# SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Are you looking for ultra high precision SAT percentiles?  I've calculated SAT percentiles to 6 digits of precision (and yes every digit can help especially if you're at the high end), with data updated for 2016.

## Recap: What Are SAT Score Percentiles?

If you need a refresher on what an SAT percentile is, I highly recommend this excellent article on how to think of SAT percentiles. In short, your SAT percentile ranking tells you how you did compared to everyone else. If you have a 65 percentile (sometimes spelled %tile), you scored better than 65% of students. Your percentile score is not at all like a test score out of 100 -- a test score usually refers to the fraction of questions you got right while a percentile represents the fraction of other students you beat.

## What Are the Percentile Ranges for the SAT?

Most charts, including ones from the College Board itself, only give percentiles to two digits of precision. This leads to a lot of silly tables. For example, on the official College Board table, a ton of scores map to 99th percentile.  In fact, the 19 scores from 2220 to 2400 inclusive map to 99%.

This just isn't enough precision for many purposes.  For example, scoring a 2400 means you're in the top one out of 5000 test takers, whereas scoring a 2220 means you're the top one out of just 66 students -- yet both map to a 99 percentile.  If you're scoring near the top of the range, knowing high precision percentiles is very helpful.

Even for students scoring less than near-perfect, higher precision can help. If you're competitive and want to get into a good college, every percent matters (just take a look at sports -- races are won by a hundredth of a second).  Suppose you find out you improved from 50th percentile to 51st percentile. This could be just a small jump from 50.4 to 50.5, or it could be a massive leap from 49.5 to 51.4.  One is nineteen times larger than the other. In other words, higher precision helps you understand more.

Without further ado, Here is the table, with data released from 2016:

### Old SAT Scores, Imputed New SAT Scores, and High Precision 6-Digit Percentiles

 Old SAT Score New SAT Score Percentile 2400 1600 99.9826 2390 1593 99.9581 2380 1587 99.9411 2370 1580 99.9157 2360 1573 99.8801 2350 1567 99.8413 2340 1560 99.7950 2330 1553 99.7354 2320 1547 99.6664 2310 1540 99.5923 2300 1533 99.5141 2290 1527 99.4276 2280 1520 99.3395 2270 1513 99.2459 2260 1507 99.1397 2250 1500 99.0273 2240 1493 98.9104 2230 1487 98.7855 2220 1480 98.6515 2210 1473 98.5063 2200 1467 98.3528 2190 1460 98.1924 2180 1453 98.0238 2170 1447 97.8469 2160 1440 97.6597 2150 1433 97.4642 2140 1427 97.2555 2130 1420 97.0358 2120 1413 96.8045 2110 1407 96.5559 2100 1400 96.2958 2090 1393 96.0276 2080 1387 95.7529 2070 1380 95.4650 2060 1373 95.1588 2050 1367 94.8398 2040 1360 94.5099 2030 1353 94.1634 2020 1347 93.7955 2010 1340 93.4120 2000 1333 93.0201 1990 1327 92.6195 1980 1320 92.2101 1970 1313 91.7854 1960 1307 91.3402 1950 1300 90.8779 1940 1293 90.3975 1930 1287 89.9012 1920 1280 89.3846 1910 1273 88.8429 1900 1267 88.2867 1890 1260 87.7155 1880 1253 87.1305 1870 1247 86.5287 1860 1240 85.9086 1850 1233 85.2697 1840 1227 84.6085 1830 1220 83.9373 1820 1213 83.2498 1810 1207 82.5362 1800 1200 81.7995 1790 1193 81.0451 1780 1187 80.2791 1770 1180 79.4952 1760 1173 78.6945 1750 1167 77.8770 1740 1160 77.0333 1730 1153 76.1735 1720 1147 75.3036 1710 1140 74.4108 1700 1133 73.4994 1690 1127 72.5711 1680 1120 71.6280 1670 1113 70.6719 1660 1107 69.7021 1650 1100 68.7169 1640 1093 67.7098 1630 1087 66.6887 1620 1080 65.6533 1610 1073 64.5884 1600 1067 63.5074 1590 1060 62.4244 1580 1053 61.3263 1570 1047 60.2113 1560 1040 59.0780 1550 1033 57.9348 1540 1027 56.7944 1530 1020 55.6413 1520 1013 54.4725 1510 1007 53.2926 1500 1000 52.1009 1490 993 50.9224 1480 987 49.7397 1470 980 48.5449 1460 973 47.3556 1450 967 46.1566 1440 960 44.9528 1430 953 43.7531 1420 947 42.5425 1410 940 41.3276 1400 933 40.1243 1390 927 38.9328 1380 920 37.7371 1370 913 36.5401 1360 907 35.3573 1350 900 34.1848 1340 893 33.0214 1330 887 31.8637 1320 880 30.7209 1310 873 29.5865 1300 867 28.4646 1290 860 27.3632 1280 853 26.2750 1270 847 25.1993 1260 840 24.1399 1250 833 23.1032 1240 827 22.0875 1230 820 21.0863 1220 813 20.1109 1210 807 19.1715 1200 800 18.2462 1190 793 17.3384 1180 787 16.4691 1170 780 15.6303 1160 773 14.8145 1150 767 14.0277 1140 760 13.2678 1130 753 12.5365 1120 747 11.8273 1110 740 11.1387 1100 733 10.4869 1090 727 9.8699 1080 720 9.2785 1070 713 8.7117 1060 707 8.1716 1050 700 7.6531 1040 693 7.1558 1030 687 6.6918 1020 680 6.2537 1010 673 5.8385 1000 667 5.4509 990 660 5.0868 980 653 4.7419 970 647 4.4099 960 640 4.1003 950 633 3.8120 940 627 3.5352 930 620 3.2731 920 613 3.0288 910 607 2.7996 900 600 2.5786 890 593 2.3712 880 587 2.1790 870 580 1.9942 860 573 1.8196 850 567 1.6576 840 560 1.5043 830 553 1.3616 820 547 1.2274 810 540 1.1014 800 533 0.9862 790 527 0.8816 780 520 0.7862 770 513 0.6972 760 507 0.6150 750 500 0.5381 740 493 0.4663 730 487 0.4022 720 480 0.3430 710 473 0.2897 700 467 0.2430 690 460 0.2014 680 453 0.1642 670 447 0.1312 660 440 0.1047 650 433 0.0831 640 427 0.0651 630 420 0.0484 620 413 0.0365 610 407 0.0278 600 400 0.0112

