SAT Score required for admission into Top US Universities

High SAT scores are very important to get into top US colleges. Colleges look at standardized test scores as a common benchmark to compare all the applicants from different backgrounds and different curriculums. This score gives admissions committee a fair Idea of your English, Math’s and analytical abilities, your preparation and readiness for the college studies. The college admissions follow holistic review process hence SAT score in not the only parameter whether to give admission or not. Here we will discuss about the how much SAT score is required and its importance to get admission into Top colleges.

Importance of SAT score:

Most of the smart and talented students apply for the admissions into Top Colleges hence, admission into these top universities is very competitive. Many students have High scores above the 99th percentile scores. Hence admission officer has mentally a filter of SAT score available to refuse or reject applications just based on the low SAT score. Only if there is exceptional extracurricular activity or impactful work the student has done then only that application will be given extra attention for the admission otherwise with low SAT score and normal activities list the admission officer may not consider such application as competitive and it becomes easy to decide and may refuse it.

Hence in top colleges to give a better chance for your application to be considered seriously it is necessary to score above some benchmark so that there will be higher chances of admission. For this reason, to get admission into TOP colleges it is very important to get high SAT score.

What is 75th percentile score:

All colleges declare their admission data and there they declare the SAT scores of the past admitted students. The important term used in it is 75th percentile score. This is the score of the top 25 % of the students have scored out of the all admitted students. This means 75% of the admitted students score is less than this score.

25th percentile Score:

This score means 25% out of all the admitted students have scored below this score. This is the lowest band of the SAT scores who have scored less score than the rest 75% of the students. Even though the score is comparatively low chances are these students have other strong profile to compensate the lower SAT scores. Also, there are other institutional priorities to give admissions to certain students hence for that reasons even with low SAT score students get admissions into top colleges.

25th to 75th percentile score

This is very important band, range of scores where majority of the students have scored SAT score. 50% of the admitted students have SAT score in this range. If you have SAT score in this range then there is fair chance of admission in that institute.

SAT score Range of Top colleges:  

Following is the range of SAT scores in Top colleges

University25th percentile SAT75th Percentile SAT
Princeton University14601570
Source : College websites

This just a sample of top 10 colleges, likewise you can check the actual score ranges of the admitted students of all the other colleges you are considering applying. This will give you a reference of how much are the actual scores required to get into the top colleges.

Click to read more about Top 10 national universities in USA 2023

How much SAT score is required?

If you want to increase your chances of admissions into these top US colleges you really need to score above the 75th percentile score. It is not that you will not get admission if your score is below 75th percentile. But if you score above this threshold, you have a good chance of admission.

Can perfect SAT score enough to get admission into top college?

Every year many of the perfect SAT scored students rejected by top colleges. This clearly shows that even a perfect score is not enough to get a secured admission. Along with high SAT score you need to have a strong profile to get into the top colleges, High SAT score is just one step towards getting into top college.

How to get High SAT score:

There is no substitute for hard work of practice. These are standardized test and more you practice more likely you will score high. Practice solving as many actual full length sample papers as possible as if you are taking the real test in real test environment. Practice, practice and Practice is the way to get High score in SAT.

Holistic Review:

Admissions committees understands the background and the resources available to each student are different. The rich kids have more resources can take these tests many times and may improve their scores. Your Admission officer knows and understands the background from where you are coming and comparative score you have scored. Hence try to score as high as possible with whatever resources are available to you. Don’t get discouraged by the high SAT scores of admitted students. Try your best.

Click to read more about How to build Strong profile for college applications


High SAT score is a stepping stone to get into the top colleges. Though it is not the only criteria to get admission but if the scores are low then the chances are very lame. Hence if you really want to get into top US colleges, then aim to score above that 75th percentile SAT score of that particular college.  After all students have different resources and background hence scores may very and admission officers understands it hence try your best to score as much as possible that is all in your hand. Good Luck!

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