This question has many answers. The 'score' question is one of the main questions I get asked by parents of juniors who are about to take the SAT for the first time, or college-bound seniors who are deep in the college admissions process.
This is a tough question to answer because there are a lot of factors that come into play, and it’s a bit subjective. Most parents and students are less worried about the actual score itself, but more so about what that score means in context of their / their child’s chance at admission to certain colleges. Even though there is no cut-and-dried answer, we have data available to help give us some context.
We combed through the 2018 college admissions data from the College Board and did some calculations: The majority of students (over 75%) admitted to Ivy League colleges scored above a 1400 (out of 1600 total) on the SAT exam. This year’s average at Yale specifically, is a 1510. Harvard is 1520. The average SAT score at Caltech this year is a 1560. At USC, it's 1450. Stanford is 1500. San Diego State is 1110.
What about the UCs?
UC Berkeley: 1450
UC Davis: 1250
UC Irvine: 1250
UC Merced: 1100
UC Riverside: 1100
UC San Diego: 1320
UC Santa Barbara: 1350
UC Santa Cruz: 1180
Remember, while SAT (or ACT) scores are a big part of the college admissions process, they are not the only part of it. GPA, work / internship experience, volunteer experience, sports and other extracurricular activities all play a huge part as well. Also, some schools like The University of Chicago are starting to do away with the SAT / ACT exam criteria for admissions decisions.
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“Mora, what about ACT scores?”, you ask. I got you! Stay tuned for Part II, coming later this week.