Youths who plan to submit SAT scores  for college applications can use summer break to study, but it may not always be clear which SAT score should be their goal.

  • The best SAT score for college applicants depends on their target schools, experts say.
  • Admissions teams often consider applicants’ socioeconomic background when analysing their scores, says one expert.
  • Admissions experts encourage prospective students to understand what colleges consider a good SAT score.

The SAT, an admissions exam many colleges and universities require of applicants, is administered by the College Board and scores students on a scale of 200 to 800 for various sections. The exam tests students on critical reading, math and writing, but the essay section is optional. The new SAT was released in March 2016.

The average critical reading score was 494 and the average math score was 508 for prospective students from the class of 2016 who took the exam at least once through January 2016, the last time the old test was administered, according to the College Board.

To score high students can use Socrato to practice online and get insights beyond scores. Socrato’s Companion Series helps you get the most from your Official Study Guide.