Benchmarks

Get a detailed view of students’ skills to help them meet benchmarks.

The SAT Suite of Assessments College and Career Readiness Benchmarks work together to help students and educators assess student progress toward college readiness from year to year. Benchmarks help:

  • Identify students who are thriving and require greater challenges.
  • Identify students who require additional academic support.
  • Inform instructional and curricular enhancements throughout an institution.

SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmarks

Students are considered college and career ready when their SAT section scores meet both the Math and the Reading and Writing benchmarks. It's 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% chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in algebra, statistics, precalculus, or calculus.

Students with an SAT Reading and Writing section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75% 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

Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 see grade-level benchmarks on their score reports. Grade-level benchmarks represent the section scores on each assessment that students should meet or exceed to be considered on track for college and career readiness. They're based on expected student growth toward SAT College and Career Readiness benchmarks at each grade. When a student takes the SAT, their score is compared to the College and Career Readiness benchmark, regardless of their current grade.

Benchmarks shouldn’t be used to assign academic tracks, to discourage students from pursuing college, or to keep students from participating in challenging courses. Rather, the benchmarks are intended to help all students better prepare for life after high school.

If a student is meeting the benchmark for a section, remind them to continue to take challenging courses and work hard to stay on track for college success.

If a student is not meeting the benchmark for a section, connect them to classroom work that is focused on areas that need improvement.

Help all students think of ways to develop each of the skills they have identified for focus and improvement. Khan Academy® can help supplement this work.

Benchmark Values and Section Score Ranges

College and Career Readiness Benchmarks (SAT)


  • Reading and Writing: 480
  • Math: 530

SAT Section Score Ranges
200–800 Point Scale

  Red Yellow Green
Reading and Writing 200–450 460–470 480–800
Math 200–500 510–520 530–800

11th Grade Benchmarks (PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10)


  • Reading and Writing: 460
  • Math: 510

11th Grade Section Score Ranges
160–760 Point Scale

  Red Yellow Green
Reading and Writing 160–420 430–450 460–760
Math 160–470 480–500 510–760

10th Grade Benchmarks (PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10)


  • Reading and Writing: 430
  • Math: 480

10th Grade Section Score Ranges
160–760 Point Scale

  Red Yellow Green
Reading and Writing 160–400 410–420 430–760
Math 160–440 450–470 480–760

9th Grade Benchmarks (PSAT 8/9)


  • Reading and Writing: 410
  • Math: 450

9th Grade Section Score Ranges
120–720 Point Scale

  Red Yellow Green
Reading and Writing 120–380 390–400 410–720
Math 120–420 430–440 450–720

8th Grade Benchmarks (PSAT 8/9)


  • Reading and Writing: 390
  • Math: 430

8th Grade Section Score Ranges
120–720 Point Scale

  Red Yellow Green
Reading and Writing 120–360 370–380 390–720
Math 120–400 410–420 430–720

Resources