So you've studied hard, attended test prep, completed lots of SAT practice tests, and finally taken the SAT. You've just received your test results and alas: a 1380 SAT score! Chances are, you're now wondering whether 1380 is a good SAT score, how you stack up against everyone else, and whether you should retake the SAT.
This post will answer all of those questions and more. You'll find an in-depth breakdown of the average SAT score, what percentile a 1380 SAT score places you in, and even a list of some colleges and universities that you'll be competitive for with a 1380.
Let's dive right in!
1380 SAT Score Stats
Before trying to decipher whether or not 1380 is good or not, it's important to understand some standardized test statistics.
Because the SAT is held at such a large scale (and because it is mostly multiple choice), there is some really good objective College-Board data publicly available. Let's take a look at some of the stats:
- Average SAT Score (National): 1010
- Average SAT Score (All Test Takers): 1050
As you can see, average SAT test-takers score around 1010-1050. In this regard, a 1380 is MUCH better than the average. But what if you want to know exactly where you sit compared to everyone else? After all, you only need 1020 to be ‘above average', but is a 1020 SAT score good or the same as a 1380? For that, we need to take a look at percentiles…
A percentile (or percentile ranking) is an indication of where you fall compared to others. For example, if you are in the 90th percentile of SAT takers, that means that you have a higher score than 90% of everyone who took the SAT, and 10% have a higher score than you. Using the same logic, if you are in the 20th percentile, you have a higher score than 20% of test-takers and 80% of all SAT takers beat you.
Here's what percentile a 1380 places you at:
- 1380 National Percentile: 96th
- 1380 All SAT Percentile: 92th
With 1380, both nationally and internationally, you're above the 90th percentile. That means you're top 10%! (Being slightly more competitive amongst just Americans than compared to the rest of the world). Not too shabby, although whether a 1380 is a good SAT score (or good-enough) depends on a few other factors…
Is 1380 a Good SAT Score?
Whether or not 1380 is a good SAT score is completely up to your own personal goals and what you're trying to get out of the SAT. If you're trying to apply to your local state college and have done minimal prep, 1380 might be a fantastic score! On the other hand, if you're in your senior-year of high school and need this SAT score to count towards your Princeton college application, 1380 might not cut it.
A couple of factors you should look at to determine what a good score is for you are:
- Target schools – What school you're trying to get into largely determines how good the SAT score you get is. Typically, the higher ranked a college or university, the more rigorous their SAT requirements are.
- Readiness – A high school freshman taking the SAT won't have had the time to learn all the necessary concepts (in school at least) required for the SAT and will probably get a lower score than a junior in high school. How ready you are for the SAT is an important factor that will determine whether your score is good or not.
- Prep access – Test preparation is extremely important. Natural talent can only take you so far when it comes to the SAT. How much SAT test prep you've done and have access to is a crucial factor for how good a 1380 SAT score is for you.
When you take all of these things into consideration, you can decide for yourself whether a 1380 SAT score is good or not. It's certainly well above average (you've got a higher score than 90% of other test takers), but you still have a ways to go from the average Ivy league SAT score (around 1500).
Schools You Might Consider With a 1380 SAT Score
With a 1380 SAT score, here are some schools that you might be competitive for:
- University of Florida
- 1310-1470 average SAT Score
- 28-33 average ACT Score
- 4.1 average GPA
- 36.6% acceptance rate
- Location: Gainesville, FL
- The University of Texas at Austin
- 1230-1480 average SAT Score
- 27-33 average ACT Score
- 3.8 average GPA
- 31.8% acceptance rate
- Location: Austin, TX
- Clemson University
- 1230-1400 average SAT Score
- 27-32 average ACT Score
- 4.2 average GPA
- 51.3% acceptance rate
- Location: Clemson, SC
- University of Michigan
- 1340-1530 average SAT Score
- 31-34 average ACT Score
- 3.8 average GPA
- 22.9% acceptance rate
- Location: Ann Arbor, MI
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- 1310-1500 average SAT Score
- 28-33 average ACT Score
- 4.6 average GPA
- 22.6% acceptance rate
- Location: Chapel Hill, NC
- New York University
- 1370-1540 average SAT Score
- 31-34 average ACT Score
- 3.71 average GPA
- 21.1% acceptance rate
- Location: New York, NY
- Case Western Reserve University
- 1340-1520 average SAT Score
- 31-34 average ACT Score
- 3.86 average GPA
- 30.3% acceptance rate
- Location: Cleveland, OH
What if You Improve by 100 Points?
Like a lot of things in life, a small improvement in your SAT scores could mean a lot. Let's assume that you improved your critical reading skills, received some SAT prep for the SAT writing section, tackled the rest of your weaknesses and boosted your total score up to 1480. How would your stats look then?
