Here is the basic step-by-step process of how to calculate SAT score for each section, and your overall composite, when doing your own test prep.
Here’s an idea of SAT scores that colleges are looking for in 2020.
How To Calculate SAT Score: Step-by-Step Process
Add Your Raw Scores Together
In short, the amount of questions you get right creates your “raw score.”
You receive one point for every correct answer. There are no point deductions for wrong answers, which is why you should always answer every question, even if you have to guess.
The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section includes two subsections: Reading and Writing & Language. First, determine your raw score separately for each of those subsections.
What’s the highest possible raw score for these parts? That all depends on how many questions each section contains. The Math section has 58 questions, so your highest possible raw score there is 58.
Reading has 52 questions, so 52 is the highest possible raw score there. Writing & Language contains 44 questions, so again a perfect raw score is 44 points.
Let’s say add up your correct answers and find that you’ve reached the following raw scores:
- Math: 44
- Reading: 38
- Writing & Language: 43
Convert Your Raw Scores Into Scaled Scores
The next step is converting those raw scores into scaled ones.
Every SAT test administration isn’t 100% equal to the rest. To compensate for differences, the College Board adjusts the significance of raw scores between test administrations.
They achieve this by converting raw scores into scaled scores ranging anywhere between 200 to 800. If you took the SAT twice and earned a raw score of 44 for Math both times, you might end up with a lower Math scaled score in March versus June’s score, because the June Math section was harder than March.
Your Math raw score is converted directly into an equivalent scaled score. Your Reading and Writing & Language raw scores are combined into one overall scaled score for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
Sample SAT Raw/Scaled Score Conversion Table
The College Board doesn’t share details about the process it uses to determine scaled scores.
If you want to convert your own scores, you’ll need to use a raw/scaled score conversion table. Tables vary a little between tests, so try to use the table that comes with your chosen practice test.
Below is the conversion table that The College Board provides with SAT Practice Test #1. Remember that the table for your actual test administration will be different, but this is a great way to understand your point possibilities.
|RAW SCORE||Math Section Score||Reading Test Score||Writing & Language Test Score|
Figure Out Your Scaled Math Score
Use this table to get an idea of how scoring really works.
First, find your raw Math score down the left-hand column of the conversion table, then read across to determine your scaled Math score. If your raw Math score is 44, your scaled Math Section Score would be 650.
Figure Out Your Scaled Reading and Writing & Language Scores
This is the point where you combine your Reading and Writing & Language into a comprehensive Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score.
Remember, our two verbal raw scores are:
- Reading: 38
- Writing & Language: 43
Use the conversion table to convert each one into an equivalent scaled score:
- Reading: raw 38 = scaled 32
- Writing & Language: raw 43 = scaled 39
You’ll notice that the scaled scoring for these sections only goes up to 40. That’s because cross-test scores are reported only on a scale of 10–40. Now add your scaled scores together:
- 32 + 39 = 71
Finally, multiply the sum by 10:
- 71 x 10 = 710
Your scaled Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section Score is 710. Remember, the SAT essay doesn’t affect your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section Score.
Add Your Section Scores Together
Finally, add your two scaled Section scores together to get your Composite Score.
In this example, we earned a Math Section Score of 650 and an Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section Score of 710, so our Composite Score on this SAT would be 1360. This is how to calculate SAT score, in a nutshell.
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