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SAT Cutoff: What is the SAT Exam Cutoff for Top Universities?

Yocket Editorial Team
SAT Cutoff: What is the SAT Exam Cutoff for Top Universities? Image

Whether or not you are good at studies, suitable for a job profile, or competent enough to earn revenue for your organisation will directly depend on your “cutoff”. It is the check to pass your exam, crack a job, earn revenue better than the set standards, and more. So is the case with SAT cutoffs!

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a standardised exam to get admission to undergraduate (UG) courses abroad. It evaluates a candidate’s Reading, Writing & Language, and Mathematical knowledge. SAT includes 156 questions that need to be answered in 180 minutes. At the end of the test, a candidate is scored on a 400-1600 scale. The SAT exam cutoff decides their selection for an undergraduate program or university. 

Keeping its significance in mind, let’s understand the nitty-gritty of the SAT cutoff in detail. 

  Table of Contents

What is a Suitable SAT Cutoff?

SAT cutoff is the minimum score that is directly responsible for your admission to an undergraduate college/university. Even though the minimum passing score for SAT is 400, as per the College Board there is no listed SAT cutoff for admission or scholarship. Besides, the cutoff for each student varies according to the selected course or university. 

Nonetheless, every university, college, or b-school sets a standard SAT exam cutoff for the aspirants. However, if you want to get a seat in the basic UG universities, work hard enough to fall in the range of minimum 1200-1350 SAT cutoff. This will help you achieve 75th to 90th percentile — SAT scores higher than 75% to 90% of students respectively. 

Note: College Board has set this SAT score benchmark for SAT college and career readiness. 

  • Evidence-based Reading, Writing & Language (EBRW): 480
  • Maths: 530 

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But what about the top undergraduate universities/colleges? 

Let’s check out this list of universities that have set the SAT exam cutoff marks for their students. 

SAT Cutoff for Top Universities

More than 4000 colleges and universities in 86 countries accept SAT exams. However, the SAT is most popular for undergraduate courses in US and Canada. Let’s check out the SAT cutoff scores set by universities in the US. 


QS Ranking

Average SAT Cutoff


Massachusetts Institute of Technology




Stanford University



Test-optional 2022-2023

Harvard University



Test-optional for 2022

California Institute of Technology




University of Chicago




University of Pennsylvania



Test-optional 2022-2023

Yale University




Columbia University



Test-optional for fall 2022

Princeton University




Cornell University



Test-optional till 2024

John Hopkins University



Test-optional till 2026

Northwestern University



Test-optional 2022-2023

University of California, Berkeley




University of California, Los Angeles



Test-optional till 2024

Duke University



Test-optional for 2022

Brown University



Test-optional for 2022

Rice University



Test-optional till 2023

Washington University in St. Louis




University of Southern California



Test-optional till 2023

Emory University



Test-optional fall of 2022

Vanderbilt University



Test-optional fall of 2024

University of Notre Dame



Test-optional fall of 2023

University of Virginia



Test-optional for 2023

Georgetown University




Suggested: Tips to Achieve Highest SAT Score

Latest SAT Cutoff Update 2022

Few universities have introduced a “test-optional” and “test-free” policy due to Covid-19 restrictions. Under this, the universities provide an option to the candidates to skip SAT exam or provide some other exam score. So students can select to leave the SAT exam and apply for admission with other crucial documents. Consequently, the candidates are advised to check the university's official websites for SAT updates. 

The list of other essential documents includes academic transcripts, Statement of Purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation (LOR), updated CV, passport, etc, as deciding factors. 

Suggested: What to do after SAT exam?

If you still have any doubts about SAT cutoffs for a university or which college to apply to with your SAT score, book a 15-minutes free session with the Yocket counsellors. They will surely guide you through!

Frequently Asked Questions on SAT Exam Cutoffs

Ques. Should I submit my SAT exam cut off marks to a test-optional or test-free college?

Ans. If you submit your SAT scores to the test-optional universities/colleges, they will be duly considered. However, the test-free or test-blind colleges do not consider the SAT scores even if submitted. 

Ques. What is a text-flexible college? 

Ans. A test-flexible college/university is the one where you can share other exam scores than SAT for admission. 

Ques. What is the average SAT math score to be accepted by the universities?

Ans. The average math SAT score should be 530 or more for successful admission. 

Ques. What if my SAT score is less than the cutoff? 

Ans. In this case, you can either retake the SAT or change your college list accordingly. 

Ques. Is the 75th percentile a good SAT exam qualifying mark? 

Ans. Yes, if your score ranking is above the 75th percentile, then there are higher chances of getting admission to a particular UG school. The condition is your other credentials must be on point. 

Ques. How to send SAT scores for college or university admission?

Ans. Once a candidate register’s on the College Board, they get four free chances to share their score reports with the selected universities. The SAT scores are received within 4-6 days of the exam date and the SAT reports can be further shared within the next 10 days. 

However, if a candidate wants to send extra SAT score reports, a fee of $12 is to be applied for each score report and $31 + additional charges for the rush reports. Every college demands to receive the SAT score report directly from the college board account, so be mindful not to share mere printouts. 

Ques. Can one enrol in undergraduate courses without SAT exam qualifying marks?

Ans. Yes, due to the 2020 pandemic, many universities like Boston University, Brown University, Rice University, Duke University, and more have implemented test-optional, test-blind, and test-flexible policies. You choose among them at your convenience and share your application for a UG program.

Ques. What other exams do colleges consider along with SAT for UG admissions? 

Ans. SAT cutoff, if achieved, alone can escalate your chances of getting selected to a college. However, other than it, universities also consider the academic scores of high school and ACT exam scores. 

Ques. Who can apply for the SAT exam?

Ans. Anyone above 13 years who has passed the 9th standard exam can apply for SAT. However, they will have to share a no objection letter from their parents or guardian. 

Ques. What is the highest SAT score to get into US universities?

Ans. The highest expected SAT score by the most prestigious US universities, b-schools, and colleges is 1500 or above. This score will assure your chances of getting selected for UG courses. 

Ques. What are the tips to achieve SAT cut off marks?

Ans. SAT cutoff and above score can be achieved by setting a target score range, registering for SAT, maintaining a practice schedule, taking full-length practice tests, analysing the area of improvement, and retaking SAT tests.

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