Preparing for College

Is My SAT Score "Good"?

Question: Is 630 a good SAT Math score?

When it comes to SAT scores, "good" and "bad" are relative terms, depending on where you're applying.

There are lots of places where you can see the SAT norms for all schools on your current roster. The College View site is one of them. Click on the "Name" tab and type in a college that interests you. Then hit "Search." Choose the college's name on the list on the next screen. (Depending on the school you pick, it could be the only name on that list.)

You'll see a tab that says, "Admissions." There you'll find test score ranges (the middle 50 percent) and you can see where (or if) your 630 falls within that range. For instance, if you look up "University of Hartford," you'll know that their middle range for math is 480 - 590. So your 630 would be considered a very good score there. On the other hand, if you look up Duke University, you'll find a median range of 680 - 790. So your 630 is not a "good" score by Duke standards.

Most colleges put more weight on test scores than their admission officials are willing to admit. However, don't assess your admission chances strictly by the numbers. If your test results are below a college median, ask yourself if you have other traits that will be attractive to that school (e.g., Are you a recruited athlete? An underrepresented minority? Do you come from a disadvantaged or very unusual background? Do you have any unique talents?) If you answered "No" to all these questions with test results at the low end of the range as well, then your admission odds may not be so hot . But if you responded affirmatively, you may still be in the running, even when your SAT scores aren't especially "good."