia
Black Hills State University (SD)
Iowa State University
University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie, WI)
Sarah Lawrence College (NY)
Texas A&M University (Galveston, TX)
Tennessee Temple University (TN)
University of Michigan (Flint, MI)
East Tennessee State University
Remember, just because a school is SAT optional does not mean it is easier to be admitted there. It simply means they rely more heavily on the other factors for your admission (essays, interviews, extra curricular activities, recommendations & GPA).
So, what is a good SAT score? We can conclude that a good SAT score is different for each student and college. Many schools often accept students with average SAT scores while others rarely do. We can also conclude that, depending on which colleges are candidates, SAT scores may not even be necessary for admission!
If you ARE looking into schools that require SAT scores, be sure to maximize your score by preparing for the test. A good SAT score for you is about 200-300 points higher than your score the first time you take the test.