What Is A Bad SAT Score? How To Improve Them?

What Is A Bad SAT Score - 2400Expert

We all wish to be admitted into our dream schools with competitive grades and outstanding skills, and we work hard to make that possible, but one thing that acts as a barrier in the way is getting a good SAT score. Although, the question that lies here is what counts as a bad SAT score?

To answer this question in short, let us tell you that there is no such thing called a good or bad SAT score. There are bare minimum standard scores that the school for students predefined. But according to our research, a school expects a student to have a collective score of 1050. Any lower than this is considered below average. 

But to make this more clear, we have broken down each topic into bits and pieces so that you can identify how good or bad your SAT score is. So without wasting any more time, let’s dive right into the topic.

What Counts as a Bad SAT Score?

In this section of the post, we will compare SAT scores based on the school’s acceptance rate. As mentioned earlier, each school has its standards for setting SAT scores; we are going to be seeing the SAT scores based on the school and their acceptance rates:

  1. Schools with a low acceptance rate.

Schools with low acceptance rates are those schools that only admit a tiny percentage of students from their total applications. Schools like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, etc, are considered to be schools with low acceptance rates. Here the standards for SAT scores are higher than usual. 

For instance, Harvard has an SAT score criterion for having 25th to 70th percentile, which stands for having 500 or above in math and 730-770 above in evidence-based reading and writing. Since these schools turn away applications with average scores more frequently, it is safe to presume that SAT scores above the range of 50% percentile have the chance of getting admitted to colleges.

What Is A Bad SAT Score - School

Your SAT score should be equal to 1500 or higher than that. Anything lower than that will lower your chances of getting into highly competitive schools.

  1. Schools with average acceptance rate.

Schools with low acceptance rates are those schools that admit a considerable amount of students into their schools based on their applications. The SAT score criteria for these schools are slightly lower than that of schools with a high acceptance rate.

A bad SAT score for these schools is considered to be anything lower than a 1330 score collectively. To be more specific, 690-790 in math and 650-750 in evidence-based reading and writing. 

Below is the table that will give you a better understanding of what percentile you are supposed to get if you score within the provided ranges.


Steps to Find The Average SAT for A School.

The SAT score for each school is mentioned in the college applications, but if you want to learn a trick on how you can find the average score of a school from google, then you have come to the right place. In this section, we will be looking at how you can seamlessly find the SAT score of any school.

TIP: Head on to Google and type the following string in it.
“[School Name] SAT scores site:prepscholar.com”

What Is A Bad SAT Score - Report

Now, you can head on to any one of these sites, and you will have what you were looking for. The string that we have entered in google is a trick that very few people are aware of, giving them easier and more relevant information.

Tips to Make Your SAT Score Good.

You have now learned what a bad score means for a school and how you can check the bare minimums that they define. Now in this section of the post, we will be mentioning some tips that can help you get the best SAT to score possible so that you can get to the school of your dreams.

  1. Note down your positives and negatives: Before starting with anything regarding SAT, you need to sit down and analyze your plus points and minus points with each domain of SAT. Doing this will help you get a better understanding of where you stand. You can probably give a mock SAT online to assess yourself and then take the learnings from it. 
  1. Pull your timeline: Presumably, you might have a timeline prepared in your mind that you wish you follow and stick to. Well, that’s good. Now all you need to do is pull your timeline back. This means that if you have exams in April and your target is set for March for all your preparation to be completed, in that case, you should be done with your preparation in February.
  1. Gather quality resources: When it comes to this, you might find that there are several resources available for you to study from. But that is not the concern here. Having indifferent resources is good but having quality resources is kind of a task. You must gather all verified resources which have been referred by those individuals who have passed the SAT in the past with good scores. Moreover, refer to the question banks as much as possible so that you become comfortable with what you are doing.

Related Read:

What Is A Bad SAT Score- Final Words!

Getting a good SAT score is not as easy as you think it is. It requires plenty of time and effort for someone to score 1400 or above. You can refer to the tips we mentioned earlier and aim to score higher so you can get to your desired school. 

We hope this post has helped you understand what a bad SAT score looks like and how it may affect your college application. If you liked the post, share it with others so they can learn what a bad SAt score is and improve their score. Also, let us know how much you aim to score and which school you wish to get into.


Is 1050 a good SAT score?

As you already know, 1050 is an average SAT score, and you will fall under the 40th-70th percentile. Any score above the average checkpoint will land you in a good reputable college.

Does SAT score matter?

SAT scores aid colleges in comparing different applicants from different backgrounds. It provides a better understanding of how the students are in their academics.

How many times can I appear for the SAT?

There are no constraints on the number of attempts that a student can appear for SAT exams. But we suggest that you appear for the SAT twice a year so you get at least 6 months to prepare for your next attempt.



Hi, I'm Karen with 18 years of SAT and competitive test preparation and teaching. In the constantly changing field of education and learning, it is my mission to provide students make the right decision while choosing online learning platforms.