With a 1480 composite score, here's what your stats would be:
- 1480 National Percentile: 99th
- 1480 All SAT Percentile: 97th
Now, this may seem like just an improvement of a few percentile points, but the effect is dramatic. All of a sudden, you've moved from being just top 10% to top 1-3%. With 1480, you're not quite competitive for Ivy league schools yet, but you can certainly start applying to them as ‘reach' schools! With 1380, it's near impossible to get into a school like Yale University. With 1480, it's still quite hard, but now (with some stellar extracurriculars) you stand a much better chance.
Some schools that drop down from “reach schools” to “target schools” are:
- Northeastern University, Boston, MA
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
- Brown University, Boston, MA
- Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
- Boston University, Boston, MA
- Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Tips for Improving Your SAT Score
This post isn't exactly about improving your test scores, but I do have a few tips and tricks that helped me raise my own SAT score (from the first time I took the test to the second). I’ll lay some of them out for you, and hopefully they can help you in your own test prep journey:
- Read Smart Things: pick and choose articles out of New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Review of Books to read and analyze. Don't just take in the information, really ask questions about the text. Doing this will sharpen your critical reading skills and prepare you for the reading test portion of the SAT.
- Learn English Grammar RULES: if English is your first language, you’ll be tempted to just go by “feel” on the SAT writing section (aka grammar section). Unfortunately, this is simply not enough. To maximize improvement in the shortest amount of time, I suggest learning the actual rules that feed into your instinctive “feel” of English. Not only will this boost your SAT writing score, but it will also improve your actual writing skills.
- Do tons of practice tests: practice tests provide you with an actual feel of how the actual SAT will go. Do as many real, full-length, timed tests as you can before taking the actual SAT. Khan Academy offers 8 of them (these are the closest to real SAT I've found), and you can find many more in Barron’s books, Ivy Global, and Princeton Review. Practice tests and practice questions are some of the best ways to boost your SAT score (just make sure you do them for the ‘new SAT' and not the old one).
1380 SAT Score: Everything You Need to Know
A 1380 SAT score is undoubtedly impressive. College-admissions (college admission officers) will see it and think “this student is clearly smart and has lots of potential.” It places you at around the 90th percentile, meaning you're in the top 10% of SAT test-takers.
That being said, most colleges and universities take a holistic approach when it comes to college admissions, looking at other factors like:
- Overall academic excellence – What are your strengths and weaknesses academically? Is your grade point average trending up or down?
- ACT scores (and other standardized tests) – Did you just spend your time studying for the SAT exam to get a good score or are you actually a smart student all around?
- SAT subject tests, AP classes, and the SAT essay – Did you take the initiative to do more than just take the SAT?
- School counselor recommendations – How do you compare to other students when it comes to behavior? Will you fit and jive well with their already admitted students?
- Class rank – Compared to the scores of students in your high school, how did you do?
So, how well your 1380 SAT score fares largely depends on what you do with your time outside of SAT prep.
With a 1380 SAT score, you’ll be able to get into a lot of good schools but will probably struggle a bit with “top schools.” Luckily, there are lots of ways you can increase your math testing, reading comprehension, and writing analysis abilities in a short period of time. The road ahead might seem tough now, but just keep on pushing forward, and you’ll end up where you need to be.
FAQ About the SAT
What does it mean now that some schools are going “SAT optional”?
- Recently some schools have started dropping their SAT requirements. Some famous examples include Harvard College, MIT, and John Hopkins. All this means for you is that you can decide whether or not to report your scores. If you get an excellent SAT score that you're proud of, by all means, put it in your application. However, if you get what you feel is a bad SAT score, there's no need to fret as you don't need to report it and you can focus on letting other parts of your application shine.
What does the average SAT score range say about my chances of being admitted?
- Though it's recommended that you be in at least the 75th percentile of the SAT score range of your target schools, college admissions officers look at more than just test scores (see above). Many colleges (including some of the best colleges in the world) take a very holistic approach to admissions. As such, you shouldn't let a high SAT score range deter you from applying to certain schools that you want to attend.
When should I start preparing for the SAT?
- Though everyone's timeline is different, it's recommended that you start preparing for the SAT right after your sophomore year to increase the chances of getting a good SAT score that you're happy with and getting admitted to your dream school. You don't want to leave this task for the last minute and scramble to try and put together a good score for your college applications. Starting in the summer after sophomore year will give you plenty of time to study and potentially retake the SAT if you get a score you're unsatisfied with.
Jeff is a current Harvard student and author of the blog Financial Pupil who is passionate about learning, living, and sharing all things personal finance-related. He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys the pursuit of financial freedom. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.