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SAT Historical Percentiles for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011

Posted by Justin Berkman | May 19, 2019 11:00:00 AM

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If you took the SAT from 2011-2015, you may be wondering what your percentile score is on the SAT. Is a 1500 on the SAT in 2011 the same percentile score as a 1500 in 2015? Do percentile scores change over time?

In this article, I will explain SAT percentile scores, how they change, and I'll provide the percentile scores for SAT combined scores and section scores for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

Note: Go to this article instead if you're looking for historical percentiles for the new SAT (tests taken March 2016 and later).

 

What Are Percentile Scores?

Percentile scores reveal how well you did in relation to other people. If you scored in the 99th percentile, then you did better than 99% of the people who took the test. If you scored in the 50th percentile, then you scored higher than 50% of the people who took the test.

The College Board determines its percentile scores annually from the scores of college-bound high school seniors who took the SAT. The higher your percentile score, the better you did relative to other high school seniors

 

Do Percentile Scores Change?

Generally, percentile scores for equivalent SAT scores stay the same from year to year. For example, a combined SAT score of 2180 was the 98th percentile in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

However, percentile scores for the same combined and section scores can change very slightly. A combined score of 1990 was the 92nd percentile for 2014, but it was the 93rd percentile in 2011-2013 and 2015. Similarly, a score of 630 on Critical Reading was the 86th percentile in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015, but it was the 87th percentile in 2012.

The SAT does try to utilize its scoring system so that equivalent SAT scores are indicative of the same percentile scores and skill level, regardless of when the test was taken. The purpose of the SAT is to provide a valid way to compare students. A score of 1600 from March 2015 is supposed to be equivalent to a 1600 from April 2015 or April 2007

 

How Should You Use This Data and Why Is It Important?

Your percentile score is the most straightforward way to determine if you got a good or bad SAT score. If you scored higher than the majority of test-takers, then you did well. However, when you apply to a specific college, you're being compared to the other students who apply to that school. Most colleges publicize their 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores. If you want to be competitive for admission at a certain college, then your target score should be around the school's 75th percentile score.

Also, percentile scores help put your scores in context. There may not seem to be much difference between a 680 on the Critical Reading section and a 600 on Math, but the Critical Reading score is the 94th percentile while the Math score is the 75th (according to 2015 SAT percentiles). Raising each section score by 100 points would raise the Critical Reading percentile ranking by 5 points but the Math by 18. If you're considering retaking the SAT, your percentile scores can help you determine how you should prioritize your time.

Similarly, a small composite score increase can have a huge impact on your percentile score if you received a middle score. For example, in 2015, a 1500 was the 52nd percentile but a 1750 was the 78th. Raising your score 250 points can raise your score from average to among the top 1/4 of test-takers.

Finally, seeing the percentile scores for multiple years shows how little variance there is between percentile scores for the same SAT composite or section score in different years. If you're worried about how an older SAT score stacks up with more recent scores, take a look at these charts to get an idea of how it compares.

 

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Composite Score Percentiles, 2015 - 2011

