SAT and ACT Score Ranges for Popular Colleges and Universities

By July 25, 2019 February 11th, 2020 ACT, College Admission Requirements, Featured, For Students, SAT

Compass has compiled the SAT score ranges for popular colleges and universities, public and private, chosen to represent a wide array of four-year postsecondary institutions in the U.S. The SAT and ACT scores in the table below and in the downloadable PDF represent the most recently reported scores available. You can use these new ranges to better understand the typical test scores of enrolled students. These scores should not be viewed as cutoffs or qualifying scores. This list is intended as a broad snapshot of the competitive landscape of college admission, viewed through the lens of test scores. Students taking a holistic approach to their college search will undoubtedly consider many other wonderful colleges not included in this list.

For more information about college admission testing, please visit compassprep.com/guide.

Updated 11/13/19

CollegeRegionSAT ERW
SAT Math
SAT Total
ACT Comp
Test Optional
or Test Flexible
Adelphi UniversityMid-Atlantic540–630540–6401080–127022–27
Allegheny CollegeMid-Atlantic560–680560–6601120–134024–30TO
American UniversityMid-Atlantic630–700590–6801220–138027–31TO
Bard CollegeMid-Atlantic638–710610–7101248–142027–31TO
Barnard CollegeMid-Atlantic670–740660–7601330–150030–33
Binghamton University, SUNYMid-Atlantic650–710660–7301310–144028–32
Bryn Mawr CollegeMid-Atlantic660–730640–7701300–150028–33TO
Bucknell UniversityMid-Atlantic620–690630–7301250–142028–32TO
Carnegie Mellon UniversityMid-Atlantic700–750750–8001450–155033–35
Clarkson UniversityMid-Atlantic570–660590–6901160–135024–30
Colgate UniversityMid-Atlantic650–730670–7801320–151031–34
College of New JerseyMid-Atlantic580–670580–6801160–135025–30
Columbia UniversityMid-Atlantic710–760740–8001450–156033–35
Cornell UniversityMid-Atlantic680–750710–7901390–154032–34
CUNY, ​Baruch CollegeMid-Atlantic590–670630–7201220–1390N/A
CUNY, HunterMid-Atlantic530-610560-6501090-1260
Dickinson CollegeMid-Atlantic610–690590–7001200–139027–31TO
Drew UniversityMid-Atlantic570–650540–6601110–131025–30TO
Drexel UniversityMid-Atlantic580–670590–7101170–138025–30TF
Duquesne UniversityMid-Atlantic580–640560–6401140–128024–29TO
Fordham UniversityMid-Atlantic620–700630–7301250–143028–32
Franklin and Marshall CollegeMid-Atlantic620–690640–7501260–144028–32TO
Gallaudet UniversityMid-Atlantic390–548403–530793–107815–20
George Washington UniversityMid-Atlantic640–720640–7401280–146029–32TO
Georgetown UniversityMid-Atlantic680–750690–7801370–153031–34
Gettysburg CollegeMid-Atlantic635–710635–7101270–142026–30TO
Goucher CollegeMid-Atlantic530–670510–6201040–129022–29TO
Hamilton CollegeMid-Atlantic670–740680–7701350–151031–34TF
Haverford CollegeMid-Atlantic680–750690–7801370–153032–34
Hobart and William Smith CollegesMid-Atlantic610–680593–6801203–136027–30TO
Hofstra UniversityMid-Atlantic580–660570–6701150–13024–29TO
Howard UniversityMid-Atlantic590–650550–6351140–128522–27
Ithaca CollegeMid-Atlantic590–670570–6681160–133825–30TO
Johns Hopkins UniversityMid-Atlantic710–760760–8001470–156033–35
Lafayette CollegeMid-Atlantic620–700630–7351250–143527–32
Lehigh UniversityMid-Atlantic620–690650–7601270–145029–33
Loyola University MarylandMid-Atlantic580–660560–6601140–132025–30TO
Marist CollegeMid-Atlantic580–660560–6601140–132024–29TO
Montclair State UniversityMid-Atlantic500-590490-580990-1170TO
Muhlenberg CollegeMid-Atlantic590–680580–6801170–136026–30TO
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyMid-Atlantic580–670610–7101190–138025–30
New SchoolMid-Atlantic590–670560–6901150–136024–30TO
New York UniversityMid-Atlantic650–720660–7901310–151029–34TF
Old DominionMid-Atlantic500-610490-590990-120018-24TO*
Penn State, ​University ParkMid-Atlantic580–660580–7001160–136025–30
Pratt InstituteMid-Atlantic530–620570–7001100–132026–30
Princeton University Mid-Atlantic710–770730–8001440–157032–35
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteMid-Atlantic640–720690–7801330–150029–33
Rochester Institute of TechnologyMid-Atlantic590–680610–7201200–140027–32
Rutgers University, ​New BrunswickMid-Atlantic590–680600–7301190–141025–31
Rutgers University, ​NewarkMid-Atlantic510–590510–6001020–119019–24
Sarah Lawrence CollegeMid-Atlantic640–730600–6901240–142027–32TO
Seton Hall UniversityMid-Atlantic580–650570–6601150–131024–28
Siena CollegeMid-Atlantic540–630530–6401070–127022–28TO
Skidmore CollegeMid-Atlantic613–700610–7001223–140027–31TO
St. John Fisher CollegeMid-Atlantic540–620540–6301080–125022–26
St. John’s College AnnapolisMid-Atlantic640–730570–7201210–145024–33TO
St. John’s University (NY)Mid-Atlantic540–630530–6401070–127023–29TO
St. Lawrence UniversityMid-Atlantic590–670590–6801180–135026–30TO
St. Mary’s College of MarylandMid-Atlantic540–650520–6401060–129023–28TO
Stevens Institute of TechnologyMid-Atlantic640–710690–7701330–148030–33
Stony Brook University, ​SUNYMid-Atlantic600–680630–7401230–142026–31
SUNY, ESFMid-Atlantic560–660560–6501120–131023–29
SUNY, ​GeneseoMid-Atlantic560–650560–6501120–130024–28
Susquehanna UniversityMid-Atlantic558–640540–6201098–126022–28TO
Swarthmore CollegeMid-Atlantic680–760700–7901380–155031–34
Syracuse UniversityMid-Atlantic590–670590–7001180–137025–30
Temple UniversityMid-Atlantic570–660560–6601130–132024–30TO
The Catholic University of AmericaMid-Atlantic580–660560–6601140–132024–30TO
The Cooper UnionMid-Atlantic630–720653–7901283–151031–34
Towson UniversityMid-Atlantic540-610520-5901060-120020-25
Union College (NY)Mid-Atlantic620–700650–7301270–143028–32
United States Military AcademyMid-Atlantic590–690600–7101190–140023–28
United States Naval AcademyMid-Atlantic620–760620–7601240–152027–32
University at Albany, ​SUNYMid-Atlantic550–630550–6301100–126022–27
University at Buffalo, ​SUNYMid-Atlantic570–650590–6801160–133024–29
University of DelawareMid-Atlantic590–670580–6801170–135025–30TO*
University of Maryland, ​College ParkMid-Atlantic640–720650–7601290–148028–33
University of PennsylvaniaMid-Atlantic700–760740–8001440–156032–35
University of PittsburghMid-Atlantic630–700640–7301270–143027–32
University of RochesterMid-Atlantic630–710670–7901300–150029–33TO
Ursinus CollegeMid-Atlantic580–660560–6601140–132023–28TO
Vassar CollegeMid-Atlantic680–740690–7701370–151031–33
Villanova UniversityMid-Atlantic640–710660–7601300–147030–33
Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic590–680590–7101180–139025–31
Washington and Jefferson CollegeMid-Atlantic570–660560–6601130–132023–29TO
Washington CollegeMid-Atlantic550–650530–6201080–127022–29TO
Yeshiva UniversityMid-Atlantic580–700560–7001140–140022–30TO
Albion CollegeMidwest510–630500–6101010–124020–26
Augustana CollegeMidwest540–630530–6501070–128022–29TO
Baldwin Wallace UniversityMidwest520–640510–6101030–125021–27TO
Ball State UniversityMidwest540-620530-6101070-123020-24TO
Beloit CollegeMidwest570–670550–6901120–136021–29TO
Boise State UniversityMidwest520-620440-560960-118021-26
Bradley UniversityMidwest550–640540–6501090–129023–28
Butler UniversityMidwest590–660580–6701170–133025–30
Carleton CollegeMidwest670–750680–7801350–153031–34
Case Western Reserve UniversityMidwest650–730700–7901350–152030–34
Central Michigan UniversityMidwest510-610490-5901000-120020-27
Coe CollegeMidwest548–670530–6301078–130022–28
College of St. BenedictMidwest500–610490–600990–121022–27
College of WoosterMidwest570–680560–6901130–137025–30
Concordia College, ​MoorheadMidwest530–670550–6981080–136821–27
Cornell CollegeMidwest540–670540–6501080–132023–30TO
Creighton UniversityMidwest580–670570–6801150–135024–30TO
Denison UniversityMidwest600–670610–7101210–138028–31TO
DePaul UniversityMidwest550–650530–6401080–129023–29TO
DePauw UniversityMidwest560–660560–6801120–134023–29TO
Drake UniversityMidwest580–680560–6801140–136024–30TO
Drury UniversityMidwest540–600520–6301060–123022–29
Earlham CollegeMidwest570–690590–6901160–138026–31TO
Eastern Michigan UniversityMidwest490-610480-590970-120019-26
Elmhurst CollegeMidwest500–600493–590993–119020–26
Goshen CollegeMidwest490–620505–590995–121020–27
Grinnell CollegeMidwest670–745700–7851370–153030–34
Gustavus Adolphus CollegeMidwestN/AN/AN/A24–30TO
Hanover CollegeMidwest520–640520–6201040–126022–27TO
Hillsdale CollegeMidwest655–740620–7251275–146529–32
Hope CollegeMidwest570–670540–6601110–133023–29
Illinois Institute of TechnologyMidwest600–680620–7201220–140026–31
Illinois StateMidwest20-26
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityMidwest570–660550–6651120–132524–29
