What’s The Highest SAT Score You Can Get?

Originally, the SAT scored 1600 points. It was increased to 2400 points in the mid-2000s. Recent changes to the SAT’s scoring system have allowed it to return to its original score.

The College Board keeps the test updated to ensure it is relevant for college curriculums. The SAT is also being challenged by an increasingly tough competitor: the ACT.

The current updated SAT score is 1600 points. This means that a perfect score is 1600, which is the highest possible score. Let’s look at why this is so important.

You can get the perfect 1600 by enrolling in our SAT prep course.

The competition between the SAT and ACT exams.

SAT for college admissions was undisputed king for many years. The ACT however, has gained ground.

The ACT was a minor also-ran. It was mostly administered in the Midwest, and only Midwestern schools considered it for admissions purposes. Over time, however, both colleges and students started to understand more about the ACT.

The ACT was a better test of student mastery than the SAT. It measured students’ knowledge in English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing. The SAT began as an aptitude exam (akin to an IQ) and has remained so until recently.

Another reason the SAT’s score dropped to 1600 from 2400 is that parents and students realized that the ACT was easier than the SAT. This is because the ACT tests students on their schoolwork, not on their innate ability.

The ACT had many of the same punishing features as the SAT at the time. It didn’t have analogies, less difficult vocabulary or math problems. Also, a calculator was not allowed in the Math section. You didn’t have to guess on any questions.

Many of these parents and students were surprised to discover that the ACT was more popular than the SAT. In response, colleges started accepting ACT scores in place of SAT scores.

Thus, each year the SAT was less popular and the ACT was more popular. But then, it happened. The ACT was now being taken by more students per year than the SAT. The king of college admissions tests was dethroned.


The SAT’s scoring system has been updated to keep it relevant.

High school students will likely recall upperclassmen who took the SAT a few years ago and scored 2400 points instead of 1600. The reason is that the SAT added the SAT Writing Subject Test, a test of verbal and reasoning skills to its 800-point Verbal and Reasoning SAT tests a few years back.

This redesign caused confusion for parents, students as well as teachers and admissions personnel who had previously taken the 1600 point test. Parents, students, teachers, and educators were all left in pain when the test was changed.

This problem didn’t last long. The SAT had to be redesigned in order to compete with the ACT. The optional essay section of the Writing test received a separate score.

The exam scored 1600 points, which is a significant improvement. The SAT looked a lot more like the ACT after extensive revisions. This ACT-like look is not an accident.

The SAT is a resemblance of the ACT and is scored out at 36 points. Students will now take it. The exam takes just an hour (excluding the optional essay). Analogies and more difficult vocabulary questions have been eliminated. Math topics are also slightly easier.

Oh, and guess what? The penalty for guessing was also eliminated! This was a major headache for test takers and was celebrated with joy. Market competition is a great way to make things easier for consumers – in this example, it’s you, the student.

The 2016 SAT, which is a new and improved version of the SAT, was administered for the first time in 2016. That explains why so few SAT practice exams are available. (At the time of publication, six practice tests were available from the College Board’s website.

There are some new components to the new test. These include grid-in question, which requires students to write their answers in place of choosing from four multiple choice answers. These and other features could be retained in the long-term.

The SAT will evolve as it has over the years. Many students will continue choosing the relative predictability of ACT.

Is there any benefit to taking the SAT over the ACT?

There is no difference between taking ACT over SAT for college admissions testing this year.

Almost all universities and colleges accept SAT/ACT scores today, without any preference. (Some schools are removing the standardized testing requirement altogether to allow for essays. This is another topic.

The SAT is a more suitable test for Science-averse students. Both exams include a Reading section that covers natural science, but the ACT has a Science section. The SAT does not.

You don’t have to be a science expert to take the SAT. Prep Expert explains that the ACT Science section of the SAT is primarily a reading comprehension and data analysis exam, but it also covers Science topics.

This section does not require any prior knowledge in biology, chemistry, or physics. You can choose to take the ACT or the SAT if you have other interests.


1600 is once more the highest score for the SAT. This is a very low number of students.

Harvard admissions are not dependent on your score. However, 1400 is still a good score. That means you are in the 96th percentage of test-takers.

Nearly all of the SAT prep classes I teach have the same question: what is a good SAT test score? It all depends on what you do! A high SAT score will get you into the college that you desire.

Every student will have a different answer. You should first make a list about colleges that you are interested in attending. To find the college’s SAT score band, go to their website. This will show you which percentages were received by accepted applicants in each of the three percentiles. (Applicants in 25th percentile scored higher than 25 % of other applicants.

The average GPA will lead to a lower SAT Score. However, this is not a requirement for most colleges. To be competitive for admission you’ll need a GPA or SAT score that is at least the 50th percentile of the school. Your chances of admission are better if you score closer to 75th percentile. But, that is just a guess.

Your college scores can be ranked into safeties or competitive. Reaches are the schools that you score closer to 25%.

For you to be successful in college admissions, you need to have at least three to four schools from each category. Don’t compromise on safety and reaches. There are always surprises in college admissions.

Remember that your score does not define you. It doesn’t give you an idea of your worth, or measure of your success. It’s something you can improve upon. The majority of colleges will accept your combined highest score. This is your highest Verbal, highest Reasoning score.

You don’t have to give up if you fail a test, or if your studying is not up to par, there are always more days. You don’t have to be ready for the endless battle for 1600. Realistic goals should be attainable, and you shouldn’t push yourself too much.

Exam preparation should not cause problems in your home, family, or classes at high school. These aspects are critical to your success and well-being as well as college admissions. PrepExpert can help you get a better SAT score.

We offer SAT prep training with top instructors all year. For personalized assistance, our instructors can be contacted one-on-1.

Prep Expert, persistence, and hard work are two of the best tools you have to help you prepare for the SAT.

You can find more information about college admissions and test strategy in our FREE class right now!


  • kaydenmarsh

    I am Kayden Marsh, 34yo educational blogger and school teacher. I am a mother of two young children, and I love spending time with them and learning new things. I also enjoy writing about education and children's issues, and I hope to continue doing so for the rest of my life.

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