Benefits of Setting an SAT Target Score
If you’ve taken the PSAT/NMSQT® and are thinking about taking the SAT®, setting your target score is a great next step. Why? Because setting your own goal—as opposed to striving for what you may have heard is a “good” score—gives you more ownership of the outcome. Think of this as something that you’re doing just for you. Since many colleges now have test-optional policies, when you take the SAT, you have the option of sharing your score or not, so there is no risk of others seeing how you perform unless you want them to.
Here are a few ways setting a target score can help:
- Having a clear goal can help you focus your study efforts and make a plan that will help you achieve that score.
- You’ll be more motivated to work harder to achieve that target.
- You’ll be able to measure your progress and increase your chance of success.
- Whether or not you achieve your target score, you’ll have a clear path for what to do next.
A few simple steps to setting your target score:
- Create your college list. Researching the colleges that interest you on BigFuture® can help you identify the score range you should aim for. Average score ranges have been changing lately, with colleges still adjusting to new test optional policies, but the SAT score range listed is a good place to start.
- Understand your most recent test score. If you took the PSAT/NMSQT or a practice SAT, you’ve already established your baseline. Now you can dig into your score report to understand how your score compares to others and what areas you should focus on to practice and improve. Look at the number and types of questions you got wrong, and how many more of those questions you would need to answer correctly to raise your score.
- Determine a realistic target score for you. Based on where you are now and where you want to end up, you can decide your own goal.
OK, so you have a goal in mind. Now what?
- Write it down: Put it in a notebook or on a sticky note that you’ll see every day. Documenting your commitment to yourself is an important part of staying on track. Plus, it will remind you what you were aiming for so that you’ll know what to do next after your score comes in.
- Tell someone: Sharing your goal with a friend, family member, or your SAT Study Group can give you added support.
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- Congratulate yourself on taking this step!