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How To Interpret Your SAT Score

Last updated January 6, 2020

You might know you need to get a certain score for college applications, or for specific college and state financial aid, but once you get your scores back from the SAT it’s not always clear what they mean! Don’t worry, we’ll help you clarify what score you got! 

Your SAT score can have a big impact on your financial aid and college acceptance. 

You should aim to get the highest score possible when you take the SAT. No matter what your score, there are a few things you should know about how to interpret and understand your score. 

Your score can range from 400-1600. 

(This is the cumulative score your college looks at!) You also get a breakdown of how you compare to other students who took the SAT the same time you did. This is reported in the percentile breakdowns in your score report. 

The average SAT score — 50th-percentile SAT composite score — is between 1050 and 1060. 

(The test is deliberately designed so that the average score hovers around 1000 on the 1600-point scale—about 500 per subsection). The average score for math is between 520 and 530 (520 is 49th-percentile and 530 is the 53rd). The average SAT score for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing is between 530 (49th percentile) and 540 (52nd percentile).

How to get the Cumulative Score

You get your Cumulative Score by adding up your score from the Evidence-based Reading and Writing section and the Math section

  • Reading is worth 200-800 points
  • Math is worth 200-800 points

Cumulative score = Reading + Math score

For a full breakdown of how you scored and what questions you got wrong, check your mail/email for your official scores, and check out the official SAT score guide by College Board.

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