How to calculate and understand SAT scores
Understanding SAT Scores: SAT test is one of the two most popular standardised tests for college admissions in the United States; the other being ACT. So, if you are planning to study an undergraduate programme in the States, it is likely you will have to take one of these two tests. However if you opt for the SAT test, you might want to be familiar with not only its scoring pattern but associated terms like percentile and average scores to better understand your score and performance. Also, with the introduction of the new SAT in March 2016, you have to factor in changes in scoring pattern and even test structure for understanding SAT scores.
New SAT vs. Pre-March-2016 SAT: Test Content and Pattern
The new SAT is different from the one that students took before March 2016. Here is a comparison of key features between the two tests.
Total Testing Time
3 hours and 45 minutes
3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the Essay [optional])
Subscores for every test
Test Length and Timing Compared
Number of Questions/
Number of Questions/
Writing and Language
180 (230 with Essay)
154 (155 with Essay)
But before we discuss SAT scores, let’s first understand RAW scores:
Your raw score is the number of questions you answered correctly.
For every question you answer correctly on the SAT, you receive one point.
There is no negative marking.
Since each section has different number of questions, raw scores also vary accordingly. The maximum possible raw scores section-wise are: Reading Test (52), Math (58), and Writing (44).
Raw scores for SAT taken before March 2016
Your raw scores were calculated for each section based on the number of questions you got correct or incorrect, or that you omitted:
Correct answers: +1 point for each correct answer.
Incorrect answers (multiple-choice): -1/4 point subtracted.
Incorrect answers (student-produced response math questions): 0 points subtracted.
Omitted: 0 points subtracted for questions you didn’t answer.
Conversion of raw scales to scaled scores:
Using a table, the raw score is converted into a scale score (which has a range of 200 to 800 for each section). A different table is used for each SAT test date to account for difference in difficulty levels. While a raw score of 53 in Math in one test might translate to a scaled score of 800, for another test date the scaled score may be 780.
Also, additional subscores are reported for the essay (ranging from 2–12) and for multiple-choice writing questions (on a 20–80 scale).
SAT Writing Section Subscores: For SAT tests taken before March 2016, raw scores for the multiple-choice writing section are converted to scaled scores that were reported on a 20–80 scale. That SAT also included a required 25-minute essay, in addition to the multiple-choice writing section.
While the multiple-choice writing section accounted for around 70 percent, the essay accounted for approximately 30 of the overall SAT score.
Raw score is converted to a scaled score using a table on a 200 to 800 scale for each section, just like the old SAT. Different tables are used for different SAT test dates to standardise the tests. This means a raw score of 57 in Math on one test date may have a scaled score of 800, but 790 for another date.
For the Math section score, you can convert the raw score to scaled score simply by using the table.
But for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score, you have two raw scores:
1. Reading Test
2. Writing and Language Test.
So, you also get two scaled scores. In the next step, you add the two scores and multiply the resultant number by 10 to arrive at your final Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score (from 200 to 800).
Reading and Writing and Language are listed as separate sections
In addition to the section scores, which are graded on a 200-800 scale, SAT also publishes Test scores which are reported on on a 10-40 scale.
You will recall that there are separate raw scores for:
b) Writing and Language
Using the same table, you can get scaled scores for these raw scores. For example, if your raw score is 33 for Reading and 39 for Writing and Language, your scale scores would be 29 and 35, respectively.
To get the final Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score (from 200 to 800), you have to add these two scaled scores and multiply them by 10.
(29 + 35) x 10 = 64 x 10 = 640
SAT Score Ranges for the New SAT
SAT Score Reported
Sum of the two section scores.
Section scores (2)
1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
Test scores (3)
2. Writing and Language
SAT Essay scores (3)
The SAT Essay is optional.
SAT Composite Score
To get the SAT composite score for both the old SAT and New SAT, you just have to add the scaled scores.
For the old SAT: add the three section scaled scores
For New SAT: add the two section scaled scores.
New SAT Essay Scoring
The optional SAT Essay is scored using a carefully designed process.
Each essay is read and scored by two different people.
Each scorer awards 1–4 points for each dimension: reading, analysis and writing.
The scores of the two readers are then added for each dimension.