Indiana University, ​BloomingtonMidwest580–670570–6901150–136025–31
Iowa State UniversityMidwest548–682544–6521092–133422–28
Kalamazoo CollegeMidwest590–690550–6801140–137024–31TO
Kansas State UniversityMidwest------22-28
Kent State UniversityMidwest520-620510-5901030-121020-25
Kenyon CollegeMidwest640–730640–7401280–147029–33
Knox CollegeMidwest550–670540–6801090–135023–31TO
Lake Forest CollegeMidwest560–650550–6601110–131023–29TO
Lawrence UniversityMidwest610–710600–7401210–145025–32TO
Loyola University ChicagoMidwest570–660550–6501120–131025–30
Luther CollegeMidwest510–660540–6501050–131023–29
Macalester CollegeMidwest650–730660–7701310–150029–33
Marquette UniversityMidwest580–660570–6601150–132024–29TO
Miami University, ​OxfordMidwest590–670610–7101200–138026–31
Michigan State UniversityMidwest560–650550–6601110–131023–29
Michigan Technological UniversityMidwest580–670590–6901170–136024–30
Milwaukee School of EngineeringMidwest578–670610–7001188–137025–30
Missouri StateMidwest500-630500-6301000-126021-26
Missouri University of Sci & TechMidwest580–690600–6901180–138025–31
Northwestern UniversityMidwest700–760730–7901430–155033–35
Oberlin CollegeMidwest650–740630–7501280–149029–31
Ohio State University, ​ColumbusMidwest590–690650–7601240–145027–32
Ohio UniversityMidwest540–640530–6301070–127021–26
Ohio Wesleyan UniversityMidwest530–650530–6451060–129522–28TO*
Purdue University, ​West LafayetteMidwest590–680590–7301180–141025–31
Ripon CollegeMidwest500–610500–6001000–121020–27TO
Saint Louis UniversityMidwest590–680590–6901180–137025–31
St. Mary’s College (IN)Midwest540–650510–6101050–126022–28TO
St. Olaf CollegeMidwest600–700590–7101190–141025–32
Taylor UniversityMidwest540–660540–6401080–130022–29
Truman State UniversityMidwest550–670530–6881080–135824–30
University of AkronMidwest490-620500-630990-125019-26
University of ChicagoMidwest730–770760–8001490–157033–35TO
University of CincinnatiMidwest580–670580–7001160–137024–29
University of DaytonMidwest570–610560–6101130–122024–27
University of IdahoMidwest510-620500-6001010-122020-26
University of Illinois, ​ChicagoMidwest510–610510–6101020–122021–27
University of Illinois, ​Urbana–ChampaignMidwest600–700620–7801220–148026–32
University of IowaMidwest560–660560–6701120–133023–28
University of KansasMidwestN/AN/AN/A23–29
University of Michigan, ​Ann ArborMidwest660–730670–7801330–151030–34
University of Minnesota, ​Twin CitiesMidwest620–710650–7701270–148026–31
University of MissouriMidwest560–640530–6501090–129023–29
University of MontanaMidwest540-650520-6201060-127021-26
University of Nebraska, ​LincolnMidwest570–680560–6801130–136022–29TO*
University of North DakotaMidwest480-600500-630980-123021-27
University of Notre DameMidwest690–760710–7901400–155033–35
University of South DakotaMidwest520-620510-6401030-126020-25
University of St. Thomas (MN)Midwest570–670560–7101130–138024–29
University of ToledoMidwest510-610510-5301020-114020-26
University of Wisconsin, ​MadisonMidwest630–700670–7801300–148027–32
University of Wisconsin, MilwaukeeMidwest500-700500-7001000-140020-25
University of WyomingMidwest530-640520-6401050-128022-28
Valparaiso UniversityMidwest540–630530–6401070–127023–29
Wabash CollegeMidwest550–650550–6801100–133023–28
Washington University in St. LouisMidwest710–770760–8001470–157032–35
Wayne State UniversityMidwest510-610500-6001010-121021-27
Western Michigan UniversityMidwest500-600490-690990-129020-26
Wheaton College (IL)Midwest620–710590–7101210–142027–32
Xavier UniversityMidwest540–630530–6201070–125022–28TO
Amherst CollegeNew England690–760700–7801390–154031–34
Babson CollegeNew England620–690650–7601340–148028–32
Bates CollegeNew England640–720650–7401290–146029–32TO
Bennington CollegeNew England640–730590–6601230–139028–32TO
Bentley UniversityNew England600–680640–7301240–141028–32
Boston CollegeNew England650–720670–7701320–149031–34
Boston UniversityNew England650–720680–7801330–150030–33
Bowdoin CollegeNew England650–740650–7701300–151030–34TO
Brandeis UniversityNew England630–720650–7801280–150029–33TO
Brown UniversityNew England700–760720–7901420–155032–35
Clark UniversityNew England610–700590–6901200–139028–31TO
Colby CollegeNew England670–740680–7701350–151031–33TO
College of the Holy CrossNew England640–710640–7101280–142028–32TO
Connecticut CollegeNew England650–710640–7201290–143030–32TO
Dartmouth CollegeNew England700–770720–7901420–156031–35
Emerson CollegeNew England610–690590–7001200–139027–31TO
Fairfield UniversityNew England600–660590–6801190–134026–30TO
Harvard University New England720–780740–8001460–158033–35
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyNew England720–770780–8001500–157034–36
Middlebury CollegeNew England660–730670–7701330–150031–34TF 
Mount Holyoke CollegeNew England640–720650–7801290–150029–32TO
Northeastern UniversityNew England670–750690–7901360–154032–34
Providence CollegeNew England610–670600–6901210–136026–30TO
Quinnipiac UniversityNew England550–630540–6301090–126023–28TO
Rhode Island School of DesignNew England600–690580–7501180–144026–32TO
Simmons UniversityNew England580–660550–6401130–130024–30
Smith CollegeNew England670–750670–7701340–152031–34TO
St. Michael’s CollegeNew England580–670560–6501140–132025–29TO
Stonehill CollegeNew England570–650560–6501130–130024–29TO
Trinity College (Hartford)New England630–710670–7501300–146029–32TO
Tufts UniversityNew England680–750700–7801380–153031–34
United States Coast Guard AcademyNew England615–700630–7201245–142026–31
University of ConnecticutNew England600–690610–7301210–142026–31
University of MaineNew England530-630520-6201050-125022-27
University of Massachusetts, ​AmherstNew England600–680600–7101200–139026–31
University of New HampshireNew England550–640540–6401090–128023–28TO
University of Rhode IslandNew England550-630540-6301090-126023-27
University of VermontNew England600–680580–6801180–136026–31
Wellesley CollegeNew England670–740660–7801330–152030–34
Wesleyan UniversityNew England660–740660–7601320–150030–34TO
Williams CollegeNew England710–760700–7901410–155032–35
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteNew England630–700670–7501300–145029–33TO
Yale UniversityNew England720–770730–7901450–156033–35
Abilene Christian UniversitySouth530–620510–6101040–123021–27
Agnes Scott CollegeSouth570–690520–6401090–132023–29TO
Appalachian State UniversitySouth560–640540–6301100–127023–28
Auburn UniversitySouth580–650570–6601150–131025–30
Austin CollegeSouth570–670560–6601130–133022–27TO
Baylor UniversitySouth600–680590–6901190–137026–31
Berea CollegeSouth520–590510–6231030–121322–27
Berry CollegeSouth570–660540–6501110–131023–29
Birmingham-​Southern College South520–640520–6101040–125022–28TO
Centre CollegeSouth590–705600–7151190–142027–32
Christopher Newport UniversitySouth570–650540–6301110–128023–28TO
Clemson UniversitySouth610–690610–7101220–140027–32
College of CharlestonSouth550–640520–6101070–125022–28
College of William & MarySouth660–730650–7601310–149030–33
Davidson CollegeSouth640–720650–7301290–145029–33
Duke UniversitySouth710–770740–8001450–157033–35
East Carolina UniversitySouth520-590510-5901030-118019-24
Elon UniversitySouth580–670570–6601150–133025–30
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical UnivSouth560–650550–6701110–132022–29TO
Emory UniversitySouth660–730690–7901350–152031–34
Florida Institute of TechnologySouth570–660580–6801150–134025–30
Florida InternationalSouth560-640530-6201090-126023-27
Florida State UniversitySouth610–680590–6701200–135026–30
Furman UniversitySouth630–710600–7001230–141028–32TO
George Mason UniversitySouth570–660550–6601120–132024–30TO
Georgia Institute of TechnologySouth680–750710–7901390–154031–34
Georgia SouthernSouth540-610520-5901060-120021-25
Georgia StateSouth500-590490-600990-119021-26
Hampden-Sydney CollegeSouth530–630520–6201050–125021–27
Hampton UniversitySouth530–670510–6401040–131019–24TO
Hendrix CollegeSouth600–700553–6901153–139026–32TO
High Point UniversitySouth550–630540–6201090–125022–27TO
Hollins UniversitySouth560–660510–6201070–128024–29
James Madison UniversitySouth570–650550–6401120–129023–28TO
John Brown UniversitySouth530–695530–6701060–136523–30
Kennesaw State UniversitySouth550-640530-6301080-127021-26
Lipscomb UniversitySouth540–660520–6601060–132022–29
Louisiana State Univ, ​Baton RougeSouth540–640530–6501070–129023–29
Loyola University New OrleansSouth550–640510–6001060–124022–28
Mercer UniversitySouth600–670580–6701180–134025–30
Millsaps CollegeSouth550–630530–6301080–126022–28
Mississippi State UniversitySouth540–660530–6701070–133022–29
Morehouse CollegeSouth510–610500–6001010–121020–25
