How To Calculate SAT Score | Step-by-Step

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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
0 200 10 10
1 200 10 10
2 210 10 10
3 230 11 10
4 240 12 11
5 260 13 12
6 280 14 13
7 290 15 13
8 310 15 14
9 320 16 15
10 330 17 16
11 340 17 16
12 360 18 17
13 370 19 18
14 380 19 19
15 390 20 19
16 410 20 20
17 420 21 21
18 430 21 21
19 440 22 22
20 450 22 23
21 460 23 23
22 470 23 24
23 480 24 25
24 480 24 25
25 490 25 26
26 500 25 26
27 510 26 27
28 520 26 28
29 520 27 28
30 530 28 29
31 540 28 30
32 550 29 30
33 560 29 31
34 560 30 32
35 580 30 32
36 580 31 33
37 590 31 34
38 600 32 34
39 600 32 35
40 610 33 36
41 620 33 37
42 630 34 38
43 640 35 39
44 650 35 40
45 660 36
46 670 37
47 670 37
48 680 38
49 690 38
50 700 39
51 710 40
52 730 40
53 740
54 750
55 760
56 780
57 790
58 800

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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