“What is a good SAT score?” Michael, a sophomore at Daniel Hand High School asked. Through the fifteen years of teaching SATs to Connecticut students, I have been asked this question over a thousand times.
“Where do you want to go to college?” That would be my most common response. “The SATs are relevant in a practical sense for one single reason: college admission. A good score helps you gain admission to the colleges that you want to attend.”
That may be the literal truth but this answer is rarely satisfactory for my high school students, most of whom attend competitive Connecticut high schools. I realize that the question is really some version of “what score will make me look good to my high school friends, freemies, and enemies? And “what score will make my parents be proud of me/stop nagging me/approve of me?
As you can see, there is a practical answer and there is a psychological answer.