New College of FloridaSouth630–720590–7001220–142026–31
North Carolina State Univ, ​RaleighSouth620–680630–7101250–139027–31
Oklahoma State UniversitySouth540–640520–6401060–128022–28
Presbyterian College (SC)South510–620500–5901010–121019–25TO
Queens University of CharlotteSouth520–618513–6001033–121821–26
Randolph-Macon CollegeSouth520–630500–6101020–124020–27
Rhodes CollegeSouth630–700610–7101240–141028–31
Rice UniversitySouth700–760750–8001450–156033–35
Rollins CollegeSouth590–680560–6801150–136024–30TO
Samford UniversitySouth552–650520–6201072–127023–29
Sewanee—​University of the SouthSouth610–700590–6901200–139025–31TO
Southern Methodist UniversitySouth630–710650–7501280–146029–33
Southwestern UniversitySouth580–680550–6501130–133023–29TO
Spelman CollegeSouth560–630520–5901080–122022–26
Stetson UniversitySouth570–660550–6401120–130023–29TO
Texas A&M Univ, ​College StationSouth580–680590–7001170–138025–31
Texas Christian UniversitySouth580–660570–6831150–134326–30
Texas Lutheran UniversitySouth490–580500–580990–116019–25
Texas State UniversitySouth510-600500-5801010-118020-26
Texas Tech UniversitySouth540-620630-6201170-124022-27
The CitadelSouth520–610510–6101030–122020–25
Transylvania UniversitySouth560–640540–6701100–131024–30TO
Trinity UniversitySouth630–710630–7201260–143028–32
Tulane UniversitySouth670–730680–7601350–149030–33
University of AlabamaSouth540–640520–6401060–128023–31
University of ArkansasSouth560–650540–6401100–129023–29
University of Central FloridaSouth590-670570-6701160-134025-29
University of DallasSouth570–680550–6601120–134023–29
University of FloridaSouth640–710640–7301280–144027–32
University of GeorgiaSouth630–700610–7101240–141027–32
University of HoustonSouth570-650560-6601130-131022-28
University of KentuckySouth550–650530–6501080–130023–29
University of Mary WashingtonSouth540–649510–6201050–126922–29TO
University of MemphisSouth500-620470-590970-121019-26
University of MiamiSouth620–690630–7401250–143029–32
University of MississippiSouth530–640520–6301050–127021–29TO
University of N Carolina, ​Chapel HillSouth640–720630–7501270–147027–33
University of N Carolina, ​WilmingtonSouth590–660600–6601190–132023–27
University of North Carolina, CharlotteSouth560-630560-6401120-127021-26
University of North Carolina, GreensboroSouth500-590490-570990-116020-25
University of North GeorgiaSouth580-660530-6101110-127022-27
University of North TexasSouth540-640520-6201060-126020-26
University of OklahomaSouth580–670560–6801140–135023–29
University of RichmondSouth640–710650–7501290–146030–33
University of South CarolinaSouth600–670590–6901190–136025–30
University of South FloridaSouth590–660580–6701170–133025–29
University of TennesseeSouth580–660570–6701150–133025–31
University of Texas, ArlingtonSouth530-630530-6301060-126020-26
University of Texas, ​AustinSouth620–720610–7601230–148027–33
University of Texas, ​DallasSouth600–700620–7401220–144025–32
University of Texas, El PasoSouth390-510430-540820-105017-23TO*
University of Texas, Rio Grande ValleySouth480-570470-550950-112017-22
University of Texas, San AntonioSouth520-620520-6001040-122020-25
University of TulsaSouth590–710590–7001180–141025–32
University of VirginiaSouth660–730670–7701330–150030–34
Vanderbilt UniversitySouth700–760750–8001450–156033–35
Virginia Commonwealth UniversitySouth550–640520–6201070–126021–28TO
Virginia Military InstituteSouth560–660540–6501100–131024–30
Wake Forest UniversitySouth650–710660–7601310–147029–33TO
Washington and Lee UniversitySouth670–730678–7601348–149031–34
West Virginia UniversitySouth530-620520-6201050-124021-27
Western Kentucky UniversitySouth500-600480-590980-119020-27
Wofford CollegeSouth600–670580–6801180–135027–30TO
Arizona State University, ​TempeWest570–670560–6901130–136022–29
Biola UniversityWest540–640520–6201060–126021–27
Brigham Young University, ​ProvoWest600–710590–7101190–142026–31
Cal Poly, PomonaWest520–610510–6401030–125019–27
Cal Poly, ​San Luis ObispoWest620–700620–7301240–143026–32
California Institute of TechnologyWest740–780790–8001530–158035–36
California Lutheran UniversityWest540–630530–6201070–125021–26
California State University, ChicoWest500-600500-5901000-119018-24
California State University, FresnoWest460–560450–550910–111016–22
California State University, FullertonWest520–610520–6101040–122019–24
California State University, Long BeachWest520–620520–6301040–125020–26
California State University, Los AngelesWest450–540440–540890–108015–20
California State University, Monterey BayWest480–590480–570960–116017–23
California State University, NorthridgeWest470–570460–560930–113016–22
California State University, SacramentoWest470-570470-570940-114017-23
California State University, San BernardinoWest460-540450-540910-108016-20
Carroll CollegeWest540–640530–6301070–127022–28TO
Chapman UniversityWest600–680590–6901190–137025–30
Claremont McKenna CollegeWest670–730680–7701350–150031–34
Colorado CollegeWest650–720650–7501300–147029–33TO
Colorado School of MinesWest630–710660–7401290–145028–33
Colorado State UniversityWest540–640530–6401070–128023–28
Gonzaga UniversityWest600–670583–6801183–135025–30
Harvey Mudd CollegeWest720–760770–8001490–156034–35
Humboldt State University West490–610480–570970–118016–24
Lewis & Clark CollegeWest640–710590–6801230–139027–31
Loyola Marymount UniversityWest610–690600–7001210–139027–31
Mills CollegeWest513–640495–6001008–124021–29
Northern ArizonaWest520-620510-6101030-123019-25TO
Occidental CollegeWest640–710630–7401270–145028–32
Oregon State UniversityWest540–650540–6601080–131022–28
Pacific Lutheran UniversityWest540–640530–6301070–127020–28
Pepperdine UniversityWest610–690610–7301220–142026–32
Pitzer CollegeWest670–730670–7601340–149030–33TO
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityWest580–650560–6501140–130024–29
Pomona CollegeWest700–760700–7801400–154031–34
Portland State UniversityWest510-630500-6001010-123018-25TO*
Reed CollegeWest670–750640–7701310–152030–33
San Diego State UniversityWest560–650550–6501110–130022–28
San Francisco State UniversityWest480–590470–570950–116017–23TO
San Jose State UniversityWest520–620520–6401040–126019–26TO
Santa Clara UniversityWest630–700640–7401270–144028–32
Scripps CollegeWest660–740640–7401300–148030–33
Seattle UniversityWest570–660560–6601130–132024–30
Soka University of AmericaWest570–670610–7401180–141025–30
St. Mary’s College of CaliforniaWest540–630520–6201060–125022–27
Stanford UniversityWest700–770720–8001420–157032–35
Thomas Aquinas CollegeWest630–720590–6801220–140025–30
United States Air Force AcademyWest610–690620–7201230–141028–33
University of Alaska, AnchorageWest530-630510-6201040-125018-24TO
University of ArizonaWest540–650530–6601070–131021–28TO
University of California, ​BerkeleyWest640–740660–7901300–153028–34
University of California, ​DavisWest570–670580–7401150–141025–31
University of California, ​IrvineWest580–690600–7501180–1440N/A
University of California, ​Los AngelesWest640–740630–7801270–152028–34
University of California, MercedWest500–600500–5901000–119018–24
University of California, RiversideWest560–650550–6801110–133023–29
University of California, ​San DiegoWest620–700630–7701250–147026–33
University of California, ​Santa BarbaraWest620–710610–7701230–148026–32
University of California, ​Santa CruzWest580–680590–7201170–140024–31
University of Colorado, ​BoulderWest580–670570–6901150–136025–30
University of DenverWest590–690580–6801170–137026–31TO
University of Hawaii at ManoaWest530–620525–6201055–124020–25
University of La VerneWest510–600510–6051020–120520–26TO
University of Nevada, Las VegasWest520-620510-6201030-124019-24
University of New MexicoWest520-630510-6301030-126019-25
University of OregonWest550–650530–6401080–129022–28
University of PortlandWest580–660560–6601140–132023–28
University of Puget SoundWest580–680550–6701130–135025–30TO
University of RedlandsWest550–640530–6201080–126023–28
University of San DiegoWest600–670590–6901190–136025–30
University of San FranciscoWest570–660560–6701130–133023–29TO
University of Southern CaliforniaWest660–740690–7901350–153030–34
University of the PacificWest560–660560–6901120–135022–30
University of UtahWest570–670560–6801130–135022–29
University of WashingtonWest600–700620–7601220–146027–32
Utah StateWest530-650520-6401050-129021-28
Washington State UniversityWest510–610510–6001020–121020–26
Weber StateWest------18-24TO
Westmont CollegeWest570–690540–6801110–137023–33
Whitman CollegeWest640–720640–7201280–144029–32TO
Whittier CollegeWest520–613510–6001030–121320–25TO
Willamette UniversityWest600–690570–6601170–135025–30TO

