If you want to gain admission to a top university, it helps to check out their average SAT scores.

From small liberal arts colleges like Bowdoin and Kenyon to larger schools like the University of Notre Dame and specialized schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we’ve compiled a list of average SAT scores for their most recently admitted classes — the class of 2016.

The SAT is made up of three sections — critical reading, math and writing — with a maximum of 800 points possible in each section. Whether you’ve already taken the SAT or are gearing up to take it soon, these scores will help you see what to aim for as you explore which university is right for you.

Boston College

Boston College admitted a class of freshmen in 2012 with average SAT scores between 1930 and 2150.

Bowdoin College

SAT scores in reading for the most recent freshman class at Bowdoin ranged between 670 and 760, math scores between 670 and 750 and writing scores between 670 and 760.

Carnegie Mellon University

This year’s freshmen at Carnegie Mellon boasted a reading SAT score average of 680, a math average of 730 and a writing average of 680.

Davidson College

Scores at Davidson for the most recently admitted class averaged between 620 and 720 for reading and writing, and 640 and 720 for math.

Emory University

The average SAT scores of Emory’s class of 2016 are a combined 2020-2240, with average reading scores between 650 and 740, writing scores between 670 and 760 and math scores between 670 and 770.

Kenyon College

Kenyon boasts a freshman class with average composite SAT scores between 1870 and 2130, with reading averages between 650-740, math between 670 and 770 and writing between 670 and 760.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT’s class of 2016 scored an average of 680-780 on the reading portion of the SAT, 690-790 on the writing portion and (not surprisingly) 740-800 on the math portion.

Rice University

Average SAT scores for the freshmen at Rice were 700-780 in reading, 690-780 in writing and 710-790 in math.

University of Notre Dame

The class of 2016 at Notre Dame entered with an average composite SAT score between 1380 and 1510, on a 1600-point scale (reading and math).

Vassar College

At Vassar, the average composition SAT score for the most recent freshman class was between 2010 and 2200, with a reading average of 704, a math average of 690 and a writing average of 699.

Now that you have a sense of the numbers it takes to get into these or similar schools, get ready to hit the books! But remember, standardized tests are only one part of a well-rounded college application.

Essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities and good grades can all count in your favor. A below average SAT score can be redeemed with study and an extra try, or by making the rest of your application standout material.

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Megan Dorsey
7 years ago

Yes, it is good for students to know average SAT scores for top schools, but keep in mind at these schools, scores are not enough. Every year top schools reject students with perfect or near-perfect SAT scores because they are not competitive with other applicants based on academic and extracurricular criteria. Know the SAT scores, but know that top colleges and universities demand so much more.