Let me put it this way: the point of getting a high score on these tests is to differentiate yourself from other college applicants. That question has led to the idea of taking the SAT as a way of differentiating yourself at the top of the curve.
The idea is that if you can get a killer score on the SAT, it may be more impressive than if you get a killer score on the ACT.
#1: Take a practice ACT (like this one) in October of junior year—which is also when you’ll take the PSAT.#2: Ask yourself whether you preferred the format of one test or the other.#3: Compare the scores of those two tests using this website.
Add 80 points to your PSAT score to convert it to an SAT score.#4: Use those last two factors to make a decision. It’s still easier to improve your score on that test than the SAT.#5: If you’re a student already scoring in the 99 percentile on these early tests, strongly consider prepping for the SAT.
The higher your SAT score, the greater your chances are of getting into a top school.
But even a perfect SAT score is no guarantee of admission at the most selective institutions.
The SAT has two sections, math and reading/writing, each scored on a scale from 200 to 800.
To get into one of the top 100 most selective schools, you will generally need to have a composite SAT score of at least 1200, preferably 1400 or more.
That’s because SAT scores form a normal distribution centered on the median.
As shown in this graph, which shows the percentage of test takers in each 50 point increment, the test takers tend to bunch up around the middle.