* Schools marked with an asterisk are only test optional for some students. Check the school’s specific admission policy to see if you qualify to apply without standardized test scores.


Art Sawyer

About Art Sawyer

Art graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he was the top-ranked liberal arts student in his class. Art pioneered the one-on-one approach to test prep in California in 1989 and co-founded Compass Education Group in 2004 in order to bring the best ideas and tutors into students' homes and computers. Although he has attained perfect scores on all flavors of the SAT and ACT, he is routinely beaten in backgammon.


  • Avatar William says:

    Hi Art,

    I am a senior at Duke University writing an honors thesis about the impacts of collegiate sports success on applications (both quantity and quality) to a university, and I am wondering if you have this information in a dataset containing multiple years (as many as possible). I need to look at the year-to-year changes within the scores, and therefore would very much appreciate access to this information.

    Thank you very much,

  • Avatar SSun says:

    Hi, I’m a senior in high school and I go to an IB school, and I have a superscored 1480 in the SAT and I’m almost certain my predicted grade is going to be a 38 out of 45. I was thinking about applying to colleges like Emory, UIUC, U. San Diego. Do you think my scores match up to their range? Am I a competitive applicant?

  • Avatar Nait says:

    Mr. Sawyer,
    My son took ACT and got his ACT score 32 (comp32, Eng34, Sci34, R28, M32). He will be in senior this fall. He is doing well in school leadership and serving in public school committee. He planned to re-take ACT on Sept. 8 so he can improve his Reading and Math. He will apply an early action to Harvard this fall. Can you let me know how much of a chance to his dream/ivy schools?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I can’t provide your student with the chances that he will be admitted to a dream/ivy. I would say that the 32 would be at the low end of scores for admitted students at the most competitive colleges. Admission is about far more than scores, of course.

  • Avatar Tiffany says:

    My 5th Grader took her ACT with Writing and SAT Literature. She scored a 17 on her ACT and 20 in Reading. On the SAT Literature test she scored a 400 — I TOLD HER TO TRY FOR EVERY ANSWER!!! Is that a good score for a 5th grader?????? They gave her a verbal IQ test and she scored in 97% percentile. She can be in those gifted and talented programs for young children.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      There aren’t norms for such young students, so it is difficult to say exactly. Considering that the average ACT score for high school seniors is about 21, it is an excellent achievement!

  • Avatar Lewis says:

    Dear Mr. Sawyer,
    My school has a GPA 4.0 grading scale and doesn’t offer any extra points above that.
    But last year, the average GPA of the admitted freshman class at Harvard University was 4.04 on the 4.0 scale.
    How am I supposed to compete with others if their schools provide GPA higher than 4.0 ?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Harvard — and almost every other college — will look at your unweighted grades. Admission offices prefer to make their own decisions about grades and courses rather than automatically accepting a high school’s weighting. The 4.04 you have seen cited is not accurate.

  • Avatar George says:

    My son is currently in Lincoln Park IB program. It is the top-ranked in Chicago and top hundred in the nation. He is still a junior and there is still another quarter left in his year and he already has a 4.2 weighted GPA. He wishes to become a doctor and has worked for many, shadowed a lot and has taken all the courses that are necessary. He took the ACT and got a 27, and he just finished the SAT. With the 27 and the rest of his achievements how good of a chance does he stand???

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      My expertise is in admission testing and not admissions, so I don’t feel qualified to state his chances. They certainly vary by college, and there are any number of excellent colleges that will prepare your son well for medical school.

  • Avatar Anthony says:

    Hello Sir,
    My son took the SAT for the second time and he got 10 more questions correct, however his SAT score remained the same. Could this be a scoring error?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      The raw score to scaled score relationship can vary from test to test. The scaling is meant to adjust for small (well, maybe not so small in your son’s case) differences in overall question difficulty. The second test would have had “easier” questions, so students of the same ability level would have gotten more questions correct on that test. Presumably the 10 questions were spread among Math and ERW, since I’ve never seen a single 200-800 scale be off by that much.

  • Avatar Lori says:

    Hello Art,

    My son goes to a top private day school (all boys in NYC).
    He took the SAT at the beginning of his junior year, even before the PSAT.
    He scored 800 and 790 (math). On both tests he answered all the questions correctly. On the Math, apparently he skipped one question (unintentionally).
    His only prep for the SAT was one mock test and two private tutoring session just to become familiar with the test and the testing process.
    In light of everything I’ve heard lately, I’m annoyed his college counselor told him “No!” emphatically when my son queried about taking the SAT to try for a perfect 1600. (He also qualified for National Merit but he was told “don’t bother pursuing it.”
    Putting things in perspective he took six APs and scored all 5s (and on the SAT subject tests which are not considered all that meaningful nowadays he scored all 800s)
    The weird thing he’s very strong in math and physics.
    The reason I’m now convinced a 1600 in lieu of a 1590 can really make a difference at his first choice schools (Yale, Brown) is the concept that a 1600 means the particular student might have the potential to reach a much higher ceiling if the test had a much higher bar at the top. Plus, in very competitive merit based scholarships with tons of applicants, (like at USC) where scores count a lot, 1590s can all be automatically eliminated, leaving just candidates with1600s. Lastly, the US Presidential Scholars require a minimum score of 1600 in NY State to even be under consideration.
    I’m definitely flummoxed by the school’s counselor’s attitude especially since it was my son’s first attempt. He has been accepted to Cambridge University (UK) to read Natural Sciences on a master’s track…which every one thinks is very impressive. But he was deferred from Yale (his ED choice).
    Thoughts about whether or not going for the 1600 would have been worth it?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Your son’s testing portfolio is so strong that the difference between a 1590 and 1600 is definitely of no consequence from an admission standpoint. In defense of your counselor, I don’t know of one who would have provided different guidance. Colleges do not distinguish between candidates at 1590 and 1600, and while I am not familiar with every single scholarship program, I can assure you that USC does not draw a hard line at 1600. The unfortunate structure of the the Presidential Scholar criteria does mean that a 1590 is considered less than a 1600 because the former concords to a 35 ACT. This shows the weakness of concordance as a tool and the inanity of using such small differences in tests that are not designed for the task.

      I am confused of the advice not to pursue National Merit (there is simply no downside). On the other hand, Finalist status comes too late to really play a role in admission (at some schools it can play a role in financial aid).

      Your son’s own performance is proof that even a student capable of scoring higher than a 1600 (in a theoretical sense) can also make mistakes. The SAT would have to be several times as long as it currently is to accurately distinguish a “1590 student” from a “1600 student.”

  • Avatar Chad says:

    Good Evening Art,

    I am currently active duty in the United States Navy and it has been a long time since reapplying myself to school due to deployments and my duties. My SAT score has expired “exceeded three years” Two questions, 1. Will my past SAT score effect the SAT coming up or will the two average out? and 2. Will my past grades in a college although over 5 years ago effect my chances of getting in a higher university? Thank you for your time!

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      You are able to send older SAT scores; it just may require going through some added hoops. Colleges will generally prefer more recent scores, though. Your more current scores will be what matter — no averaging.

      Your college coursework and grades are the bigger question mark, and I would recommend contacting some of the colleges on your list to see if you will be applying as a first-year student or as a transfer student.

  • Avatar George says:

    I would like to transfer out of my university for my sophomore year. I am currently in my second semester of freshman year. How much would my SAT scores and high school GPA matter in that scenario compared to my college grades and current extracurriculars?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      The standards vary by college, but it would be common for colleges to consider college GPA, HS GPA, and SAT scores as primary factors for transfers after freshman year.

  • Avatar Saby says:

    My son’s new SAT score is 1490 ( Math 800 and EBRW 690). He has won few International conferences (in modern united nations) competitions. He has few other extracurricular activities and social works to his belt. His GPA score is definitely above 4.5 through out career. He also has few summer internships experience during summer months. Not sure what else he needs to do to get into Ivy league or best USA computer engineering (software) programs. Please guide.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I can only competently provide guidance on testing. Your son would benefit from a higher EBRW, and Subject Test scores might also help his candidacy. There is no one formula for admission to top universities.

      • Avatar Saby says:

        Thanks Art. Your mail is noted. He is preparing for his subject tests now along with his TOFEL. He tried second attempt on SAT and unfortunately his EBRW score remained the same. We only can hope for best keeping in mind other parameters to make his profile stronger for best computer science programs. Thank you once again. Cheers!!!

  • Avatar Katheryn says:

    Mr. Sawyer,
    What chance, as a homeschooler, do I have of getting into the top ten colleges in the country? According to a U.S news article, most of them accept homeschoolers.
    Thank you,

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Colleges try to recruit great students from everywhere, and homeschooling has seen strong growth over the last couple decades. I don’t know of a college that wouldn’t accept a homeschooler. That said, colleges tend to depend more heavily on standardized test scores and often have additional requirements — such as Subject Tests — for homeschoolers. Even when tests are not required, they can help make colleges comfortable with a students skills — since class rank doesn’t apply and GPA is undependable or unavailable.

  • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

    The scores shown are for the SAT and ACT. Only a small number of colleges require SAT Subject Tests.

  • Avatar charan says:

    is it necessary to send scores of sat to 4 colleges

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      You may be referring to the four score reports that College Board provides for free with test registration. You do not have to use these included reports. In most cases, we advise skipping them so that you can use Score Choice. Unfortunately, this does mean paying for individual score reports ($12 each).

  • Avatar Jay says:

    My daughter took ACT test at her junior year and got perfect score of 36. She also finished SAT test last year and got score of 1540. Her PSAT score was also good and was on the national simi-finalist. Her ACT score is better than SAT score. She is trying to apply top 10 school such as Harvard, Stanford, U. Chicargo, U. Penn, Columbia, etc. Some of the school only require either ACT or SAT test report, but some school asked send all the test report whatever you have taken including subject test. We are wondering if she should only send ACT score or need to send both ACT and SAT score? Will be any negtive impact if school received both scores. When Collegeboard send subject test, will they send all test report?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      In your daughter’s case, there would be no negative impact in sending both scores. I know of only 1 or 2 schools that require all scores including STs and only a handful of top schools that would require her to send the SAT score. A student always has the option of choosing Score Choice when sending College Board reports (although, as you point out, some schools instruct students not to use Score Choice). The default is for College Board to send all reports.

  • Avatar Yili says:

    My son took the new SAT in his ten grade in the August, and got 1570, he took the old SAT in his eight grade, and got 2180.
    He took the SAT math II, got 790.
    He is studying the Calculus AB and AP biology. Do you think he need to retest the SAT, he will retest the SAT math II next month.
    Thank you.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      His 1570 from sophomore year will be accepted by colleges, and I don’t think that his test portfolio would be improved by shooting for a 1580-1600. One thing to consider is that the August SAT may be too early to serve as a confirming score if he qualifies for National Merit Semifinalist in his junior year. Given his outstanding performance on the SAT, I’d say that he has a very good chance. He’ll get his sophomore PSAT scores — assuming that he is taking it — in December, so that will give you added information.

