# SAT Percentiles | All You Need to Know About How Your Score Stacks Against Other Test Takers

Do you know what SAT percentiles are? Do you wish to understand them so that you can come up with an excellent target score? If you recently sat for the SAT, you might want to understand the SAT score percentiles to decide if you will retake the test.

Understanding the percentiles is also vital in helping you maximize your study time. You may also want to understand the types of SAT scores and which ones are important for you if you are aiming for the perfect score on the SAT

Getting a high percentile in the SAT is not easy. In this post, we recommend the best prep book that you can use to ace the test.

## What Are SAT Percentiles?

Apart from looking at your overall SAT score, you can also look at your SAT percentiles to evaluate your performance. The SAT scores percentiles show the number of people who did the test and scored lower or higher than you.

In the SAT scores, the higher the numbers, the better your performance. The same applies to the percentiles where higher numbers indicate you had a better performance.

The ranking of percentiles for SAT scores ranges from 1 to 99. You will receive a ranking for the overall SAT score and two sections, including Math, Evidence-Based Reading, and Writing.

Your percentile is an indication of how best your performance is compared to other test-takers.

For instance, if you get a composite percentile score of 90, it means only 9% of other test-takers performed better than you. If your percentile score is in the 30th percentile, 30% of other students who took the test would have lower scores. On the other hand, 70% of students got a higher score than you.

If you get 51st percentile in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, you will have performed better than 51% of the other test-takers.

Note, your percentiles for SAT are not an indication of your score on a grade out of 100. For instance, if you are in the 76th percentile, it doesn’t mean that you got 76% of the questions correct. It means you performed better than 76% of the other students who took the test.

Are percentiles important in looking for your desired college?

You should put the effort in preparation for the test to ensure both your SAT scores and percentiles are high. Here are our reviews of the best prep courses that could help raise your score.

Colleges and universities will compare your percentile with that of other students to decide on your admission.

If you are in the 90th percentile, you are better positioned to get admission as you performed better than 90% of other test-takers.

## What Are the Percentile Ranges for the SAT?

Percentile scores are just as important as the overall composite scores.

If you are taking the SAT or wish to retake it, which composite score should you aim to get the percentile you want?

The College Board releases composite scores with matching percentiles so that you can figure out your score. The percentiles in the SAT percentiles chart give two digits of precision.

For instance, you will get that people with a composite score ranging from 1510 to 1600 are in the 99th percentile.

Also, the percentiles change fast with the middle scores. For example, for the composite score between 1450 to 1600, the percentiles' difference is 4 points from 96 to 99. But, the difference between 1100 to 1250 composite scores ranges from 58 to 81 percentiles. So, check out here if 1100 SAT score should be enough for most parts.

Even in the subject test percentiles, there is a dramatic change in the percentile ranks towards the middle scores. For instance, a 500 score in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing is 39%. On the other hand, a 600 score is 73%. Thus, with the right strategies and smart studying, you can achieve 100 points that can affect your SAT subject test percentiles dramatically.

Also, note that if you want to get the same percentile in both Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, you’ll have to work harder in math.

For example, a 750 score is in the 99th percentile in EBRW but in the 96th percentile in math.

As it is evident, the two-digit percentile is not very precise. It doesn’t contain decimals or fractions.

The following is a table with some samples of 6-digits high precision percentiles:

 Old SAT Score New SAT Score Percentile 2400 1600 99.9826 2390 1600 99.9581 2380 1590 99.9411 2370 1590 99.9157 2360 1590 99.8801 2350 1580 99.8413 2340 1580 99.7950 2330 1570 99.7354 2320 1570 99.6664 2310 1560 99.5923 2300 1560 99.5141 2290 1527 99.4276 2280 1550 99.3395 2270 1550 99.2459 2260 1540 99.1397 2250 1540 99.0273 2240 1530 98.9104 2230 1530 98.7855 2220 1520 98.6515 2210 1520 98.5063 2200 1510 98.3528 2190 1510 98.1924 2180 1510 98.0238 2170 1500 97.8469 2160 1500 97.6597 2150 1490 97.4642 2140 1490 97.2555 2130 1480 97.0358 2120 1480 96.8045 2110 1470 96.5559 2100 1470 96.2958 2090 1460 96.0276 2080 1450 95.7529 2070 1450 95.4650 2060 1440 95.1588 2050 1440 94.8398 2040 1430 94.5099 2030 1430 94.1634 2020 1420 93.7955 2010 1410 93.4120 2000 1410 93.0201 1990 1400 92.6195 1980 1400 92.2101 1970 1390 91.7854 1960 1380 91.3402 1950 1380 90.8779 1940 1380 90.3975 1930 1370 89.9012 1920 1360 89.3846 1910 1350 88.8429 1900 1350 88.2867 1890 1340 87.7155 1880 1340 87.1305 1870 1330 86.5287 1860 1320 85.9086 1850 1320 85.2697 1840 1310 84.6085 1830 1300 83.2498 1820 1300 83.2498 1810 1290 82.5362 1800 1290 81.7995 1790 1280 81.0451 1780 1270 80.2791 1770 1270 79.4952 1760 1260 78.6945 1750 1250 77.8770 1740 1250 77.0333 1730 1240 76.1735 1720 1230 75.3036 1710 1230 74.4108 1700 1220 73.4994 1690 1210 72.5711 1680 1210 71.6280 1670 1200 70.6719 1660 1200 69.7021 1650 1190 68.7169

