What Are SAT Percentiles?
Question
Which is the number one key word or phrase?
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Hello. I’m Dr. Rachelle Wolosoff, founder of CollegeSearchExpert.com., and I’m here for About.com. I’m going to discuss what SAT percentiles are.The SAT percentiles matter to college admission officers because they relate to who you are academically. At least with respect to this test. There are certainly other factors that go into it. But the percentiles tell them a story.Those people that have been accepted, how do they compare to you. Those people who have taken the same exam that you have, how do you compare to them?The SAT percentiles, I like to think they come in two forms, if you will. When you get your SAT results back, for example, you will see a chart like this, actually, that will show your percentile ranks. So, if in fact, you obtained in critical reading a score of 760 or above, you’re in the 99th percentile. Clearly that means only one percent of those that took this exam scored higher than you. That’s important knowledge for you to have and certainly for those who are looking at those scores for the college level to know.Another way to look at these percentiles is when you go to for example, collegeboard.com, or other websites where they give a range, a mid-range score, these statistics of 550 to 620 represents the mid fifty percentile of those students actually enrolled in this school. That gives a student of where he or she stands with her own SAT score. So the lower number of 550 is for the 25th percentile of enrolled students, where as the 620 represents the 75th percentile.So, that means, if you score higher than the 620 on the Critical Reading portion of your SAT then you are in the above 75th percentile or the top 25 percent of students. So, if you’re above that – that’s very, very good. If you’re in the middle range that’s the target range and below that would probably be a reach school for you. In fact, that’s often the way we look at safety schools amongst other factors that need to be considered, is where you fall in your SAT range.And, whether or not, the other factor is, what the acceptance rate of the school is. So, if you are above the 620 in this particular case, only 25 percent of the students are in that range. If you are in that range and that school has an acceptance rate of 50 percent or greater, that’s a safety school for you. Thank you for watching. To learn more, visit us at About.com.