SAT tests measure your aptitude in mathematics, reading and writing. These complex exams require study and focus, as the results can make a difference in college applications and the way you begin your career. Understanding when to use this score on a resume can help you show prospective colleges and employers your abilities in basic and advanced educational concepts, especially if you have little or no background experience. In this article, we explain the parts of an SAT score and give details about adding this score to your resume.
What is an SAT score?
The SAT test measures your abilities in mathematics and evidenced-based reading and writing. Your SAT score consists of up to six parts. Here are the subsets of assessment scores provided by the College Board after you take your SAT test:
Total score: Participants receive a total score, which is a number between 400 and 1,600 that is typically used on most documentation. This number includes the sum of both sections of the test.
Section scores: Participants also receive scores for each part of the exam. This includes scores of 200-800 in evidence-based mathematics and reading and writing.
Test scores: This number represents individual tests within each section of the math, reading and writing and language portions of the exam. Scores range from 10-40.
Essay score: If you take the optional essay portion of the SAT, your score appears as a 2-8 based on your aptitude in analysis, reading and writing.
Cross-test scores: This score shows your ability to read and analyze texts related to science, social studies and history. Cross-test scores are determined by select questions taken from each portion of the exam and show a number from 10-40.
Subscores: Subscores range from one to 15 and reflect different skills within a section, such as words in context, standard English conventions and problem-solving.
While you can use the breakdown of scores for personal development and analysis, you're not likely to use most of these subsections on a resume. Total scores hold the most interest for prospective employers unless you need to show more details to prove your abilities in a particular area like math.
Why is your SAT score important?
SAT scores prove your ability to analyze complex texts, write competently, use language to communicate effectively and solve problems related to logic and mathematics. Perhaps the most important use of your SAT score is for entrance into higher education. Colleges and universities use SAT scores to determine if a candidate is fit for admission. They may also use scores to assign scholarship funds. Certain scholarships and applications require a specific total score for consideration.
As a high school graduate coming from a background of little work experience but plenty of practice in educational situations, your SAT score gives potential employers an indication of your overall skills and intelligence. Although most employers aren't looking for a set value to pass candidates along to the interview process, an exceptional score helps establish your credibility as someone who can work hard, think clearly and perform well in challenging situations.
Should I put my SAT score on my resume?
Adding an SAT score to your resume can be helpful in certain situations. Here are several reasons to include your score on a resume:
You just graduated from high school
After you graduate with your high school diploma, it's time to prepare your resume for college applications, internships or job opportunities. Since you may not have much job experience, adding your SAT score can help employers recognize your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Colleges and universities typically require your scores for application documents so they can assess your academic readiness.
Your score is above average or exceptional
If you're a recent graduate of either high school or college and you scored above average, it can be beneficial to add this score as part of your accomplishments. Proving your academic abilities can help you improve your status as a job candidate among others who are just beginning their careers. Once you gain job experience, this information becomes more important to employers and your SAT score is not as relevant.
You're applying for educational positions
If you plan to work in education, showing your total SAT score and a subscore from a particular section may be relevant to prove your expertise in a subject area. For example, if you're applying to teach English, you can highlight an exceptional SAT score in the reading and writing and language sections of the exam. This can prove to potential employers that you're highly qualified to teach this course.
Related: How To List Education on a Resume
You're seeking an internship
If you're applying for an internship during your high school or college years, including your SAT score can help you prove your abilities. Since internships are often tied to classes and course grades, showing an above-average or exceptional SAT score may give you an advantage over other candidates. Your score may also help internship leaders recognize your ability to solve problems and conduct research using critical thinking and reasoning skills.
You need to substitute for workplace experience
You may have little work experience to add to a resume for reasons such as taking several degree programs or staying at home to raise children. If so, consider using an SAT score to prove your academic abilities and other key skills. An SAT score can complement other important background information like college coursework and extracurricular activities.
How should I list my SAT score on my resume?
If you plan to add an SAT score to your resume, here are some tips to help you include your information and format it correctly:
Add your score under skills or accomplishments/honors. Prepare a section of your resume listing key hard and soft skills, including your SAT score.
Include your total score. List your total score and the year you completed the test. Use bullet points to add skills and accomplishments.
List scores for both sections: Include the score for your math section and evidence-based reading and writing portion.
Use percentile scores if available. Consider adding the percentile of your score to give context to resume readers.
Keep it brief. Listing your total SAT score on a resume is usually enough for employers or colleges and universities.
Where can I find my SAT score?
You can find your SAT information using the original scoring notification documents. These documents are typically mailed to test takers a few weeks after completing the exam. It's a good idea to put this information in a secure place where you can access it for resumes and college applications. You can also find your scores through the college board website. The website lists your percentile score as well. You can also take a screenshot to document and file the information electronically.
Examples of SAT scores in a resume
Here are the main ways you can include SAT scores on your resume:
SAT score in a skills list
When you add SAT scores within a skills section, include an action verb at the beginning such as achieved to connect the score to your abilities:
- Computer programming
- Bilingual English/Spanish
- Achieved a score of 1390 on SAT (705 math, 685 EBRW)
SAT score as part of accomplishments
It's also acceptable to insert an SAT score into the accomplishments or awards and honors section. Regardless of how you title this portion of your resume, list the score as one of your achievements:
- Graduated top 4% of class
- Honor Society Vice President (2019-2020)
- SAT score of 1425 (750 EBRW, 675 math)
- Volunteer captain at Pet Central (2020)
SAT score under education
Listing your SAT as part of your education can also highlight an exceptional score and bring attention to your academic achievements:
Mountain High School, Telluride, Colorado
- Expected graduation May 2022
- GPA 3.8
- Scored 1280 on SAT (710 math, 570 EBRW)
Example of adding an SAT score to a resume
Here is an example of how you can add an SAT score to your resume and how it can appear once you insert the number into a section of your document:
After graduating from high school with honors, I'm pursuing a marine biology internship to gain experience working with injured and protected marine life before starting an accelerated research program at Bayside State College. With course experience in AP biology and chemistry, I'm ready to begin working in marine laboratories to contribute to research and rescue.
St. John's Catholic High School, Sarasota, Florida
May 2021 (GPA 3.95)
Academic coursework in relevant topics includes:
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP English
- AP Algebra
- Marine Biology elective
Volunteer coordinator for Teen Beach Patrol, May 2019–August 2021
- Worked with marine scientists to secure sea turtle nests
- Coordinated beach clean up events
- Ran organization's social media account with daily posts
- Scientific method
- Critical thinking
- SAT score of 1460 (92nd percentile)
- Perfect attendance junior and senior year
- Volunteer leadership award
- Science Society President (junior and senior year)