How the SAT Is Scored

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  1. First, we calculate your raw scores

    Your raw scores are calculated for each section based on the number of questions you got correct or incorrect, or that you omitted.

    SAT Scoring

    Correct Answers
    Incorrect Answers
    Omitted
    +1 point for questions you get correct

    -1/4 point subtracted for incorrect multiple-choice

    0 points subtracted for incorrect student-produced response (math section)

    0 points subtracted for questions you don't answer

    See how the essay is scored.

    Subject Tests Scoring

    Correct Answers
    Incorrect Answers
    Omitted
    +1 point for questions you get correct

    -1/4 point subtracted for each 5-choice question

    -1/3 point subtracted for each 4-choice question

    -1/2 point subtracted for each 3-choice question

    0 points subtracted for questions you don't answer
    Subscores on the SAT Subject Tests are used to compute the total score, but their individual contributions differ between the different tests. Subscores are reported on a 20-80 scale. For the French, German, and Spanish with Listening tests, the reading subscore counts twice as much as the listening subscore. For the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tests, subscores are weighted equally.
  2. Then we "equate" them

    We do a statistical analysis to make sure the test is an accurate representation of your skills. The unscored section of the test also helps us ensure the test is fair. Questions in the unscored section are not factored into your SAT score.

    In our statistical analysis, equating adjusts for slight differences in difficulty between test editions and ensures that a student's score of, say, 450 on one edition of a test reflects the same ability as a score of 450 on another edition of the test. Equating also ensures that a student's score does not depend on how well others did on the same edition of the test.

    Every SAT includes a 25-minute section, which doesn't count toward your final score. It may be a critical reading, mathematics, or multiple-choice writing section.

    We do this because it helps us assess questions for next year's test, and it ensures that the SAT accurately reflects your skills. Also, the unscored section helps us account for minor differences in difficulty across all the different forms of the test.

  3. That gives you a final score

    Your raw score is then converted to a scaled score (reported on a 200-800 scale) by a statistical process called equating. Equating ensures that the different forms of the test or the level of ability of the students with whom you are tested do not affect your score. Equating makes it possible to make comparisons among test takers who take different editions of the test across different administrations.

    Learn how to understand your scores.
    Read about scoring quality control.
    See scoring before March 2005.