That is a good (and very frequently asked) question! Our answer is simple: Whatever score gets you into the college you want.
It may seem like a cop-out, but it’s the best answer we can give for such a loaded question. The SAT is not a measure of your worth or intelligence. It’s just one part of the complicated decision process admissions officers use to figure out whether or not you’re a good fit for their school. The score you need to get into a particular school may be completely different from the score your friend needs. And, unless you are best friends with the head of admissions, there’s no way to know exactly what that score would be.
A low SAT score can be mitigated by stellar grades or other circumstances, but one thing is for certain: a high SAT score can only help. Choose a goal on the SAT, pay attention in your prep class, and practice regularly with Exam Club to ensure you score as high as you possibly can.
Below is a table of the average SAT scores of applicants for the top 25 colleges as ranked by US News. This information was taken from College Board’s College Search and Compare Colleges. Play around with it to learn more about the colleges you’re interested in.
|California Institute of Technology||1510-1600||34-35|
|University of Chicago||1450-1600||31-34|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||1460-1590||32-32|
|John Hopkins University||1400-1570||31-34|
|University of Pennsylvania||1380-1570||30-34|
|Carnegie Mellon University||1380-1550||29-33|
|University of Notre Dame||1350-1500||31-34|
|University of Southern California||1280-1500||29-33|
|University of Oregon||980-1200||22-27|