### Methodology: How Did We Calculate These High-Precision SAT Percentiles?

In calculating the new SAT score percentiles, we used the exact number of students who got a particular score and not an estimate. The precise number of test-takers was then summed with data from the College Board.

With this percentile, a 400 score doesn’t correspond to a 0.0000 percentile; neither does 1600 correspond to 100.0000 percentile.

## Do SAT Percentiles Change From Year to Year?

There are no new SAT score percentiles every year. The last time the College Board released charts with details of the exact numbers of students who did the SAT was 2015.

Since the SAT subject tests scores percentiles don’t change much from year to year, you can use 2013, 2014, and 2015.

It is also essential to note that the SAT underwent a significant shift in 2016. The shifting was from the old SAT with 2400 as the top score in the scale to the new SAT with 1600 as the top score.

Throughout the years, the SAT percentiles haven’t undergone much change, and you can still use the high percentile table to estimate your target percentile.

## How Can Knowing Your SAT Percentile Help You?

The SAT is vital in your college or university admission. Therefore, making an effort to increase your ranking is essential.

Your percentile ranking puts you in a competitive position, especially when you want admission in top colleges. Sometimes, all you need is an effort to improve your composite SAT score to increase your percentile ranking.

Some schools also have their score range for admission. Being able to calculate your percentile will help you target your college of choice.

If you have already taken the SAT and you wish to retake it, your percentile ranking can come in handy. For instance, assuming you had a score of 620 in maths and 700 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The 620 composite scores will put you in the 79th SAT math percentiles, while the EBRW will be in the 94th percentile.

If you put effort and increase your composite math score with 100 points, which is possible, you will go to a 720 score, which is the 94th percentile. Therefore, during your retake, you can concentrate on math, and you will be more competitive.

## What is a Good Score Percentile For SAT in 2020?

The best score is one that will allow you to get admission to your college of choice. Ordinarily, a good score should put you on the upper half of all the students who sat for the test.

For instance, the College Board puts the average composite score for 2019 at 1059. A good score should, therefore, put you above the average 1059.

Let’s have a look at the following table to see what would be considered a good score. The table is prepared using data from the 2019 percentile.

 Percentile EBRW Math TOTAL 99th (Best) 750 and above 790 and above 1510 and above 90th (Excellent) 670 680-690 1340 75th (Good) 610 600 1200-1210 50th (Average) 530 520* 1050-1060 25th (Poor) 460* 450* 910 10th (Poorer) 400 380-390 800 1st (Poorest) 330 and below 310 and below 680 and below
With this data, if you get a 910 score, you will have a poor score as you will have 85% of other students who have performed better than you.

At the same time, you may not need to get the 1600 perfect score. With 1340, you have an excellent score, and you are ahead of 90% of your competitors.

## Final Thoughts

Percentiles, whether they are the SAT essay score percentiles or the overall percentile, are vital when you are preparing for your SAT, or you wish to retake. The higher the percentile number, the more competitive you are, and the better your chances of getting admission to a college of choice. You should strive to be in the top percentile so that you will be among the best.

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If you have already taken the SAT and you wish to retake it, your percentile ranking can come in handy. For instance, assuming you had a score of 620 in maths and 700 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The 620 composite scores will put you in the 79th SAT math percentiles, while the EBRW will be in the 94th percentile. If you put effort and increase your composite math score with 100 points, which is possible, you will go to a 720 score, which is the 94th percentile. Therefore, during your retake, you can concentrate on math, and you will be more competitive." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a Good Score Percentile For SAT in 2020?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The best score is one that will allow you to get admission to your college of choice. Ordinarily, a good score should put you on the upper half of all the students who sat for the test. For instance, the College Board puts the average composite score for 2019 at 1059. 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##### Leonard Haggin

I created this site to help students like you learn from the experiences my team had learned during our extensive academic careers. I am now studying Law at Stanford, but I also make time to write articles here in order to help all you fellow students advance in your academic careers and beyond. I hope our efforts on Study Prep Lounge will arm you with the knowledge you need to overcome whatever trial or test you find in front of you.

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