Three scores are reported for the SAT Essay â one for each dimension â ranging from 2–8 points.
Each of the two essays is scanned and then scored independently by two qualified scorers. To ensure consistency and high-quality evaluation, a number of uniform standards have been adopted.
Readers are trained on a continuous basis even after they initially qualify.
The accuracy and fairness of a reader is checked regularly and frequently.
Scoring leaders review readers' scoring of selected essays, and provide feedback via phone and the web when appropriate.
Web-based scoring enables leaders to monitor readers in real time, informed by reports on inter-rater reliability and other statistics.
Old SAT Essay Scoring
In the old SAT, your essay was scored on a scale of 1 to 6 by two independent readers. These two scores were then added to produce the 2–12 scale. In such cases where the two readers' scores differed by more than one point, the help of a third reader was taken to resolve the matter.
SAT subject tests
While SAT test has been redesigned, SAT Subject Tests though remain the same and so do their scoring pattern.Twenty SAT Subject Tests are offered in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics and science.
The duration of each Subject Test is one hour and include multiple-choice questions.
SAT subject tests scoring
The first step is to calculate the raw score, which is the sum of points you earn based on the number of questions you answer correctly, minus a fraction of the number of the incorrect answers:
One point is added for each correct answer.
A fraction of a point is subtracted for wrong answers:
1/4 point is subtracted for five-choice questions.
1/3 point is subtracted for four-choice questions.
1/2 point is subtracted for three-choice questions.
No points are deducted for unanswered questions.
If the resulting score is a fraction, it is rounded to the nearest whole number â 1/2 or more is rounded up; less than 1/2 is rounded down.
Conversion to scaled score
The raw score is converted to a scaled score of 200 to 800 points. Scaling is done to adjust minor difference in difficulty that may exist in various versions of the test (for example brtween tests taken on different test dates).
The scaling process ensures that a score of 500, for instance, on a particular test date is equivalent to a 500 on other test dates â even though the questions are different.
Other details about SAT Subject tests:
One may take SAT Subject Tests up to six times in any given school year, on the same days and in the same test centers as the SAT. However, all the 20 tests are not offered on every SAT date. The Language with Listening tests are only offered in November. You can take one, two or three Subject Tests on any test date. Also, SAT and SAT Subject Tests are not held on the same day.
When can one choose subjects for SAT Subject tests: Apart from choosing your subjects for the SAT Subject Tests at the time of SAT registration, you are allowed to add, subtract or switch tests, though with some limitations, even on test day.
SAT Score Converter
Using the SAT Score Converter mobile app and tool, you can now compare new SAT, the old SAT and the ACT scores.
A score out of 1600 to a score out of 2400, choose New SAT to Old SAT.
A score out of 2400 to a score out of 1600, choose Old SAT to New SAT.
You can also get comparable ACT scores for any SAT scores, old or new through the application.
Interpreting Your SAT Scores
The SAT score report contains a lot of information from mean scores to percentiles. Here we explain what these information means:
SAT Score Ranges: If you take the SAT Test multiple times, you will probably get a different SAT score each time. It happens because you get a different set of questions each time or you prepared a bit differently from the last time.
SAT Score Ranges capture the variation in your scores, from the lowest to the highest, and show how your scores vary with repeated testing, while assuming that your skill levels are the same for the testing period.
Typically, section scores for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and for Math are reported in the range of 30 to 40 points above or below your true ability.
Mean (Average) SAT Scores: Your mean SAT Score is the average of all scores earned by typical U.S. test-takers per grade.
College and Career Readiness Benchmarks: Benchmark scores are indicators that show your readiness for college once you graduate high school.
Percentile Ranks: Percentile rank shows how you scored in comparison to other students. Scored between 1 and 99, it indicates the percentage of students who scored less than your score.
Your scorecard includes two percentiles:
A. The Nationally Representative Sample percentile: It shows your position among typical 11th- and 12th-grade United States students.
B. The User Percentile â National: It compares your score with scores of typical college-bound U.S. 11th- and 12th-grade SAT takers.
How to calculate and understand SAT score- Quick Facts
All questions are multiple-choice and based on passages.
Some passages are paired with other passages.
