The most important question to all students: What is a good SAT or ACT test score?

I’d love to make every student happy and say that there is one specific good score, but that’s just not the case. Your own good score completely depends on the schools you want to go to and your own score goals. Find out what kind of scores the schools you’re applying to expect, set an SAT or ACT score goal for yourself, and work toward that goal through study and practice.

If you’re not sure what schools you want to apply to, keep in mind that the nation-wide average on the SAT is around 500 points per section, for a total of about 1500 points.

That means that many students who took the same test you took scored below 1500 and many scored above 1500. Consider the types of schools you are interested in. If you are looking mostly at large state schools or other less-selective schools, you might want to set your score goal at 500 for each section so you can work toward meeting the nation-wide average score. If you think you might want to go to a more-selective school, you’ll want to try to bring your SAT score up above the national average.

Almost every school keeps track of the average SAT score range achieved by admitted students. For example, if you’re aiming for USC or NYU, you’ll be interested to know that the average score ranges from roughly a 1900-2100. If you’d like to go to Cal State Long Beach or San Diego State, their students’ averages are in the range of 1400-1700. To find out how you stack up against those who are generally admitted to a specific school, check out the school’s website. Nearly all colleges offer that information online. You can usually find it by clicking the “Admissions” or “Prospective Students” link on the school’s homepage. Keep in mind that these numbers represent average ranges. Some admitted students scored lower than the range and some scored higher. Also, remember that scoring within or above a school’s average range does not guarantee you admission to that school.

What it really comes down to for you is setting a reasonable score goal that you think you can obtain and working hard towards achieving that goal. As you’re preparing for the SAT test or ACT test, don’t compare yourself to your friends. Instead of trying to beat your friends’ scores, make it your mission to beat your own previous scores with every practice test you take. Every student can see great score increases if she or he puts in the time and effort to prepare ahead of time. At Revolution Prep, we recommend setting a goal of boosting your overall SAT score by at least 200 points. We can help you meet your SAT or ACT test goal through our group classes, online curriculum, and/or private tutoring.

A good score is what you make it. Look at the schools you want to get into and compare your current scores to those of the incoming freshmen. Use this information to set a reasonable score goal to work toward, and then do some test prep to help you reach your goal!

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