  • Avatar Muhammad says:

    I want to study in USA. Do I have to give only SAT 1 to get admission in university or SAT Subject is required too? Pleasse sir help me. I am a bit nervous about it. I want to be an engineer. I have no SAT Scores yet. My test is next month. I hope to get more than 1200 marks. Are these scores enough? Some people say that besides SAT 1 and SAT Subject I have to participate in TOEFL too. Is it correct?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I’m afraid that full answers to your questions are far too complex to deal with here. Most colleges do not require Subject Tests for U.S. students, but a greater number expect them from international students, because colleges are less likely to be familiar with an applicant’s academic training. You’ll need to visit each college’s website to see details for international applicants, as we have not compiled that information. You can use the numbers on this page to understand how competitive your SAT scores are. You’ll want to examine schools where your scores put you into the 25th to 75th percentile of enrolled students. Requirements for TOEFL will also vary. If your schooling has been in English, you may be able to skip the TOEFL. Students studying in a language other than English should plan on taking TOEFL. Again, your best bet is to check with the individual colleges. Good luck.

  • Avatar Richard says:

    My rising senior son new SAT is 1360 (Math 670, and EBRW 690). his lowest grade is 93 in high school, and his GPA is 3.97-4.12. He has taken 6 APs and will take another 5 AP in senior year. His dream college is Georgia institute of Technology. we are GA residents. Do you think he need improve his SAT further, particularly Math score?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I’m not equipped to gauge your son’s chances at GaTech overall, but I’ll give you some data points to consider. For the class of 2017 (college class of 2021), GaTech announced that the average SAT score for accepted students was 1458. Acceptance rates for GA residents run twice that of non-residents, but the school does not breakout the characteristics of each group (at least not that I found). GaTech also said that admitted students averaged 10.6 college level courses. It’s interesting how close your son’s 11 APs would be to this average. Your son’s 1360 is toward the low end of scores for enrolled students, which indicates that he’d likely benefit from a higher score.

  • Avatar Nick says:

    Hi Art,
    I am a high school sophomore looking to get into highly selective schools such as UChicago, Northwestern, WashU in St. Louis, etc. Freshman year I got a 1240 on the PSAT, and a 27 on the ACT. This year I got a 1320 and a 32. I’m fairly certain I will be able raise my scores again next year. Do you think where I’m at with my test scores gives me a shot at being accepted? Also do you think it is worthwhile for me to take subject tests, I would probably do math and chemistry.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      It sounds like you are on the right path. As you can see from the score ranges, the schools you are looking at have extremely high 25th-75th percentile ranges. You’ll want to get into the 34-36 range to feel comfortable about your score. Keep in mind that an ACT score should be viewed more as a “ticket to play” rather than as something that will get you admitted. It’s difficult, in other words, to be accepted with a low score, but a high score is no guarantee of success — so many other factors are involved.

      Subject Tests are useful if you do very well on them. The good news is that College Board just released 2 new chemistry tests (available in bookstores) and will be releasing new math tests in the fall. This means that you can see how you would do on actual exams. I would not recommend taking them unless you are applying to a Subject Tests Required college and can achieve at least a 700+ (750+ is ideal).

  • Avatar Peter says:


    I am a 11th Grade international student applying for university in the fall. My dream school is Stanford, to study economics/civil engineering. I got a score of 1550 (M800+English750) on the New SAT last year. Should I take the Subject Tests?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      You need to consider how well you might perform (practice tests are available). As an international student, you face intense competition at one of the most competitive colleges in the country. Subject Tests can help you demonstrate your academic achievements. On the other hand, weak Subject Test scores will not help strengthen your “testing portfolio.” If you can get in the 750-800 range, I would recommend Subject Tests. Stanford, by the way, makes an exception to its “all test scores” requirement for Subject Tests, so you can always keep your scores to yourself.

  • Avatar Amber says:

    Good evening,
    This may have already been addressed and I overlooked it. I am wondering about how SAT scores are read. If a student takes the test ore than once, do schools look at the highest subject on each to create a compiled score or do they just take the highest total text score?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Combining the highest section scores to make a new total score is referred to colloquially as “superscoring.” Most colleges now superscore, but there are notable exceptions. We have another post that provides the superscoring policies of the Compass 360.

  • Avatar Saurabh says:

    My son has a new SAT score of 1560 and he is 99% percentile as per SAT. He has all AP subkects and he has B+ in all. Also he is involved in extensive music program throughout his High school. He is in Marching Band as a section leader and also part of School Jazz Band which he travels around the world and in different states for competition. His goal yp get into UPENN Brown or Johns Hopkins school. What are his chance and what he can do to get scholarships from IVY league schools. Your reply is appreciated.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      While I feel qualified to address test scores, I don’t feel qualified to address chances for admission — there are simply too many factors involved. Ivy League schools do not offer academic scholarships. Instead, they base financial aid on financial need. Other competitive colleges do have merit-based aid, so the Ivy League should not be used as a general rule.

  • Avatar Janet says:

    Hi, Art,
    First, thank you for taking time reading my question.
    My junior son’s new SAT score came out yesterday, he scored perfect score in Math ( 800) and 670 in English, that made his New Sat score to 98 percentiles, he will focus on his 4 SAT subjects tests and 2 AP tests in May and June 2017– he likes to be in Biology/ pre med or Medical fields in college and his dream school is Stanford Univ ( duh!)’ he plans to take 5 APs including AP Biology, BC Calculus AP Environmental Bio. He is also in school Math team, outdoor track Varsity team, indoor track Varsity team and the president/ founder of school badminton clubs, National Honor Society member– he competed in State indoor track, outdoor track, Math and History in sophomore and junior year as well. He also taking Bio Medicine in the society college and scored A+ last summer.
    Do you think he needs to take another SAT test or ACT test? He says he doesn’t need to take any ACT but I’m not sure about this, also, could you suggests us if there’s anything he needs to do to let the colleges he plans to imply feel ” impressed”? Thank you so much!!

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Your son has a great “resume,” and I’d hate to see test scores hold him back. His 670 is weak for colleges at his dream level, so I would recommend retaking the SAT or, at minimum, taking a practice ACT and seeing how he performs. I’m not a college counselor, so I don’t feel qualified to handle the “impressed” part of your question.

  • Avatar Jacob says:

    Hello, I got a 1550 on the new SAT with a perfect 800 math, and a 7/8 on the essay. Would this be considered a strong enough score for admissions to schools like University of Pennsylvania or Harvard? Or should I consider retaking?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      You should not retake the test. A higher score will not tip a decision. Make sure you have your Subject Test scores in place and focus on your applications (and grades, of course!).

  • Avatar Jehanara says:

    Hello Art-

    My son is a high school junior. He took a SAT prep class the summer before junior year and scored a 1480 on the new SAT in Dec 2016. He re-took the new SAT on March 25th and his school is administering a SAT on April 11th. He aspires to apply to schools that are quite competitive, Rice, Brown, Duke etc. He hopes to get a higher than 1530 score but is using mostly a more practice strategy rather than new study skills. He has taken the subject Bio SAT sophomore year and got a 730. He plans to try the Math Lvl II SAT and Chemistry SAT on May 6th. He is taking AP Calc AB and AP Chemistry as a junior.

    1. Should he try the ACT? He is not fast at reading comprehension.
    2. Subject Chemistry: does studying for the AP Chemistry exam usually cover the subject Chem study material?
    3. Does he need to carve out time to study for the Math LvL II SAT or is the content similar to the math on the new SAT?
    4. At what SAT score point (1500? 1530?) this June should he stop trying the SAT and hold with his score, his unweighted GPA is around a 3.9. Does taking the SAT repeatedly actually improve one’s score?

    Thank you.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Sorry for the delay. I hope things went well for your son!
      1. He should take a practice ACT — one released by ACT — under timed conditions. I recommend that students base decisions off of scores rather than off rules of thumb — every student is different. If he ends up scoring in the mid-1500’s, I don’t think there is much of an advantage to taking the ACT.
      2. Yes. In general, the AP Chemistry test expects a deeper knowledge than the Chemistry Subject Test. They are different enough, though, that I encourage your son to take a practice test or two in the Subject Test format (it will only take him 1 hour per test and a little time to review his errors). The Relationship Analysis questions are like nothing on the AP (or on any other Subject Test).
      3. Math 2 is considerably more advanced than the math on the new SAT. Only in the most basic sense is SAT prep directly relevant to Math 2, I’m afraid.
      4. The first part is not one that I can answer for your son. After all, it’s your son — not me — who has to do the work. As you might imagine, the chance of going down increases with higher scores. It’s preparing for the test — not repetition alone — that will raise his score.

  • Avatar Diotima says:

    Fascinating! Thank you very much. 🙂

  • Avatar Diotima says:

    Hi, Art,

    Lately I’ve been reading several lively discussions about the accuracy – or not – of the SAT concordance. In particular, as colleges release their ED statistics, the concordance appears to be low by some 10 – 40 points, especially at the 700 and above level.

    For example, here’s Vanderbilt Early Decision Class of 2021: https://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/vandybloggers/2017/02/class-of-2021-early-decision-summary-statistics/

    Old SAT
    Middle 50% Critical Reading: 710-790
    Middle 50% Math: 750-800

    New SAT
    Middle 50% Evidence Based Reading and Writing: 710-760
    Middle 50% Math: 730-790

    Middle 50% ACT: 33-34

    I’ve seen similar figures in scores from Boston College, Williams, Virginia and U Georgia. Would you care to share anything you might be seeing or hearing on this subject?



    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      This is a topic I’ve looked at closely the last couple of weeks as we developed a presentation for college counselors. In addition to the schools you mentioned, I looked at 2020 and 2021 ED data for GaTech, Dartmouth, and Georgetown. I’ve also analyzed PSAT and SAT data for multiple classes and sub-groups.

