SAT percentiles

SAT is an exam that makes a difference in the career of a student. The score received in SAT is your ticket to a bright future. It is only with a good score in SAT that you can dream of getting into a college of your choice.

SAT score is received as a scaled score between 200 and 800 for each section with two sub scores of the essay writing and multiple-choice of writing sections. Along with this score you receive SAT score percentiles. As the name suggests, SAT percentiles are scores on a scale of a percent which means it can be anything below 100.


SAT percentiles are an indication of how a student has performed as compared to the others who have appeared for the test. Thus, SAT percentiles are a relative score which help us to find out where a student stands amongst all the students. SAT score percentiles are comparative since they help in comparing the performance of one student against others who took the test. The SAT score percentiles show how many students have scored lesser than you, or how many students have been able to get a better score than yours.


Percentiles for SAT scores are received for each section individually. This means that the critical reading section, the writing section and the mathematics section are scored on a scale of 200 to 800 and according to this score the SAT percentiles are awarded.

The SAT percentiles show what percent of students has scored lesser than you. That means if you have got a SAT score of 600 in the mathematics section, and your percentile for the SAT score is 75, then this shows that you have done better than 75% of the students who have appeared for the same test. On the other hand, the rest of the 25% students have scored better than you. This also shows that you are amongst the top 25% students in the mathematics section.

The highest SAT score percentile that can be awarded is 99. There is nothing like a 100 percentile for SAT score even if you have got a perfect score of 800 in any section.

Percentiles for SAT scores are given on a national level as well as a state level. Since at the national level there are more students who are compared on one scale, the SAT percentiles are different form those of the state level.


SAT score percentiles in Subject-based Tests are not as important as the SAT percentiles of SAT Reasoning Test. This is because the number of students who appear for different tests varies. Moreover, the difficulty level of one subject cannot be compared to another subject. Thus, the SAT percentiles in the Subject-based Tests are not given as much importance as that of SAT Reasoning Tests.


The SAT percentiles are very helpful both for the students as well as the colleges. For the students the percentiles for SAT scores are a reality check. They give a direct indication of their performance against others. This comparison is important for the students since there is no other way of knowing how fruitful their efforts have been. Although a SAT score is capable of indicating the level of performance, but if that score is enough to get admission in a good college or not becomes difficult to judge since the score in SAT is relative. There are hundreds of students who appear for SAT every year. Thus if your score is shared by many of the test takers, the value of the score will go down when it comes to taking admission into a college. Thus SAT percentiles help in finding out how competitive your SAT score is.

The percentiles for SAT scores are equally important for the colleges. When the colleges receive the SAT score they receive the respective percentiles for SAT scores as well. Thus not only do the colleges come to know the individual performances of students, but they also know the performance of a student compared to the rest of test takers. Thus it is easier for the colleges to decide and choose a candidate for admission. The percentiles for SAT scores distinctly mark the cream of the lot. Since every college wants to give admission to the best candidate that they can get, the SAT score percentile is indicative of the required standard. By looking at the percentiles for SAT score of a student the colleges get an overall view of the performance of the student in the test compared to all students taken together.

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