SAT Benchmarks Defined

  • Students are considered college and career ready when their SAT section scores meet both the math and the evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) benchmarks. It is important to note that college readiness is a continuum — students scoring below the SAT benchmarks can still be successful in college, especially with additional preparation and perseverance.

    • Students with an SAT math section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in algebra, statistics, pre-calculus or calculus.
    • Students with an SAT ERW section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in history, literature, social sciences, or writing classes.

Grade-Level Benchmarks Defined

    • Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 see grade-level benchmarks on their reports.
    • Grade-level benchmarks indicate whether students are on track for college and career readiness.
    • Benchmarks are based on expected student growth toward SAT benchmarks at each grade.
    • Preliminary benchmarks were used for the 2015 PSAT/NMSQT and fall PSAT 8/9 scores.

Benchmark Indicators

  • Score reports use colors to show how students scores relate to the SAT or grade-level benchmark. Those include:

    • Green: The section score meets or exceeds the benchmark.
    • Yellow: The section score is within one year’s academic growth of the benchmark.
    • Red: The section score is below the benchmark by more than one year’s academic growth.