Can you get into college with a 1020 SAT score?

Most colleges require a high GPA as a criterion for a student to be considered a suitable candidate. Admission officers, however, consider other factors in the college admission process.  One major factor usually considered is the Scholastic Aptitude Test score, usually referred to as SAT. Some students become inquisitive as to if a 1020 Sat score is good enough to get one into college.

A 1020 score is considered below average and therefore very low and not good. Depending on the college one applies to, a 1020 sat score can also be the least adequate score to get one into college. However, based on the college standards for some courses considered daunting, the 1020 sat score might in some cases be rejected as it is considered below average. Despite this, admission officers put other factors into consideration before accepting the application of a student. Those factors can influence their decision in either accepting such an application or rejecting the application. Sometimes, the performance for a specific year might be very low and 1020 becomes good enough, therefore the applicant becomes a suitable and likely student to be considered. In most cases, different courses might be offered – courses considered not too demanding. Regardless, admission into a College depends on those underlying factors considered by the admission officers of various colleges which always tend to play a long way in gaining admission. These requirements help the admission officers understand the applicant. In other words, they help read the mind of the applicants who are not present in the application process. Read on to know the requirements needed to get into college and what sat score a student should always aim for.

Can you get into college with a 1020 SAT score?

Requirements to get into college

The prerequisites necessary to gain admission into college are:

  • Transcript
  • Standardized Tests scores
  • College Essay (if required by the college)
  • Recommendation letters 


A transcript is an official document containing the GPA of a student. Whether high school GPA or another Tertiary institution GPA (especially for foreign graduate students who want to be enrolled in a different undergraduate course of study). A good GPA contained on a transcript is one of the major factors that will determine the decision of a college to either accept or reject the application of a candidate. 

The standard GPA for a 4.0 scale is 3.0 or a B average. The standard GPA for a 5.0 scale is 4.0. Such a score would boost one’s chance of being admitted to the college. Although top universities usually require a GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 and a 4.5 on a scale of 5.0. This is a result of the intense competition amongst candidates who apply to those colleges. 

Standardized Tests

Standardized Aptitude Test scores are one of the major factors in boosting an applicant’s chance of being admitted to the college. They are tests that are conducted to test the general ability of a student and weigh their performances on an equal scale. 

Normally, there are various standardized tests, but one common standardized test for all undergraduates is the standardized test called the scholastic aptitude test for undergraduate admission (SAT).

SAT is conducted by the College Board for undergraduates. In recent times, it has been observed that the best SAT score a student should score if he or she is to stand any chance of being admitted into college is 1200. 

However, this can be disputed on the basis that although SAT plays a very strong role in determining a student’s admission prospect, other factors like college essays, recommendation letters, etc can influence and sway the decision of the college administration. 

However, for a student to stand a chance, he should aim for a 1200 SAT score. But if there is a slip-up, it should not be below 1050. This will provide the student with the best chance of being admitted at least to any college with a good academic standing. 

College Essays

College administration put applicants through the task of writing college essays. The college essays help the admission officers to learn more about the applicant and know if such applicant is the best fit for their institution. 

Although an SAT score might not meet up to the required average score, with the help of college essays, admission officers are influenced in their decision-making.

Recommendation Letters

Most, if not all, colleges request recommendation letters. Recommendation letters help the college know what people of high social standing or academic standing think about the applicant. Recommendation letters normally tend to sway their decision, especially if the recommendation letter has proceeded from an individual of very high social standing. 


Although there are various factors to be considered by every college in the admission process, every college applicant should have a high SAT score, preferably above 1200 to be in a pole position to be considered a good fit by that college. A 1020 sat score can get one into college, but not into top colleges like Harvard, MIT, Stanford and their likes.

Frequently asked questions 

  1. What SAT score is required for Harvard?

Although there is no certain SAT score established by Harvard management, to stand a good chance, a candidate must aim for nothing less than 1500 Sat score. This is because Harvard is ranked as one of the most competitive tertiary institutions in the world. 

  1. What colleges can one get into with a 1020 sat score?

Some colleges in Texas have an average SAT score lower than 1020. One major example is Texas Southern University with an average SAT score below 1000. Also, Alabama A&M University in Alabama has an average SAT score below 1000.