SAT score on my resume?
March 29, 2009 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Should I put my SAT score on my resume in this situation? And if so, how?

I applied for a job posted on Craigslist about a month ago.

The staffing agency has just relisted the position, and I'm going to resend my stuff. The job posting is exactly the same except now besides a good GPA they want good SAT scores. The fact that the posting was edited to include SAT scores makes me think that that's significant somehow. Should I list my (good) score? And if so, how? After my GPA? In the cover letter?

Also, my score was good in the old system, but I know they changed the scoring system recently. I'm young enough and applying to jobs at a level low enough that I might be mixed in with people who took the new SAT. Assuming I'm not overthinking this, how do I account for the difference? I've heard that the new score just includes the SAT-II Writing score -- should I add mine in?
posted by thebazilist to Work & Money (12 answers total)
Yes, no harm in adding your score - just include one line with under your either your High School section, or your latest school section.
I just have one bullet point on my resume in the college section (I don't have a high school section) that says:
"-1540 out of 1600 on SAT I (99.9% percentile)"

In my experience, no one really cares about SAT II scores, but if you want to list it (or other scores) list them under separate bullet points - do NOT combine your SAT II writing and SAT I into one score.
posted by lambdac at 3:02 PM on March 29, 2009

Normally, I would say that you absolutely shouldn't include your SAT score, but since they specifically ask for it in the posting, it certainly can't hurt to include it. I would put it in your resume, near where you list your degrees and other pertinent educational details. You could just say:

SAT - 1492 (out of 1600)

To clarify that you're score is based on the old SAT. If your writing score is good and writing is involved in the position, you could write:

SAT I: 1492 (out of 1600); SAT II-Writing: 700

Of course, consider whether anywhere that cares this much about your SAT score is someplace you want to work. It would certainly be a strong negative for me.
posted by zachlipton at 3:05 PM on March 29, 2009

I, too, am uncomfortable about putting my SATs on my resume, just because it seems like a weird thing to do.

I certainly wouldn't also volunteer my SAT II except that I was under the impression that adding the two scores together would equal my "new" SAT score. Putting "out of 1600" solves that problem, though. Putting my percentile seems even better -- is there a way of figuring that out or do I need to know what it was at the time? (Doesn't it depend on the year that I took it as it's in comparison to everyone that I took the test with?)

And yes, it's odd that they're asking but I'm not really in a position to be ruling out jobs for something like that before I've even applied. I'm assuming it's some HR person who thinks SAT scores = intelligence.
posted by thebazilist at 3:27 PM on March 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's a good idea to tailor your resume to a specific job that you're looking for, as long as you aren't fudging credentials. Edit your resume, add the SAT line, and only send it in for this job (or other jobs that seem to care about SATs).
posted by kdar at 3:38 PM on March 29, 2009

Adding a 1600 SAT I and an 800 point SAT II Writing together is NOT the same as your score on a 2400 SAT I (I tutored for the Princeton Review a bit in College). The new 2400 point SAT I is *very* different from the old 1600 point SAT I. For example, the verbal section no longer has analogies, the math section tests/emphasizes different skills, and so on.

The HR person who think "SAT score = intelligence" is, on average, right. SAT scores are one of the best predictors of IQ that an HR department will have access to (it's better than references, GPA, major, school, etc). It isn't perfect by any means, but it's probably the closest they can get to estimating your IQ without a 4 hour interview that includes a battery of g-loaded tests. See, for example,

Something like: should help you estimate your percentile ....
posted by lambdac at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2009

They asked for your SAT score. You have a good SAT score. Of course you should list your SAT score.
posted by Flunkie at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2009

Not to derail or anything, but in response to what lambdac said, they've done studies and SAT scores are as good a predictor of your success in college as your family's income. Both are fairly good predictors. SAT has some inherent bias in it. In addition, the SAT is a predictor of your ability to do well in college, not your ability to do well in the workforce. There are a lot of skills that work requires that school doesn't, and vice versa.
posted by fructose at 3:51 PM on March 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

fructose: Care to cite any such study?

Almost all the data I've seen shows a fairly weak (but mildly positive) correlation between SAT scores and college success, but a very strong correlation between SAT scores and IQ.

Herrnstein and Murray (among others) have also shown that even after controlling for differences in family wealth, IQ (and hence the SAT) is one of the best predictors of success in life.

Just to clarify, everything I'm stating only applies, on average, to large groups of people. It doesn't really tell you anything about any particular individual.
posted by lambdac at 4:02 PM on March 29, 2009

I think the best way to present it is to give the score breakdown, like so: SAT I Math: 800; SAT I Verbal: 800; SAT II Writing: 800 (those are you scores right?). This way they get all the information they would expect even from the "new" SAT, but nothing is misrepresented.
posted by telegraph at 4:48 PM on March 29, 2009

You should be able to find your percentile ranking by searching on the College Board website or university websites for the charts if you took the test within the last several years. Also, I Googled 'SAT percentile 2008' and this popped up:

If you cannot find it somewhere, I wouldn't try to estimate it because the charts change from year to year and the percentile rankings from 2003, e.g., are going to be very different from those from 1992, especially because the test was renormed during the 1990s.

You should only include the SAT score if it's specifically requested or if it seems appropriate to the job. In my line of work, it's rare to list your SAT scores, but very common to put your general and subject GRE scores on your CV if you took the tests within the last several years (

SAT scores are indeed often requested because they are a reasonably good proxy for IQ scores. The two exams test very similar abilities, although less so now than in the past. Whether or not IQ scores are a good representation of human intelligence is another question altogether and not totally relevant to the OP.
posted by jeeves at 4:50 PM on March 29, 2009

I'd add it to the cover letter. As requested in the job posting, my SAT scores are:
Math XX (xx.x%ile) Verbal XX (xx.x%ile) Writing XX (xx.x%ile) Tested Nov. 2002. You can add links to the old/new scoring, if you think it's important. If somebody wants scores, they should know what the %ile means.
posted by theora55 at 7:30 PM on March 29, 2009

I don't understand -- why would you not include it since they've specified they're looking for good SAT scores?
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:07 AM on March 30, 2009

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