      My evidence is that it is not a problem with the concordance, per se. In other words, all of the pure testing evidence shows the expected increase in scores (at least within a reasonable range). It’s not a familiar role for me to defend College Board, but it seems that they did a reasonable job. I’ll add the caveat that the place on the scale where it is hardest to verify the success of the concordance is in the 750-800 range that comes into play at many of these colleges.

      We are left with student behavior and college behavior/policies to best explain what we are seeing. I’m not sure that we’ll ever be fully able to explain things without a research study involving colleges and the College Board. I doubt that will happen, because the old SAT is a non-issue going forward.

      Some parts of the explanation are less speculative than others. First, there has been a significant shift to the ACT in the applicant pool. Among the high scoring students at these schools, it represents the biggest shift in history. Similarly, there was a burst of activity of students taking the old SAT pre-March. Few of the colleges provide a distribution of results for both the class of 2020 and 2021 across the different tests. If we assume that there was a bias among high scoring students toward the ACT or toward the old SAT, then we would expect to see lower than expected new SAT scores. This bias would also be more likely with ED/EA students, as they often want to get testing done early, and the new SAT represented a real problem with that plan. There is also a chance that the self-selection bias led to sub-optimal decisions in testing patterns and in preparation. Did the student who would have tried to go from a 700/700 old SAT decide not to retake with a 730/740 new SAT? And even if they wanted to, did they have the time? There is also the possibility that students’ preparation for the new SAT was inadequate. At minimum, they didn’t have Oct-Jan junior year tests to inform their new SAT decisions.

      Score choice and superscoring effects would be interesting to parse out. The latter certainly worked against SAT takers this year. ED/EA applicants were probably fairly evenly split between old SAT and new SAT testing, yet their scores are in separate buckets for superscoring. ACT early testers and ACT late testers had the opportunity to superscore all of their dates. The impact of Score Choice is less clear, but it’s yet another place for sub-optimal decisions. Did students release the “right” scores?

      Also unclear in most cases are the definitions used by colleges. If a student submitted old and new SAT scores, how did colleges report them in their press releases? If they based it on “best scores,” were those best scores determined via concordance?

      The area of behavior that we are all most intrigued by is how colleges thought about the new scores. Did they, in a sense, misuse them? Did admission officers, for instance, retain hard-coded pathways in their brains that treated everything above 750 as interchangeable? Some have speculated that because colleges did not explicitly use the concordance — Georgetown and UVa being obvious examples — that this automatically disadvantaged one group or the other. That’s not necessarily the case. Some colleges choose not to use an SAT/ACT concordance, yet they are able to come to reasonable conclusions through intra-group comparisons.

      I’d like to say that this will all be sorted out with Regular Decision, but I’m certain that it won’t be. It looks like the class of 2018 will represent the first opportunity to see where ACT and new SAT scores really fall out in the new landscape.

  • Avatar Karl says:

    My daughter is a Junior at a top rated public HS in MA. She just received her second round of SAT scores. A Super Score puts her at 1490. She took the Biology subject test in 9th grade and received a 700. She’ll have 6 APs by the time she completes her Senior year. Her GPA is a weighted 4.68 out of a possible 4.8 (adjusted North for Honors and AP Selections). She’s interested in Brown as a reach and Bowdoin, Tufts, Amherst as targets and Conn College, Bucknell as safeties. She’s got 7 letters in two sports, a class officer, NHS, Theater etc… Her interests lie in biosciences but she’s a well rounded student who enjoys a broad liberal arts curriculum.
    Three Qs…
    1) Can you handicap the school list above? She loves Brown and we know well the take rate is low but she’ll interview exceptionally well.
    2) Is it worth taking a swing at the SATs again?
    3) Worth trying additional subject tests or a retake of BIO since that was 9th grade?

    Appreciate any insights.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      My knowledge goes deep in college admission testing, but I try to recognize my limits in college admission expertise. I’ll beg out of #1 and try to answer #2 and #3. Raising her SAT score could help her chances at her top schools. She is certainly in range with her 1490, but the overall figured include many “hooked” students (if she is at recruitable level in either of her sports, that would be a big boost). She’ll need 2 Subject Tests at Brown and Tufts. Repeating Bio is largely dependent on how her knowledge has improved or degraded. If she has kept up in Biology, I’d encourage her to consider a repeat (a student who really doesn’t want to do a repeat is a student who shouldn’t do a repeat). I believe that all of the schools you’ve listed recognize Score Choice, so she only has to worry about sending her best efforts.

      • Avatar Karl says:

        Thanks so much for the reply and apologies for the belated response. She finally took the ACTs and achieved a 35 composite score. She achieved a 5 on two APs (APUSH and English L&C) last spring, taking 5 AP courses this year (she’s tracking to her historical norm through 1 term). She’s taking AP BIO so will likely retake that SAT subject test. Recruitable in soccer but interested on in playing club for fun.

        ACT was a dramatically different and easier experience for her FWIW.

        • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

          That’s great news. Congratulations to your daughter! Some students just click with one test versus the other. That also works out well with AP Bio and the ST. I still have to beg off on handicapping.

  • Avatar haris says:

    sir, if we are getting upto 1000 sat scrore, is it sure that we will get addmission in universities which require less score than it?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Test scores are just one of many factors that colleges use for admission. Except in limited circumstances, an SAT score alone will not guarantee that you get into a university.

  • Avatar May says:

    Hi I’m a high school junior. I am taking the SAT next Saturday. I scored a 1420 on my psat, but I feel like I didn’t fully prepare for it and I felt like I could have done better. I’ve taken 6 APs, and I plan to take 5 more next year. Do I even stand a chance at an Ivy League?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Your PSAT won’t impact your admission chances, so you have plenty of opportunities to put together a great testing portfolio. If you haven’t already made plans, be sure to consider Subject Tests in May or June. Ivy League admission is always a competitive race that is hard to predict. Your grades will be the number 1 factor. Good luck on the SAT!

  • Avatar Paul says:

    Art, my two daughters attended private women’s colleges in Massachusetts, Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley. Neither had degrees that one would associate with off the bus success, (Economics 2013 and and Anthropolgy Dec 2016) Both have high paying jobs and both have been promoted repeatedly. (Anthropolgy, health care company, promoted 4 politions in 10 months, Ecobomics 3 ;positions in 6 months)

    One thing I think people don’t realize is there’s more to college than the name. An undergrads chances of getting into Harvard are almost nil, yet their chances of getting into Harvard Grad school are quite high, if they go to an affilaite college and have leadership experience in their jobs. IMO, people with daughters that don’t look at the 7 sisters are fools. Both of my daughters know the CEO’s of their companies. The level of confidence and leadership a woman gets from these colleges is worth more than what they learn in a classroom.

    When I look at my daughters, I don’t see me. I didn’t raise them. They were raised by the girl scouts, 4h, European exchange programs and finally, women’s colleges that focus on developing female leaders. Life isn’t a hotrserace.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Thank you for sharing the example of your daughters. It’s easy to get caught up in college admission and forget that life is long, college is short. Success comes from so many places and in so many forms. Of course no one would mistake Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley as anything but excellent colleges. It’s a shame that they are sometimes overlooked.

  • Avatar Natasha says:

    Overlapping a couple of topics here…would a score of 1500 on the new SAT confirm pSAT scores to qualify for National Merit Scholarship finalist? My daughter went into the SAT overly confident after scoring 35 on her SAT, and chose not to put in any prep time for the test. She is now disappointed with her score.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      A 1500 is well above the level needed to qualify as a Finalist. You can calculate an SAT Selection Index (SSI) the same way the Selection Index is calculated from PSAT/NMSQT scores. I personally find the easiest way as doubling the EBRW score, adding the Math score, and dropping a zero. The confirming level for the SSI has been set at 209 for the class of 2017. I can’t calculate your daughter’s exact SSI only knowing the 1500 total score, but I can calculate the very LOWEST that it could be. If I assume a 700 EBRW and 800 Math, her SSI would be (700×2) + 800 = 2200; drop a zero = 220. While her ACT score is stronger, her SAT score will not hold her back in qualifying as a Finalist.

  • Avatar Maryann says:

    Hi Art,

    My son earned a 34 on ACT (English 36, Reading 36, Science 33, Math 31), and he just received his scores for the new SAT of 1480 and a 7 out of 8 on the SAT Writing. He is very upset over the SAT score being lower than he feels he needs for a competitive school, and so we are wondering if it would be a good idea to not have the SAT scores sent to colleges? He has already sent his ACT score, and although I feel his SAT score is respectable, I feel that advice from your would be very helpful. He is the Editor in Chief of the Yearbook, Treasurer of National Honor Society, Vice-President of Key Club, Marching Band, etc.. He has taken 8 AP classes with scores of all 4’s and 5’s. He had two surgeries in 9th grade, which affected his grades then, and so he only has an overall GPA of 3.53 as a Senior. I feel appreciative of any advice you may offer, as I honestly do not know whether his SAT scores will hurt his chances of applying for Ivy schools. Have a great day:

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Your son’s SAT score is respectable; it just so happens that his ACT score is better. Because SAT and ACT scores fill the same niche for admission officers, there is no benefit in submitting both in your son’s case. His ACT score wins. There are some colleges (hello, Yale!) that expect students to send all scores. Even those colleges are generally looking at the more “supportive” scores.

  • Avatar Heidi says:


    My junior son received his new SAT score and he made a 1540. This was the first time that he took the SAT (except for 7th grade through DUKE TIP) . He got 800 on the Reading and Writing section and 740 on the Math section. He also took the essay and he got 8, 7, 7.
    Do you think that rather than retake the SAT it would be enough if he takes the SAT II Math subject test to show colleges that he is a good Math student? He wants to apply to highly selective colleges. He also has 2 subject tests, Biology 760 and World History 800. He wants to study medicine or veterinary medicine.
    Thank You!

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      It looks like I may have neglected to get back to you on this — my apologies. I think that his testing portfolio will be in excellent shape if he can post a good Math 2 score. There is little benefit in trying to move up from a 1540. Although some of the most selective colleges superscore, it is a lower percentage than even highly competitive schools.

