Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for you — the place where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions. But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.
The SAT doesn’t test logic or abstract reasoning. It tests the skills you’re learning in school: reading, writing and math. Your knowledge and skills in these subjects are important for success in college and throughout your life.
SAT scores are reported on a scale from 200-800, with additional sub scores reported for the essay (ranging from 2-12) and for multiple-choice writing questions (on a 20-80 scale). Your scores tell college admissions staff how you did compared with other students who took the test. For example, if you scored close to the mean or average — about 500 on SAT critical reading and 500 on SAT mathematics — admissions staff would know that you scored as well as about half of the students who took the test nationally.
The SAT is just one factor among many that colleges use to get to know you better. SAT scores are among the factors considered in college admission. Many schools’ websites share the range of SAT scores reported by their admitted students. This valuable information allows you to research which colleges might be the best fit for you. It’s best to keep the test in perspective and understand that it’s only part of a comprehensive admission process that also recognizes other factors, like extracurricular activities and personal recommendations.