Score 2015 Percentile 2014 Percentile 2013 Percentile 2012 Percentile 2011 Percentile
2400 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 
2390 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2380 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2370 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2360 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2350 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2340 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2330 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2320 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2310 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+  99+ 
2300 99 99 99+ 99 99+ 
2290 99 99 99 99  99+ 
2280 99 99 99 99  99 
2270 99 99 99 99  99 
2260 99 99 99 99  99 
2250 99 99 99 99  99 
2240 99 99 99 99  99 
2230 99 99 99 99  99 
2220 99 99 99  99  99 
2210 98 98 98  99  99 
2200 98 98 98  98  98 
2190 98 98 98  98  98 
2180 98 98 98  98  98 
2170 98 98 98  98  98 
2160 98 98 98  98  98 
2150 97 97 97  97  98
2140 97 97 97  97  97 
2130 97 97 97  97  97 
2120 97 97 97  97  97 
2110 97 96 97  97  97
2100 96 96 96  96  96 
2090 96 96 96  96  96 
2080 96 96 96  96  96 
2070 95 95 95  96  96 
2060 95 95 95  95  95 
2050 95 95 95  95  95 
2040 94 94 94  95  95 
2030 94 94 94  94  94 
2020 94 94 94  94  94 
2010 93 93 93  93  93 
2000 93 93 93  93  93 
1990 93 92 93  93  93 
1980 92 92 92  92  92 
1970 92 92 92  92  92 
1960 91 91 91  91  91 
1950 91 91 91  91  91 
1940 90 90 90  90  90 
1930 90 90 90  90  90 
1920 89 89 89  89  89 
1910 89 89 89  89  89 
1900 88 88 88  88  88 
1890 88 87 88  88  88 
1880 87 87 87  87  87 
1870 87 86 86  87  86 
1860 86 86 86  86  86 
1850 85 85 85  85  85 
1840 85 84 84  85  84 
1830 84 84 84  84  84 
1820 83 83 83  83  83 
1810 83 82 82  82  82 
1800 82 81 82  82  82 
1790 81 81 81  81  81 
1780 80 80 80  80  80 
1770 80 79 79  79  79 
1760 79 78 78  79  78 
1750 78 77 78  78  78 
1740 77 77 77  77  77 
1730 76 76 76  76  76 
1720 75 75 75  75  75 
1710 74 74 74  74  74 
1700 74 73 73  73  73 
1690 73 72 72  72  72 
1680 72 71 71  71  71 
1670 71 70 70  70  70 
1660 70 69 69  69  69 
1650 69 68 68  68  68 
1640 68 67 67  67  67 
1630 67 66 66  66  66 
1620 66 65 65  65  65 
1610 65 64 64  64  64 
1600 64 63 63  63  63 
1590 62 62 62  62  62 
1580 61 61 61  61  61 
1570 60 60 60  60  59 
1560 59 59 58  59  58 
1550 58 57 57  57  57 
1540 57 56 56  56  56 
1530 56 55 55  55  55 
1520 55 54 54  54  53 
1510 53 53 52  53  52 
1500 52 52 51  51  51 
1490 51 50 50  50  50 
1480 50 49 49  49  49 
1470 49 48 48  48  47 
1460 48 47 46  47  46 
1450 46 46 45  45  45 
1440 45 44 44  44  44 
1430 44 43 43  43  42 
1420 43 42 42  42  41 
1410 42 41 40  40  40 
1400 40 40 39  39  39 
1390 39 38 38  38  38 
1380 38 37 37  37  36 
1370 37 36 36  36  35 
1360 36 35 34  34  34 
1350 34 34 33  33  33 
1340 33 32 32  32  32 
1330 32 31 31  31  30 
1320 31 30 30  30  29 
1310 30 29 29  29  28 
1300 29 28 27  27  27 
1290 28 27 26  26  26 
1280 27 26 25  25  25 
1270 26 25 24  24  24 
1260 25 24 23  23  23 
1250 24 23 22  22  22 
1240 22 22 21  21  21 
1230 22 21 20  20  20 
1220 21 20 19  19  19 
1210 20 19 18  18  18 
1200 19 18 17  17  17 
1190 18 17 17  16  16 
1180 17 16 16  16  15 
1170 16 15 15  15  14 
1160 15 14 14  14  14 
1150 14 14 13  13  13 
1140 14 13 13  12  12 
1130 13 12 12  11  11 
1120 12 11 11  10  11 
1110 12 11 11  10  10 
1100 11 10 10 
1090 10 10
1080 10 9 9
1070 9 8 8
1060 9 8
1050 8 7
1040 7 7 7
1030 7 6
1020 7 6 6
1010 6 6
1000 6 5
990 5 5
980 5 5
970 5 4
960 4 4 4
950 4 4
940 4 3
930 3 3
920 3 3
910 3 3
900 3 2
890 2 2
880 2 2
870 2 2
860 2 2
850 2 2
840 2 1
830 1 1
820 1 1
810 1 1
800 1 1
790 1 1
780 1 1
770 1 1 1-  1- 
760 1 1 1-  1-  1- 
750 1 1 1-  1-  1- 
740 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
730 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
720 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
710 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
700 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
690 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
680 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
670 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
660 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
650 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
640 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
630 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
620 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
610 1- 1- 1-  1-  1- 
600 -- -- -- -- --

 

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Section Score Percentiles

 

Critical Reading

Score 2015 Percentile 2014 Percentile 2013 Percentile 2012 Percentile 2011 Percentile
800 99 99 99 99+ 99+
790 99 99 99 99 99
780 99 99 99 99 99
770 99 99 99 99 99
760 99 99 99 99 99
750 98 98 98 98 98
740 98 98 98 98 98
730 97 97 97 97 97
720 96 97 97 97 97
710 96 96 96 96 96
700 96 95 95 95 95
690 95 94 94 94 94
680 94 93 94 93 93
670 92 92 92 92 92
660 91 91 91 91 91
650 90 90 90 90 90
640 89 88 88 88 88
630 86 86 86 87 86
620 84 84 84 84 84
610 82 82 82 83 82
600 80 80 80 81 80
590 78 77 77 78 78
580 75 75 75 76 75
570 73 72 73 73 73
560 70 70 70 71 70
550 67 66 67 67 67
540 64 64 64 64 64
530 61 60 61 61 60
520 57 57 57 58 58
510 54 54 54 55 54
500 51 50 51 51 51
490 48 47 48 48 47
480 44 44 44 44 44
470 41 40 41 41 40
460 37 37 37 37 37
450 35 34 34 34 34
440 31 31 31 31 30
430 28 27 27 27 27
420 25 25 24 25 24
410 22 21 21 21 21
400 19 19 18 19 18
390 17 16 16 16 16
380 15 14 14 14 14
370 13 12 12 12 11
360 11 10 10 10 10
350 9 9 8 9 8
340 8 7 7 7 7
330 7 6 6 6 6
320 5 5 5 5 5
310 5 4 4 4 4
300 4 4 4 3 3
290 3 3 3 3 3
280 3 3 3 2 2
270 2 2 2 2 2
260 2 2 2 2 2
250 2 2 2 1 1
240 1 1 1 1 1
230 1 1 1 1 1
220 1 1 1 1 1
210 1 1 1 1 1
200 -- -- -- -- --

