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SAT Scores for Top Universities

The maximum score on the SAT is 1600. Out of the 1.7 million students who take the test every year, only about 300 get the highest possible SAT score. This elusive perfect score catapults you to the top of high school academic achievement and can be a big boost to your college applications.

The SAT has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no-calculator), and Math (calculator allowed). The test taker may optionally write an essay which, in that case, is the fifth test section. The total time for the scored portion of the SAT is three hours (or three hours and fifty minutes if the optional essay section is taken).

Two section scores result from taking the SAT: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math. Section scores are reported on a scale of 200 to 800, and each section score is a multiple of ten. A total score for the SAT is calculated by adding the two section scores, resulting in total scores that range from 400 to 1600. There is no penalty for guessing on the SAT: scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly. In addition to the two section scores, three “test” scores on a scale of 10 to 40 are reported, one for each of Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. The essay, if taken, is scored separately from the two section scores. The Reading Test of the SAT is made up of one section with 52 questions and has a time limit of 65 minutes. The Writing and Language Test of the SAT is made up of one section with 44 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 35 minutes. The math portion of the SAT is divided into two sections: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator. In total, the SAT math test is 80 minutes long and includes 58 questions: 45 multiple choice questions and 13 grid-in questions. The multiple-choice questions have four possible answers; the grid-in questions are free-response and require the test taker to provide an answer.

Despite several colleges going test-optional, standardized test scores are still an important factor in admissions decisions, according to a survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Among standardized tests, the SAT is both popular and widely accepted. A record 2.1 million test-takers from the class of 2018 completed the exam, earning an average score of 1068, according to the College Board. Of ranked colleges and universities with more than 500 students enrolled, the following 10 schools, as of 2019, boast the highest average SAT scores in the country.

  • University of Chicago                                        Average SAT score: 1530
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology         Average SAT score: 1528
  • Harvey Mudd College                                         Average SAT score: 1506
  • Washington University in St. Louis                   Average SAT score:1505
  • Yale University                                                     Average SAT score:1504
  • John Hopkins University                                    Average SAT score: 1503
  • Harvard University                                              Average SAT score: 1500
  • Amherst College                                                 Average SAT score: 1493
  • Princeton University                                           Average SAT score: 1490
  • Northwestern University                                    Average SAT score: 1486

Preparation is key to getting a good score on SAT. Investing time and effort in preparing for the exam is a critical element in the test-taking strategy. EduAims offers quality SAT coaching that ensures students get the best possible preparation. At EduAims, for SAT coaching, we have experienced, qualified and professional faculty drawn from some of the most elite institutions across the globe.

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