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What is a Good Score on the SAT?

What is a Good Score on the SAT?

What is a good score on the SAT? Everybody asks me that!

There is no formula or calculation for what makes a good score.  A good SAT score is the best score that YOUR child can earn. But to guesstimate how your child is doing, I can suggest a scale based on the general population of the US. It doesn't fit every family, and it may not fit your child, but it can help you begin to think about test scores and what they might mean.

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Reporting SAT Scores To Colleges

Reporting SAT Scores To Colleges

Reporting SAT Scores To Colleges

I was just talking to one of my Gold Care Club members about the cost of sending SAT scores to colleges. Without planning, it can get pricey

When you register for the SAT test, the student can indicate up to four college recipients during registration. Only four score sends are included with your registration; you have to pay to send additional scores. I believe that it is $11-$12 per college when you send additional scores.  You will have to pay that amount per college if you don't indicate colleges when you register, also, and if you have more that 4 colleges where you are applying.  You can learn more about score reporting from the college board here:

You can see how the cost of applying to college can add up quickly and be expensive.  Think of it as part of your "college budget" and an investment in college costs to reduce the overall amount you need to pay, and reduce the overall student loan you might need. If the cost is burdensome, you can request a fee waiver based on family income. Read more about that here:  Fee Waivers for Tests and Applications

When you take a test like the SAT, ACT, AP, SAT Subject Tests or CLEP, make sure your child has practiced and will score well before sending them to take the real test. The reason I suggest that is to make sure the colleges will see good scores being sent, not practice scores.  Take the test at home a few times, timed, so you know they will do well.  If your child has learning challenges, or you are not sure how they will perform during the test, then it may be worth it financially to wait until you see the scores before sending them to a college.

Let me save you some money on reporting test scores. It's cheaper to choose your four favorite colleges first, before they take the test, where you know your child will reply. Then make sure your child has prepared for the test, and that the "worst case scenario" scores really aren't that bad. Then, list those colleges when you register for the test, so the scores are sent directly while it is free. I suggest your student take the SAT or ACT twice in the spring of their junior year - so the second time, you will have the option of sending it to different colleges, in case your college choices have changed. Then in senior year, as you are applying to colleges, you will have fewer places where you must pay to send those scores.

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What Goes on the Homeschool Transcript?

What Goes on the Homeschool Transcript?

By the time you’re finishing your student’s high school transcript during their senior year, you may start wondering how you can possibly fit any more information on that one little page!  But make sure you’ve got all the important stuff there!

A parent recently asked me whether she should put her child’s SAT scores and her grading scale on their transcript, and my answer, in general, is yes!  Including this information on the transcript can imply that you have really thought things through and decided that 90-100 percent is an A. In that sense, I think that having a grading scale on your transcript kind of makes you look tough and cool.

As far as the SAT or ACT scores go, while it’s not usually required on a transcript, I suggest that if those scores make your child look like a genius, then put it on the transcript.  But if your child didn’t test as well as they had hoped, then don’t put it on their transcript. Those test scores will be sent directly from the test company to the colleges you’re applying to, so they are going to get the scores anyway.

By putting the test scores on the transcript, you’re really just highlighting them. It’s a way of saying “Oh, look! Look at this,” which is one of the reasons why you want to put it there only if it makes your child look really smart. On the SAT, scores above 600 are very good, and scores above 700 are really excellent, since 800 is perfect.  It also depends on the child. If you have a child that is remedial in some way, then showing an average score on the SAT is going to make that transcript even stronger.


What is your experience with homeschool transcripts?

Curious about The HomeScholar? Read more on our About Us page.
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Should we take the SAT again?

Should we take the SAT again?

How do you interpret your student's SAT score?  Anything over 500 is average, and anything over 600 is good. A perfect score on the SAT essay is 24.

Studying for the test, and taking it again can be a GREAT idea that could save you $10,000 per year on college costs, depending on your situation.

Explain to your child that they don't have to get "smarter" when studying for the SAT. They only needto practice, and practice alone can increase their score. As your child takes sample tests, the questions will become more and more familiar, until they start to recognize the math questions and the kind of essay prompt provided. Practice will increase your child's speed filling in the bubbles, and they will get to the place where they won't even need to read the directions on each section.  Your child will also be familiar with the school testing environment now and just knowing exactly where the bathroom is located can raise her score!

So to study ...  if you have extra money you might sign your child up for a test preparation class in your local area. It's MUCH cheaper to buy a $20 book from the bookstore and study at home. Take the book, and cut out one whole test at a time, separating the bubble answer sheet, so your child can practice filling in the bubbles on a different piece of paper.  Do one section of each test once a day, each day before going out to play.  If morning is a "problem time" for your teenager, you might even consider doing it first thing in the morning, so the "morningness" of it seems familiar too. Have your child complete one section per day, timed. When the timer goes off, your child can correct their own work. Your student can look up their wrong answers, and read the explanation for just those questions.

Easy, peasy, cheap tip for getting big scholarships. Think about it this way, if you get $10,000 in scholarship money, what is the hourly wage for all the study time? Good!  It's a great investment in your time!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel.  You’ll  get notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

Please note: This post was updated in February 2016 to reflect the new SAT.
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Homeschooling High School: What SAT Score is Good Enough?

Homeschooling High School: What SAT Score is Good Enough?
What score is good enough?  Without naming names, this is a typical question about  SAT scores.

Lee, what score on the SAT would you say is okay not to take it again? David got 570 in math and 540 in reading. He didn't do well at all in the essay part. I think he should take them again and he kind of agrees but wants to see the detailed results to see what exactly he had problems with, which makes sense to me. I just wondered what your opinion was.

Let's get real. It depends on the student.  Honestly.

Here is a general rule of thumb for the SAT.  For each section, 500 is average, 600 is good, 700 is great, and 800 is perfect. As a mom, I would probably try to have them get over 600. Good luck convincing the teen!

What score is good enough for YOUR teen?

Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is LOTS of freedom!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!
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