 

 

Math

Score 2015 Percentile 2014 Percentile 2013 Percentile 2012 Percentile 2011 Percentile
800 99 99 99 99 99
790 99 99 99 99 99
780 99 99 99 98 99
770 98 98 98 98 98
760 97 97 97 97 98
750 97 97 97 97 97
740 96 96 96 96 96
730 95 95 96 96 96
720 95 95 95 95 95
710 94 94 94 94 94
700 93 93 93 93 93
690 92 91 92 92 92
680 90 90 90 90 90
670 89 88 89 89 89
660 87 87 87 87 87
650 86 85 85 85 86
640 84 83 83 83 84
630 82 82 81 82 82
620 80 79 79 80 80
610 77 77 77 78 77
600 75 75 75 74 75
590 73 73 73 72 73
580 71 70 70 70 70
570 68 67 67 67 67
560 66 64 65 64 64
550 62 62 62 62 62
540 59 59 58 58 58
530 56 55 55 55 55
520 53 52 52 52 52
510 50 49 48 49 48
500 46 45 45 45 46
490 44 42 42 42 41
480 41 40 38 39 38
470 37 36 35 35 36
460 34 33 32 32 32
450 31 30 29 29 29
440 28 27 26 26 26
430 25 24 23 23 23
420 22 21 21 21 20
410 19 19 18 18 17
400 17 16 16 16 15
390 15 14 14 13 13
380 13 12 12 11 11
370 11 10 10 10 10
360 9 9 9 8 8
350 8 7 7 7 7
340 7 6 6 6 6
330 6 5 5 5 5
320 5 4 4 4 4
310 4 3 3 3 3
300 3 3 3 2 2
290 2 2 2 2 2
280 2 2 2 2 2
270 1 1 1 1 1
260 1 1 1 1 1
250 1 1 1 1 1
240 1 1 1 1 1
230 1 1 1 1 1
220 1- 1- 1- 1- 1-
210 1- 1- 1- 1- 1-
200 -- -- -- -- --

 

 

Writing

Score 2015 Percentile 2014 Percentile 2013 Percentile 2012 Percentile 2011 Percentile
800 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+ 99+
790 99 99 99 99 99
780 99 99 99 99 99
770 99 99 99 99 99
760 99 99 99 99 99
750 98 98 98 98 98
740 98 98 98 98 98
730 98 97 98 98 97
720 97 97 97 97 97
710 96 96 96 96 96
700 96 96 96 96 96
690 95 95 95 95 95
680 94 94 94 94 94
670 93 93 93 93 93
660 92 92 92 92 92
650 91 90 90 90 90
640 89 89 89 89 89
630 88 88 88 88 88
620 86 86 86 86 86
610 84 84 84 84 84
600 82 82 82 82 82
590 80 80 80 80 80
580 78 78 78 78 78
570 76 76 76 75 75
560 74 73 73 73 72
550 71 70 70 70 70
540 68 68 68 67 67
530 65 65 65 64 64
520 62 62 61 61 61
510 59 58 58 58 58
500 56 55 55 55 54
490 53 52 51 52 51
480 49 48 48 48 47
470 46 45 45 44 44
460 42 41 41 41 40
450 39 38 37 38 37
440 35 34 34 34 34
430 32 31 30 31 30
420 29 28 27 27 27
410 25 25 24 24 24
400 22 21 21 21 21
390 19 19 18 18 18
380 17 16 16 16 15
370 14 14 13 13 13
360 12 12 11 11 11
350 10 10 9 9 9
340 8 8 8 8 7
330 7 7 6 6 6
320 6 5 5 5 5
310 5 4 4 4 4
300 4 4 3 3 3
290 3 3 3 3 3
280 3 2 2 2 2
270 2 2 2 2 2
260 2 2 2 1 1
250 2 1 1 1 1
240 1 1 1 1 1
230 1 1 1 1 1
220 1 1 1 1 1
210 1 1 1 1 1-
200 -- -- -- -- --

 

What's Next?

Check out these posts on what SAT scores measure and if you need SAT scores to transfer colleges.

How do these compare to percentiles on the new SAT? Learn more about new SAT percentile ranks here.

Finally, learn how to calculate your SAT score.

 

Want to learn more about the SAT but tired of reading blog articles? Then you'll love our free, SAT prep livestreams. Designed and led by PrepScholar SAT experts, these live video events are a great resource for students and parents looking to learn more about the SAT and SAT prep.

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Justin Berkman
About the Author

Justin has extensive experience teaching SAT prep and guiding high school students through the college admissions and selection process. He is firmly committed to improving equity in education and helping students to reach their educational goals. Justin received an athletic scholarship for gymnastics at Stanford University and graduated with a BA in American Studies.



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