Informational graphics such as tables, graphs and charts accompany some passagesâ but no math is required.
Prior topic-specific knowledge is not required.
The Reading Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
Writing and Language Test:
All questions are multiple-choice and based on passages.
Some passages are accompanied by informational graphics such as tables, graphs and charts â but no math is required.
Prior topic knowledge is never tested.
The Writing and Language Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
Most math questions are multiple-choice, but some â called grid-ins â require you to come to come up with answers.
The Math Test is divided into two portions: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator.
Some parts of the test include several questions about a single scenario.
Stay tuned to www.studyabroad.careers360.com for more news and updates on SAT
Title: How to calculate and understand SAT scores
SAT Test Eligibility 2021 - Candidates can check here SAT test...
Questions related to SAT
which book is best for SAT NTSE exam
hope you are doing well and safe. With reference to your query, I would glad inform you that their are many decent which you can follow for preparation of SAT NTSE EXAM. Following are some names of them:-
Study Package for NTSE, 5e Paperback – 10 by Stalin Malhotra
Practice Test Papers for NTSE Class X 1st Edition by McGraw Hill Education
comprehensive Manual for NTSE for class X by Abhijit Guha, N.D. Arora,
Following is the link for reference:-
Hope you found this answer informative. Best wishes for your future
is SAT is accepted in srm Chennai?
I hope you are doing good,
YES, SRM CHENNAI accepts SAT score.
Students can choose to apply for a SAT score OR from the SRMJEEE run by the University. The SAT school will be admitted to Regular Admissions. The cut-off points for SAT will be in line with our Undergraduate admission selection process. Eligible persons are automatically invited to a private interview.
For more details about the exam and the college you can refer to the below mentioned articles from our portal:
St category rank 11000 jee home sat
Based on previous year analysis... According to your JEE MAIN 2021 ST category Rank...
Some of the colleges in which you would have possibility of getting a seat are given below
Lakshmi Narain college of Technology
Bhopal Institute of Technology
Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology
Bhagwaan Parshuram Institute of Technology
GNIOT Group of Institutions
For more information you can visit in the JEE MAIN 2021 college predictor tool provided below
Hope this information will help you
my score is 439 in neet 2021. Is there any chance to get medical sat in any state. I have no reservation.
I am assuming you from general category.
It is difficult to make prediction as cut off keeps changing every year depending upon various factors like
------------) number of students that appeared in the neet exam,
------------) kind of marks obtained by them ,
------------) toughness level of the neet examination
------------) number of seats available
------------) the category you are from etc
when we go through previous year trends
>>>>>> With 439 marks,
You have low chances for mbbs in government colleges
You have chances in deemed universities for mbbs which are listed below along with their cut off marks in neet 2020,2nd round all india counselling conducted for 100 % deemed university seats :-
-----------) Yenepoya Manglaore:-436 marks
----------) Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar:- 426 marks
----------) B.L.D.E University, Bijapur:- 387 marks
----------) MGM Medical College, Navi Mumbai:- 380 marks
----------) Institute of Medical Sciences and SUMH, Bhubaneswar:-360 marks
----------) Sri Siddhartha Medical College DU, T Begur:- 328 marks
And a few more
This has been predicted on the basis of previous years data but cutoff keeps changing so to have clear picture of the complete list of colleges in which you have chances, you can go through our college predictor at
With the help of predicted colleges you can make better choice while filling your choices of colleges during your counselling
To help in your counselling, we have mbbs companion in which in addition to college predictor tool you also get information regarding various counselling i. e all india , deemed, central and state counselling and you get to attend live webinars with experts to guide you and get all your doubts cleared. The link is given below:-
i have done my 12th in PCB can i do 12 math though NIOS to get the eligibility criteria for abroad and can i get admission in indian engineering colleges with 12 with NIOS with also SAT scores
Hi, you can sit for Maths exam through NIOS. The eligibility criteria for getting into an engineering college would be 50% aggregate in PCM. For studying abroad you will have to appear for English proficiency test. For colleges in India SAT score is not required as many of the colleges do not consider it. You will have to appear for entrance exams such as state level CET or JEE Mains. Either way once you appear for maths you will be eligible for both in India as well as for abroad. Hope this helps.