  • Avatar Hieu Nguyen says:

    I did the new SAT and received a good EBRW. However the Reading and Writing differ by 7 on the 40 scale. Considering that colleges have given the old Critical Reading more weight than they do for Writing, should I retake the SAT to improve my Reading section?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      That sort of discrepancy is fairy large (140 points if we considered them 200-800 scores), but it is not unexpected in an international student. Grammar rules tend to be easier to master than the close reading skills required on EBR. Colleges gave more weight to the old Critical Reading SAT because of tradition (it pre-dated Writing) and because there was skepticism about the Writing test (much of it swirling around the essay). Most colleges will look at EBRW as the equivalent of an old Verbal Score. I don’t think many will try to parse out the differences between the sections. The obvious question is, “Will you improve your Reading score?” If you feel that you underperformed, then you should re-test. If Reading was in line with the official practice tests, then you should consider whether or not you have the time and resources required to raise your score.

  • Avatar Max Wang says:

    It looks that the author simply added up the other two columns to get the column “SAT Total 25th – 75th percentile”. But that’s extremely misleading. Students in the 75th percentile for Math may not be also in the 75th percentile for EBRW. So the actual total scores for the 75th percentile are lower, probably quite lower while the actual total scores for the 25th are higher than what are shown here.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I appreciate your feedback. As the co-author, I can confirm that we have added EBRW and Math to obtain the Total score. This is explained in the Data Methodology footnote:
      “This does not necessarily produce the same result as if a school reported the 25th percentile Total score and 75th percentile Total score. However, colleges do not report 400-1600 or 600-2400 score in the Common Data Set, and it has been the practice of most publishers to simply sum the component scores.”

      We had to decide whether it was better to leave off the Total score or to present it in this way. Since we knew many students and parents think of a “1410” or a “1250,” we decided to include it. A few colleges have historically presented inter-quartile combined scores. In these cases, the differences from the sum-of-the-scores method proved to be minor. It’s important that all such scores be viewed skeptically. Most colleges and guidebooks provide only scores for enrolled students, for example. The average scores of enrolling students, though, are lower than that of accepted students.

  • Avatar solomon says:

    i have taken the new sat and scored 1420.also i have subject tests 760 math and 700 chemisry.i am looking for a merit based scholarship could i get ful ride at any universty in us? reccomend me if there is any college or universty.i am an international student.

  • Avatar Grateful Dad says:

    I have been following your posts throughout the Compass website with much interest. Without exception, you show incredible insight, wisdom and patience. You will most likely need all three for this question.
    My child has done quite well. He took the Old SAT once and the new SAT once. If you superscore the Old SAT (CR dropping the writing) then he would have a 1600. While I know schools aren’t superscoring in this manner, I have nevertheless been looking at the 75th percentile listings that are in your chart with some interest. You show a handful of schools that show the 75th percentile at 1600 or even 1590.
    If you look at the size of the admitted incoming freshmen class for even one of these schools, it does not seem possible that the top 25% could all have scored a perfect 1600 since presumably there will be less than that number of perfect 1600s in the entire country, much less having the odds of all of those perfect scores attending a single school resulting in a 75th percentile listing of 1600. Am I missing something? How can the 75th percentile be 1600 for one school, much less 4 or 5 schools? Mathematically (I am admittedly not math oriented), it seems that the 75th percentiles would have to be at least in the 1570 to 1590 range even for the most elite schools. In short, are these somewhat inflated?

    Thanks again for your insight….and patience,

    Grateful Dad

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Good questions. In your child’s case, I would recommend using the concordance tables to take his new scores back into the old. The reason I say that is that all of the “true” college numbers are reported as old SAT scores. You can then compare those scores to the 25th – 75th scores reported by the colleges (you can find these in a number of places such as US New or the College Board’s college selection tool. As you point out, you do not want to superscore these, because the colleges won’t. They may evaluate all of the scores holistically, so it is still good to know, for example, that one of the Math SAT scores is better than the other.

      There are several assumptions underlying our table of new score ranges. First, there is the assumption that the concordance tables are accurate! I think they are pretty good. The important assumption is that the admitted classes for 2017 will be similar to earlier classes. If this is true, then the individual Math and EBRW scores should be accurate. The total 400-1600 score is a bit trickier. There were two main options. The more correct way would be to concord all of the values into the total score. The other option is to simply add the two scores. We decided that 1) just about all guidebooks used the sum 2) it’s less confusing for students and parents (“Why don’t these add up?”) and 3) the differences are not large. You are correct, though, that there would be a slight overstatement, because the students that get 790 on EBRW are not the same students who get 790 on M. You are best off comparing the individual scores.

      You bring up a fascinating question. About 2,000 students got a 1600 on the CR+M on the old SAT. I think that’s the best starting point. The “easier” new SAT means that we might see closer to 3,000 students. Those students end up at lost of schools, but my guess is that they are highly concentrated among 6-10 schools. The schools we estimate to have a 75th percentile of 1600 would probably “consume” about 1500-2000 of those. That may not be that far off. Ultimately it’s academic as 1570, 1580, etc. are essentially equivalent from an admission officer’s perspective.

  • Avatar Barbara Losseau says:

    I have taken the new SAT twice already and got the same score of 1260 both times. The only exception is that instead of doing 630 and 630, the second time I did 640, 620 on each part. My goal is to go to NYU or USC. Should I take the SAT a third time or do I still have a chance to get in with those scores ?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      USC and NYU are both so competitive that a 1260 is usually not sufficient. Even students with scores near the 25th percentile of admitted students at those schools (around 1350) have a decreased chance of admission.

  • Avatar Rog says:

    What chance, if any, will a 1480 (New SAT) or a superscore of 1490 get as far as merit scholarships?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      The landscape of merit scholarships is as wide as the college landscape — there are hundreds or thousands of variations. Many merit scholarships have GPA and SAT (or ACT) score minimums. In some cases those numbers qualify a student for scholarship dollars. In other cases, the minimums allow a student to enter a competition for scholarships. I’ll word it this way — there are precious few merit scholarships where your score would take you out of the running.

  • Hello I recently retook the New SAT in June after getting a 1340 on the March SAT and ended up with a 1420. Since the next Date, Oct 1st, would be cutting it too close when receiving my scores back for college admissions, where do I currently stand when competing for more competitive schools such as Ivies or slightly lesser competitive ones like Rice or Emory.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      It is important to keep in mind that test scores are only one component — and not the most important one — in the admission process. You can use the 25th-75th percentile estimates to give yourself a rough idea of where your scores stack up. In general, scores closer to the 75th percentile than the 25th percentile would at least mean that scores should not be a drag on the average student’s application. The trick in holistic admission is that one can’t always define “average.” Certain talents may impress admission officers. Certain characteristics may work against you at one school but not another.

      • Avatar Concerned Student says:

        Hi Art,

        I just wanted to let you know that your percentiles for Columbia are either wrong or outdated. Their 75th percentile SAT total is 1580 according to their Class of 2021 profile which can be found online. It’s unlikely it was higher in previous years. The listed 25th percentile is also correct. Because of that I have trouble believing lots of the information here. Please make it clear what your sources from or when you estimated for a college.

        • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

          All of the figures are estimates based on prior actuals, and this is discussed in the Data Sources box at the bottom of the post. There is a good reason for this: reliable, comparable data is not yet available for all colleges. Let’s use Columbia as an example. The profile to which you refer is for Admits. Some colleges provide similar data, while others only provide the data for Enrollees. We believe that the data for the first-year class (enrollees) is more indicative of a college’s profile. Columbia has not yet made this information available. Some colleges — such as Columbia — only provide the total score in this sort of admits profile. In Columbia’s case, it clearly distinguishes between old SAT and new SAT. Other colleges choose to use concordant scores to put all scores on the same scale. In the fall, most colleges prepare extensive enrollment data for the government’s IPEDS survey and for the Common Data Set, which is organized by publishers such as Peterson’s, U.S. News, and College Board. CDS is the most representative data because colleges are expected to use the same definitions in answering the same questions. Colleges don’t have to make CDS information publicly available, but most start putting it on their websites around this time. [I don’t yet see Columbia’s.] Full CDS available will not be available until August 2018!

          We are beginning the process of hunting down this year’s data to replace our estimates with the actual values. In the meantime, sources that claim to be based on actual data are almost certainly mixing a variety of different definitions. I prefer to avoid that as much as possible. I agree with you that Columbia’s final figures (based on what has been released) are likely to be lower than our estimates, although the difference is not substantial. We will, of course, update the figures as soon as we are comfortable with the new sources.

  • Avatar Ibu says:

    is it possible with a 1340 on the new Sat to be considered for a presidential scholarship at a mid-tier university. Ive never been interested in IVy leagues along with alot of AP test taken and passed. Also 4+ GPA weighted. and 3.96 unweighted

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I’m afraid that there are too many variables to give you a good answer. I am assuming that you are referring to “Presidential” or “Trustee” Or “Honors” scholarships awarded by many universities as opposed to the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, which is incredibly competitive (only 161 awards per year). Most colleges maintain a website with information about the minimum qualifications for awards. Some programs are automatic for qualifiers, and others involve an application and competition. Your GPA sounds strong. Your SAT score may be a bit weaker for merit scholarships, but the range of programs is enormous. Best of luck.

  • Avatar Soumit Roy says:

    How is a new SAT score of 1360 considered ? Is it competitive enough to be considered in an Ivy league school assuming that my rest of the application is strong enough ?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Your score would be low for the most competitive schools such as the Ivies. While those colleges take a “holistic” review and do not have cutoff scores, most of their applicants will have 1400+ scores on the new SAT.

