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What Is a Good SAT Score for Ivy League

If you have your heart set on one of the eight Ivy League schools, you will want to have an impressive SAT score.

These schools have notoriously low acceptance rates, and their admissions officers are only looking to accept the best of the best each year. If your grades, essays, recommendation letters, and test scores don’t stand out, neither will your application.

While many of these schools are not requiring the SAT, taking the test and doing extremely well on it is a good way to help push your application to the next level. A good SAT score can also make other parts of your application have less weight, so if your volunteer activities or leadership activities are lacking, they won’t be as detrimental to your chances of admission.

But what constitutes a good SAT score for an Ivy League school?

When it comes to SAT scores, a “good” score might seem a bit subjective. After all, a score that might look great to an admissions board for a less selective college could be seen as low to an admissions board at Yale or Cornell. However, there is an objective way to determine whether or not an SAT score is good enough to get into an Ivy League school: looking at your percentile score.

What is a percentile score?

A percentile score is a way for you to see how your SAT score stacks up when compared to other students who took the test.

The higher your percentile rank, the greater the number of students you outperformed on the test. For instance, if your score is in the 50th percentile, it means that you scored higher than 50% of other students. If your score is in the 75th percentile, it means that you outperformed 75% of other students.

Ivy League colleges don’t just want to see that you did well on the SAT, they want to see a score that distinguishes you from other applicants. This is why they consider percentile scores.

If you want to have a score that is good enough for an Ivy League school, you need to earn a score that is at least in the 75th percentile for applicants who are applying to that school.

Ivy League percentile scores

An SAT score that is in the 75th percentile or above for all applicants who attend an Ivy League school will not be the same as a 75th percentile score for applicants who attend less selective colleges.

It’s important that you visit the College Board website to get an idea of the score and percentile range for students who get accepted into the colleges on your list.

Here are the percentile scores you should keep in mind if you want to apply to Ivy League schools:

School75th -99th Percentile SAT Score RangeAverage SAT Score
Brown University1550-16001485
Columbia University1560-16001505
Cornell University1560-16001480
Dartmouth College1560-16001500
Harvard University1570-16001520
University of Pennsylvania1560-16001505
Princeton University1570-16001505
Yale University1570-16001515

These percentile score ranges are what you are going to want to consider when applying to Ivy League schools. As you can see, a score of 1550 or above will put you in a good position for admittance into an Ivy League school, and you want to avoid scoring below 1480 so that you can have a score that is above average.

Improving your SAT score

If your SAT score isn’t at 1550 or higher, you will want to do some extra preparation if you want to get accepted into a school in the Ivy League.

Fortunately, there are many ways for you to improve your SAT score:


Practice makes perfect! Spend time each week taking official SAT practice tests, completing SAT practice questions, and reviewing any mistakes you may have made along the way. This will help you become familiar with the types of questions that you will see on the SAT, and it will allow you to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them the next time you take the test.

Just like an athlete needs to spend time practicing before a big game or a musician needs to practice every day before a competition or recital, you need to set aside time to practice for the SAT if you want to be successful.

Take an SAT prep course

Enrolling in an SAT prep course is one of the most effective ways to increase your SAT score. While studying independently using an SAT prep book is better than not studying or practicing at all, it won’t show you tips and tricks for mastering the SAT.

That’s where SAT prep courses can help. When you take an SAT prep course, your instructor will help you learn the content covered on the test and the strategies you will need to earn a high score.

Learning tips about which types of reading passages to tackle first, how to use questions with evidence to your advantage, and ways to tackle the math section without using your calculator too much can make a significant difference when it’s time for you to take your test.

Additionally, when you take an SAT prep course, your instructor will be able to guide you as you practice. They know the best way to study for the test to maximize your study time, and they will know how to help you address any mistakes or weak areas before test day.

When you sign up for an SAT prep course offered through Prep Expert, you will learn over 100 helpful SAT strategies from an expert instructor, which will help you boost your SAT score.

Hire a private tutor

Hiring a private tutor is another effective option for raising your SAT score. With one on one help from a private tutor, you can expect tailored instruction from someone who knows the material you’re working on and the areas in which you can improve. 

 A private tutor will be able to tailor their instruction to your individual needs so that you can approach the different topics on the SAT at the pace that is most comfortable and appropriate for you.

In addition to identifying and addressing your weaknesses, your private tutor will be able to help you develop your strengths so that you feel prepared on test day. For flexible, high-quality SAT preparation, working with a private SAT tutor is unparalleled.

When you work with one of Prep Expert’s private tutors, you will learn from highly experienced tutors who scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT. These instructors have the expertise necessary to help you improve your SAT score and earn a score that is good enough for Ivy League schools.

Enjoy a Healthy Lifestyle

On test day, feeling good and anxiety-free isn’t something that happens on its own. It’s important to give yourself an opportunity to thrive by practicing good lifestyle habits on the regular.

There are many things you can do to improve your health, including:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Eliminating caffeine/sugar-heavy energy drinks
  • Making good attendance in your classes
  • Prayer and healthy spiritual practices
  • Creating positive, life-giving social connections
  • Getting enough sleep every night
  • Talking to a therapist about your emotional health

Good grades and test prep are key to preparing for a good SAT score, but living a healthy lifestyle can dramatically impact your ability to concentrate, focus, and enjoy your studies. 

If you feel like you’re having difficulty in school, or you want to improve your existing interpersonal skills, reach out to your school counselor or a therapist you can trust. Better social, emotional, and physical health can translate to an overall improvement in your lifestyle in the long run. 

Learn more about Prep Expert and how our private tutors and SAT prep courses have helped thousands of students get into their dream schools and earn scholarship money when you visit our website.

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Written by Prep Expert

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