When the SAT or ACT scores come out, we are often asked, “Is that a good SAT or ACT score?” This is a tough question to answer because “good” is very relative.

Before I answer that question for a parent or student, I always ask which schools will the student apply to? This is important when starting test prep so that the student has a clear idea of his or her goal score. Here are a few of the most popular schools in Virginia and their average SAT score ranges:

College Name Mid-50% SAT Mid 50% ACT


Virginia Tech 1180-1390 25-31
VCU 1070-1260 21-28
JMU 1160-1320 24-30
Radford 950-1100 19-24


Another question to ask is what else do you bring to the table as an applicant? For example, an athlete that is being recruited by a school may score at the lower end of the accepted SAT score range but be accepted since the school may weigh athletic ability against the less than stellar SAT scores. Similarly, if you had a challenging year during your freshman year of high school and your GPA is not as high as you’d like, you may want to show that your SAT scores are above the average accepted scores to show the effort that you are now putting into your studies and your readiness for college level work.

The bottom line is there are many factors in college admissions and SAT or ACT scores are just one measurement that admissions counselors will use to determine whether or not they grant you admissions. Set a goal based on the schools to which you plan to apply. For highly competitive schools, like UVA or William and Mary, shoot for 1400+. For moderately competitive schools, like VT or JMU, target 1200-1300+. For less competitive schools, like Radford, aim for 1000-1100+.

Want to talk in more detail about your specific situation? Give us a call.