Methodology: How did we calculate the percentiles?  We used real official data released by the College Board on the exact number of students who earned a certain score. Then, we summed the exact number of students (not a survey, not an estimate, the exact number of students to the single individual) to get the percentile. Within a score group (e.g. those scoring exactly 2110), we presume exactly half are above, and half are below, so that 600 does not correspond to 0.0000 percentile, nor does a perfect 2400 correspond to 100.0000 percentile exactly.

## Do the Percentiles Change Year to Year?

Within the old SAT, the percentiles have not changed much at all year to year in the last few years of administration.  In other words, from about January 2013 to January 2016 inclusive, the old SAT percentiles have remained the same. Therefore, you can use any of the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 years for each other. However, you should not use very early years (e.g. 2005) because the test does suffer from some long-term drift.

A note about the current (new) SAT vs. the old SAT. The table above is from the old SAT, with imputed new SAT scores. This means the new SAT scores are NOT from the new SAT directly. They are calculated from how we would mathematically, linearly, think about new SAT scores from old SAT scores. This is good enough if you want a rough mapping between the two. However, if you are looking for exactness, the above table is most useful for the old SAT, and I would wait for new SAT data to be released (likely 2017) to calculate an exact new SAT table -- no one has that data yet!

## What’s Next?

Now that you know the ins and outs of national percentiles, check out what the average SAT scores are or take a look at the average SAT scores in your state.

Trying to figure out your SAT target score? Or maybe you’ve taken the SAT, but you’re not sure if your score makes you competitive. Check out our guide to SAT scores to help you develop your personal target score using the colleges you want to apply to.

Reaching for the stars? Check out what a good SAT score for the Ivy League looks like.

Dr. Fred Zhang

Fred is co-founder of PrepScholar. He scored a perfect score on the SAT and is passionate about sharing information with aspiring students. Fred graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Economics.

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