College PrepSATSAT Scores

How Your SAT® Score Impacts Your College Admissions

You may be wondering why your SAT® score is important to admissions? 

The impact of your score varies from school to school, based on the size of the college and the level of competition in their applicant pool.

Some top schools use your score in a screening process

You should know that many top schools will use the combination of your test scores and your GPA to determine whether you fit their admissions requirements. This means that to be considered by admissions, you must achieve a particular score on standardized tests (like the SAT exam). If you are applying to a top university, your SAT score could determine whether you qualify to be reviewed in their applicant pool. This allows SAT scores to operate in a screening process.

Some large schools use SAT scores to collect information across a large applicant pool 

The admissions process for larger schools may use the SAT scores in a more significant way than just eliminating people. With so many applicants, a holistic view of each student is impossible, so the scores you submit become more important. When looking at many applications, interpreting your academic performance is less nuanced and more focused on data.

SAT scores can also provide you with scholarship opportunities 

Beyond the impact your scores have for admissions, they are also important for scholarship opportunities. You may qualify for financial aid by scoring well.

Why do universities look at SAT scores?

Scores are viewed as a standardized way to see your academic strengths and college readiness. An individual’s GPA and class rank could vary based on the difficulty and rigor from one school to another. Admissions can level the evaluation of your academic performance through scores on a standardized exam. Think of the SAT test score as another way to understand your performance in school, but don’t expect an SAT score to replace or compensate for a low GPA. If there are extenuating circumstances for your poor performance in school that have led to a low GPA, you should include that information in your application.

What if a college does not require SAT scores with an application?

Your scores can still impact your college admissions, even if sending scores is not required. You should consider that sending your scores could set you apart when applying to schools that list SAT scores as optional. If two applications are considered equal, the person with SAT scores on their application will probably be more appealing. You should also remember that SAT test scores affect both acceptances and financial aid opportunities. Even if you are not sending an SAT test score for an admission requirement, you should consider that submitting your scores can help pay for your education.

Everything you need to know about SAT scores.