Average SAT scores for top universities

Average SAT scores distribution, percentile, old-to-new SAT score conversion table

 
SAT is a well-known test, in the United States, for students in their grades 11 and 12. It is one of the two widely accepted, ACT being the other, standardized tests that help colleges, teachers, parents, and students alike, to check their college readiness.

Given the vastness of various means and resources afforded at different parts of the country, let alone the possibilities of international undergraduate applicants, the SAT test helps to verify how equipped the students are at following the path of advanced higher education, in a university system.

The main SAT exam tests for Math and reading/writing comprehension in the Evidence Based Reading Writing (EBRW/ERW). Up until 2016, SAT followed an old pattern which was disregarded for the new, more relevant to the level of high-school education normally imparted. The new SAT is also claimed to be closer to its competitor, the ACT exam.

Read,
SAT Exam Syllabus: General Test Pattern
ACT Exam

Currently, SAT statistics show that as many as over 1.7 million test-takers appear for the exam, annually. Universities use their scores along with a medley of other parameters like the GPA, class rank, extra-curricular activities, and more, in a consolidated holistic admission process. However, given its standardized nature, it seems quite obvious that the SAT/ACT scores do play a mighty important role, nevertheless.

In this article, we will talk about the Average SAT Score, as obtained from the undergraduate admission statistics (2017) of some of the top universities in USA. The university list has been borrowed from the QS World University Rankings. We will also take a quick look at the average SAT performance among the various test-takers in recent years, after the SAT changes.
 

Average SAT Scores for Undergraduate Admission at Top Universities

University Average SAT Scores (25th to 75th Percentiles)
MIT
  • SAT Math: 780-800
  • SAT ERW: 720-770
Stanford University
  • SAT Math: 700-780
  • SAT EBRW: 690-760
Harvard University SAT: 1470-1570
Caltech Average SAT 1560
University of Chicago SAT: 1480-1580
Princeton University
  • SAT Math: 700-790
  • SAT ERW: 690-760
Cornell University
  • SAT Math: 780-800
  • SAT ERW: 720-770
Yale University
  • SAT Math: 740-790
  • SAT ERW: 720-770
Columbia University SAT Middle 50%: 1450-1580
University of Pennsylvania
  • SAT Math: 690-770
  • SAT ERW: 680-750
University of Michigan SAT Middle 50%: 1380-1540

  • Math: 700-790
  • EBRW: 680-750
Johns Hopkins University SAT: 1480-1560
Duke University
  • SAT for Arts & Sciences: 1440-1570
  • SAT for Engineering: 1490-1570
University of California at Berkeley SAT: 1290-1480

  • SAT Math: 640-760
  • SAT EBRW: 640-730
University of California of Los Angeles
  • SAT Math: 640-770
  • SAT EBRW: 640-730
Northwestern University SAT 50%: 1440-1540
University of California San Diego
  • SAT Math: 630-760
  • SAT EBRW: 620-710
New York University SAT Middle: 1340 – 1520
Carnegie Mellon University
  • Fine Arts: SAT Math 640-760, ERW 650-730
  • Humanities: SAT Math 700-780, ERW 700-750
  • Engineering: SAT Math 740-790, ERW 690-750
  • Information Systems: SAT Math 730-790, ERW 700-740
  • Science: SAT Math 740-800, ERW 700-760
  • Computer Science: SAT Math 720-790, ERW 680-740
  • Business: SAT Math 720-790, ERW 680-740
University of Wisconsin at Madison SAT: 1280-1450

 

SAT Score Distribution

Based on a report published by College Board, for performance highlights on the 2017 SAT Exams, more than 1.8 million students took the old or the new version of SAT.

1.7 million, among them, took the new SAT. 46% of students exceeded the expectations of College Readiness. The mean new SAT score, at the 50th percentile was 1060.

Here is a distribution of the various scores, based on the performance of these 2017 test-takers.
 

SAT Scores Percentiles

SAT Average Scores Percentiles

 

SAT Scores Old to New Conversion Table

The current SAT pattern and scoring has only come about as recent as 2016. Given that a SAT score is valid for 5 years and students with SAT scores from prior to 2016 may still have valid scores, albeit in the old format out of 2400, College Board has come up with Concordance Tables for a quick and easy comparison. These old-to-new SAT convertion tables provide both students and educators a clean way of interpreting the relationship between the two. A way of making assessments, on a perfectly level baseline, between performances scored on the two different systems.

The tables below show a section wise comparison – Old SAT Math and Reading & Writing Mapped to the New SAT Math and EBRW.
 

Old SAT Math Section (200-800) New SAT Math Section Old SAT Writing plus Critical Reading Sections (400-1000) New SAT EBRW Section Old SAT Writing plus Critical Reading Sections (1010-1600) New SAT EBRW Section
200 200 400 200 1010 560
210 220 410 210 1020 570
220 230 420 220 1030 570
230 250 430 230 1040 580
240 260 440 240 1050 580
250 280 450 260 1060 590
260 300 460 270 1070 590
270 310 470 280 1080 600
280 330 480 290 1090 600
290 340 490 300 1100 610
300 350 500 310 1110 610
310 360 510 310 1120 620
320 360 520 320 1130 620
330 370 530 320 1140 630
340 380 540 330 1150 630
350 390 550 330 1160 640
360 400 560 330 1170 640
370 410 570 340 1180 650
380 420 580 340 1190 650
390 430 590 350 1200 650
400 440 600 350 1210 660
410 450 610 360 1220 660
420 460 620 360 1230 670
430 470 630 360 1240 670
440 480 640 370 1250 680
450 490 650 370 1260 680
460 500 660 380 1270 680
470 510 670 380 1280 690
480 510 680 390 1290 690
490 520 690 390 1300 700
500 530 700 400 1310 700
510 540 710 400 1320 700
520 550 720 410 1330 710
530 560 730 410 1340 710
540 570 740 420 1350 710
550 570 750 420 1360 720
560 580 760 430 1370 720
570 590 770 430 1380 730
580 600 780 440 1390 730
590 610 790 440 1400 730
600 620 800 450 1410 740
610 630 810 450 1420 740
620 640 820 460 1430 740
630 650 830 460 1440 750
640 660 840 470 1450 750
650 670 850 480 1460 750
660 690 860 480 1470 760
670 700 870 490 1480 760
680 710 880 490 1490 760
690 720 890 500 1500 770
700 730 900 500 1510 770
710 740 910 510 1520 770
720 750 920 510 1530 780
730 760 930 520 1540 780
740 760 940 530 1550 780
750 770 950 530 1560 790
760 780 960 540 1570 790
770 780 970 540 1580 800
780 790 980 550 1590 800
790 800 990 550 1600 800
800 800 1000 560

 

That concludes the discussion on SAT scores – What do the top universities expect? What is the distribution, including the average SAT score, among all the test-takers? And finally, how will you be able to map the old SAT to the new SAT scores.

Good Luck with your venture into college readiness.
 
Also read,

SAT Exam Preparation
SAT General Information – Eligibility, pattern, exam dates, test centers in India
Best SAT Preparation Books

 
Sources:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21