# SAT Percentiles and Score Rankings: Understanding Your SAT Results

Planning to apply at universities to pursue higher education? Thinking about taking the SAT exam? To excel in the SAT and make strategic choices while choosing colleges, it is important to understand SAT score percentiles. This helps a student to target a certain score effectively.

Having a thorough understanding of SAT score percentiles also helps in finding big score gains while preparing the SAT syllabus.

Struggling to understand SAT percentiles? If the answer is yes, then this blog will give you all the important insights to clear your doubts. Make sure to stick till the end for a comprehensive overview of the SAT scores and their respective percentiles.

When a student takes the SAT exam, in addition to the SAT score (400 – 1600), students are also given percentile ranking (1-99). According to the SAT exam structure, students get percentile rankings for the composite score and each for the scores of two sections – Reading and Writing and Math.

SAT percentiles signifies how a student performed in the test as compared to the total number of students that took the test. For example, if a student is awarded 80% percentile based on the composite score then that student has performed better than 80% of students overall. Similarly, if a student has scored 65% in the math section then that student has performed better than 65% of students in math.

Percentile rankings are not like the grades that a student receive out of 100. These rankings help to compare the performance of a students with other test-takers. It is therefore used by colleges during the application process to prioritize students with good percentile.

## SAT Percentile Ranges

The SAT percentiles vary slightly every year. This is why the updated SAT percentile ranges based on composite scores are released every year by the College Board. To target the ideal percentile, students should have an idea about the general percentile ranges based on composite scores. The table below contains the SAT percentiles based on the composite score range:

 SAT scores (composite) SAT Percentiles 1530-1600 99-99+ 1500-1530 98-99 1450-1500 96-98 1400-1450 93-96 1350-1400 90-93 1300-1350 86-90 1250-1300 81-86 1200-1250 75-81 1150-1200 68-75 1100-1150 61-68 1040-1100 51-61 990-1040 43-51 940-990 35-43 890-940 27-35 830-890 19-27 790-830 13-19 740-790 7-13 690-740 3-7 620-700 1-3 Below 600 -1

The SAT percentiles move most near the middle scores, as you can see. For example, increasing your percentile from 1450 to a flawless 1600 only raises it by 4 points, from 96 to 99. However, if you improve from 1100 to 1250, your percentile will climb from 61 to 81, a massive 20 points! This implies that a 150-point increase can dramatically raise your percentile rank and increase your competitiveness as a college applicant if you’re scoring 1100 or less.

## What are SAT Percentile Score by Section?

The table below contains details about the SAT percentiles for SAT section score ranges:

 Percentile Reading and Writing Math Total 99th (Best) 760 and above 790 and above 1530 and above 90th (Excellent) 670-680 690 1350 75th (Good) 600-610 600 1200 and above 50th (Average) 520-530 510-520 1050 and above 25th (Poor) 440-450 430-440 870 10th (Poorer) 390-400 370-380 770 1st (Poorest) 330 and below 310 and below 670 and below

## Benefits of Knowing SAT Percentiles

Percentile rankings give a more complete view of how you compare to other test-takers, whereas raw scores just reveal a portion of your performance.

Let’s say your math score was 600 and your reading and writing (ERW) score was 700. This 100-point disparity might not seem like a significant deal at first glance. But if you think about percentiles, you get a whole different picture.

You are in the top 7% of test takers with an ERW score of 700, which puts you in the 93rd percentile. However, you outscored around three-quarters of the competitors with your Math score of 600, which is in the 76th percentile.

This demonstrates the amazing effect that concentrated improvement may have on your SAT results. You may improve your maths score by 100 points and your percentile from 76 to 91 by putting in more effort. With this significant improvement, you would rank in the top 10% of test takers for maths.

Even if Math improvement offers big benefits, don’t completely disregard ERW. Gaining even a little 50 points more in ERW would propel you into the much sought-after 99th percentile, positioning you among the best achievers.

It is important to know that percentiles are only a single component of the picture. A composite score that meets the requirements of the universities you are seeking should be your ultimate objective. The average SAT range varies by college and usually doesn’t change over time.

## Conclusion

In a nutshell, percentile is not the same as percentage, indicating the score of a student out of 100. Rather, percentile helps in comparing the performance of a student with respect to other students. It is important for a student to pay close attention to their percentile rankings and composite score. This will help them to have a better idea about their performance and in turn will aid them to choose colleges according to it.

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### Is 1400 SAT enough for Harvard?

With a 1400 SAT score, a student is eligible to apply for universities like Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, etc. However, it won’t give a competitive edge to the student.

### What SAT score is top 5%?

To have a score in top 5%, a student generally needs to have a score of more than 1500. However, it can vary depending upon the students taking the exam and score distribution.

### What percentile is a 1400 on the SAT?

With a SAT of 1400, a student is usually placed around 90 percentile. This implies that a student has scored more than 90% test-takers. Percentiles can vary every year therefore, for precise information students should check the College Board’s website.

### Can I get into Cornell with a 1400 SAT?

A SAT score of 1400 is considered good however, it doesn’t give a competitive edge to student to get accepted to Cornell. The reason behind this is that, the students accepted at Cornell generally have a SAT score between 1450 and 1550.

### Can you get into MIT with a 1400 SAT score?

As per the trends, a 1400 SAT score is significantly below the average for getting accepted into MIT. Students who get accepted MIT generally have an average score of around 1540.