  • Avatar Nora says:

    My daughter will be a senior in high school next year. She took the new SAT and got a 660 for Math and a 650 in Reading. Her father is insisting she take the test again to try for a higher score. I am saying she can wait until we get her ACT scores from the test she took last weekend, and that her scores aren’t bad since the SAT board is saying they are 92nd %tile. She is at a state residential high school that only takes the top 1% of students, has lots of unique experiences like a year long study of artificial intelligence that resulted in a published paper, and has been active in clubs. She is looking at specific colleges – Creighton, Kalamazoo, St. Lawrence, Bradley, St.John/St. Benedict, and Knox. We need a person not invested in her success in life to give a non biased opinion. Her end goal is to become a pediatrician.

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Now is a good time of year to assess where your daughter stands and what you should do moving forward, because you can make decisions without the rush of spring test dates. Your daughter should get her ACT scores (at least the multiple-choice portion) next week. The next upcoming testing opportunities are September (ACT) and October (SAT). Among the options would be 1) Sit tight. No reason for additional testing. 2) Retake the SAT. 3) Retake the ACT. 4) Retake both. Let’s discard #4 right away. As a rising senior, she should be concentrating on her best opportunity. You can compare her SAT and ACT scores using the new concordance tables.

      One question to consider is “What is the goal of higher scores?” For some students, it is about trying to do well enough to make a “reach” school. For other students it is about improving their chances at their target list of colleges. It sounds like your daughter fits in the latter group. She has identified an excellent set of colleges, and her SAT score is already well-aligned with those colleges.

      College Board has made a mess of the transition to the new test by confusing parents and students with faulty percentiles. There are “National” percentiles and “User” percentiles, for example. Although “User” is closer to what we would consider the standard definition, even there they have had to base the numbers off of a sample study. If we convert your daughter’s 1310 into a score on the old SAT (CR+M), it would be a 1250. That score was the 85th percentile for the class of 2015. The good news is that you don’t have to worry much about how students did across the country. You should be most concerned about how your daughter did relative to students applying to her selected colleges. While few universities make available applicant scores, we do know that her scores would likely put her above the mean of the freshman class of 2021 at her target schools. That said, her scores alone are not so high that they will differentiate her from other applicants.

      What would happen if your daughter retook the test and her scores went down? I did a quick check of the mentioned colleges, and they almost all superscore the SAT. In all cases they recognize Score Choice. So a lower score would not hurt your daughter and a mixed score (up in EBRW and down in M) would benefit her.

      Retaking the SAT is not that hard. It involves a test fee and a miserable 4 hours on a Saturday morning in the fall. Truly preparing for the retake is the rub. Repeating an exam without some form of additional preparation will usually result in similar scores. In order for her to raise her scores, she’ll need to study for the test. She’ll build on what she did right and what she did wrong. She’ll need to put it all together on test day. In short, she has to be willing to work for a higher score. So I’ve left to the end the most important question to consider. Is she interested in that? A thoughtful program of self-study or commercial preparation need not (should not!) conflict with her college applications and other pursuits. But she will need to feel invested.

      I can’t claim a “non-biased opinion” because I do test preparation and test advising for a living. I do know what added joy there is in working with a student who understands the goal of her efforts and can also appreciate that there is an end in sight.

  • Avatar Tarun Garg says:

    i would be extremely thankful if you replied me. i have a couple of queries that you may help me with. Kindly reply asap. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Avatar Tarun Garg says:

      i am student who is looking to pursue a undergraduate program in economics. Kindly suggest whether i should pursue Bsc or Ba in economics. Also, if you could suggest me a list of top 5 colleges in the us for an economics degree, that would be great. See, i am an international applicant so i intend to obtain a good amount of financial aid.
      Also, for these colleges what is the appropriate NEW SAT score range ?
      I know my questions are bit off the topic and require a long answer but i would be beholden to you for such help.
      Thanking you in advance.

      • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

        College counseling is not my area of expertise, but US News and USA Today have lists of what they consider the top undergraduate economics programs. These also happen to be some of the most competitive colleges in the country. You can lookup the new SAT score ranges of these schools using the Compass 360 page right here. Many other colleges in the U.S. have excellent economics programs. The College Board has a search tool that allows you to lookup colleges by major.

  • Avatar Jeff says:


    Thank you for this information. Where, though, did you hear that colleges won’t report new scores until 2018 and guidebooks until a little later?


    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Few colleges publish class profiles until students are on campus, so some numbers will start showing up in the fall of 2017. However, wide-scale, uniform reporting is done through surveys such as the Common Data Set (College Board, Peterson’s, and U.S. News) and IPEDS (Dept. of Education). The CDS is based on enrolled students and is collected over the course of the academic year. In other words, colleges will begin putting the numbers together in late 2017 and finish by spring 2018. The major guidebooks join this information with their own data collection efforts and will publish in Aug/Sept of 2018.

      If you look at a currently available version of U.S. News, for example, you’ll see that the data comes from the 2014-2015 CDS. This information is based on the HS class of 2014 (technically on the incoming college freshman class of 2018). Most of those students took the SAT in 2013! The admission and reporting cycles create a dark period when a major shift takes place. We saw this happen when the SAT I became SAT Reasoning and Writing was added. At the time, the change was not as visible because the CR and M sections were considered equated to the older test. It will be interesting to see how colleges, CDS, and publishers handle the fact that many in the class of 2017 will be applying with old SAT scores.

  • Avatar Michael says:


    Thank you very much for your suggestions! My son is interested in studying Econ with a minor in Computer Science or Math. Since he is stronger in STEM than English, do you see any advantage of applying “undeclared”?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I try not to venture to far afield from my expertise in testing. That said, it’s likely that your son will put together a more convincing application if he is forthright about his goals. His strong STEM scores seem completely compatible with Econ/CS/Math.

  • Avatar Michael says:

    My son has taken the most rigorous courses offered by his school and has done very well. He scored (old SAT) 650 CR, 800 Math and 780 writing. We talked to a few colleges about their policies on old SAT vs. new SAT. Surprisingly we heard from an Ivy League admissions staff that they will not consider the writing on old SAT. They will simply compare scores on old SAT reading/math vs. the new SAT. Have you heard how colleges will treat old SAT vs. the new one? Thanks!l

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      Michael, I answered your question in a separate post, but I am going to duplicate my response here for completeness:
      The response you got is indicative of the lack of respect that the Writing test always received on the old SAT — and the misunderstandings surrounding it. The old SAT and new SAT are treated as totally different tests, which is why a concordance is needed in the same way that one is needed between the SAT and ACT. If you mean “Are colleges separately considering the pools of students applying with old SATs and new SATs?,” the answer is “No.”

      The College Board maintains that the “best” concordance between the old SAT and the new SAT is from CR+M+W to EBRW+M. The admission office is both right and wrong. Wrong: Although the essay is not part of the new SAT score, “writing” is very much a part of the new test. Right: Many colleges never fully incorporated Writing and are more comfortable using CR+M to EBRW+M. To allow for this, College Board does provide this concordance. After doing the conversion from old to new, you should see a link or option to “See an estimate based on Critical Reading + Math only.” In your son’s case, the CR+M estimate converts to a 1490 on the new SAT. We’ve also provided a table with the CR+M concordance. Unfortunately, there is no universal rule as to how colleges will convert among old SAT, new SAT, and ACT, which is why College Board has provided them a number of options.

      • Avatar Michael says:

        Thank you very much for your timely response and insights! In your opinion, should my son take ACT or the new SAT since his CR is relatively low. Do colleges emphasize more on the total score or individual section score? His reach/match schools are Cornell, Dartmouth, Tuft’s, Emory, USC, Wash U, and Cargenie Mellon. He has taken most challenging courses (e.g. Multivariable calculus, differential equations, computer science etc..) offered by his school and maintains a 4.0 unweighted GPA. He has presented biology research paper at a national conference and will be interning at scripps research institute. In addition, he is a competitive swimmer since he was 7. He really would like to focus on essays and SAT subject tests now. Your suggestions will be much appreciated!

        • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

          I’d put a good amount of weight in how your son did on the PSAT to help make the ACT / new SAT decision. Since it sounds like your son is quite comfortable with STEM, I imagine the science of ACT Science is not going to scare him off. But its demand for relentless reading pace can disadvantage some students. I’d recommend that he take a released ACT and mimic test day conditions (exact timing, no disallowed breaks, etc.). Your son’s situation is very similar to John’s daughter’s (I just posted a reply). Three-quarters of the new SAT, it could be argued, is made up of areas that play to your son’s strengths — Math and Writing/Language.

          Colleges love to hide behind the word “holistic” when answering questions such as yours. Section scores and total scores both come into play. A student applying to STEM programs, for example, is going to want to be 650CR/800M rather than the other way around. For colleges that emphasize the CR+M portions of the old SAT, your son’s 780W may not receive the weight it deserves. Cornell is a good example of a school that never cared much for SAT Writing. I don’t like seeing students doing more testing than they need to do, but I also know how important it is to feel that one’s testing portfolio is as at least as strong as the other components of an application. With that last part in mind, I think it could be worthwhile to test again. I would try to decide soon between the new SAT and ACT and then plan for Sept or Oct testing.

  • Avatar Dan williamson says:

    Thanks Art.

  • Avatar Dan Williamson says:

    Art, my junior son recieved his new SAT score and he made a 1540. He has mid 700’s in math1,math2,chemistry a 730 and plans on taking lit. SATII which he will get high 700’s if not 800. He took the old SAT two years ago and got a 2230. He has 8AP classes under his belt all 5’s and 4’s except two 3’s. He will finish next year,his senior year with AP statistics and probably a 5 or 4, so nine qualified AP’s in all. Considering that except for his junior and senior year, which he is attending Stanford online high school and will finish this year with straight A’s, do you think since he was homeschooled all the years prior to that he should take the ACT also,just to give the colleges more to go on?

    • Avatar Art Sawyer says:

      I have not heard any college prefer homeschoolers take both the SAT and ACT, and it would not be useful in your son’s case. It is certainly true that homeschoolers face added testing requirements — usually in the form of Subject Tests. With Math, Chemistry, and Literature (soon) in hand, he is in good shape there, as well. One of the reasons why colleges accept the SAT and ACT interchangeably is that they provide similar insights.

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