What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Can someone explain SAT percentiles to me with precision?

Hey, can anyone help me understand SAT percentiles more precisely? Like how they’re calculated and what’s the difference between, say, the 90th and 91st percentile? How important are these percentile ranges when colleges look at your scores, and should I aim for a certain percentile to be competitive at top colleges?

7 months ago

Hey there! SAT percentiles reflect the proportion of test-takers you outperformed with your score. For instance, if you're in the 90th percentile, you scored higher than 90% of test-takers. The difference between the 90th and 91st percentile is marginal, but being in a higher percentile can be a confidence booster, signaling you're ahead of more test-takers.

In terms of importance for college admissions, percentiles give schools a quick idea of where you stand amongst applicants nationally. For top colleges, typically you'd want to aim for the 90th percentile or above to be competitive, as these institutions often have a large number of applicants scoring in the top decile.

The exact percentile can vary by school, so it's great to check the middle 50% SAT score range for your target colleges to get a better idea. Remember that while a high percentile is advantageous, it is just one component of your application. Best of luck on your journey to college!

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.