Need Help?

Get in touch with us


How Is the SAT Scored? – Scoring Guide

Sep 7, 2023

We are understanding how the SAT assessment might be difficult with raw scores, scaled scores, and total scores. This post will review the overall SAT scoring guidelines, how the SAT generates scores, and how to utilize this information to your advantage. Additionally, we will explore how is the SAT graded to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the scoring process.

How are SAT Scores Calculated?

When you receive your SAT score report in the mail or online, one number will be larger than the rest. This is the sum of your SAT scores. Your overall SAT test score ranges from 400 to 1600. It is the most commonly spoken number among students. If your acquaintance says, “I got 1310 on the SAT,” they’re bragging about their overall SAT score.


Your overall SAT score is calculated by combining your two section scores:

  • Evidence-Based Writing and Reading
  • Math scores ranging from 200 to 800

Colleges will sometimes look at your section scores in addition to your total score to evaluate your success in a particular area.


For example, a strong Math section score may be more important to an engineering school than a good Evidence-Based Writing and Reading score.

How Is Your SAT Score Determined?

The College Desk converts your raw score for a section, i.e. the number of questions you answered correctly, into the “scaled score” for that section using a conversion chart. This chart is unique to each test to calculate your SAT score. The scaled scores are then added together to determine your overall SAT score.


The SAT Exam: What to Expect

Each SAT exam is different. First, the College Board translates your raw score into a scaled score using a conversion table unique to that test. Then, they scale the scores to match the test’s complexity.

For example, pupils may miss one or two questions on a difficult test and still receive an 800. On a simpler test, though, cutting only one question may reduce your score to a 790 or 780.


After test day, plenty of things occurs to ensure that your test is scored accurately.

1. Ensured Delivery
It is meticulously tracked after submitting your bubble sheet until it arrives at our processing facility.


2. Analysis and Scanning
Our machine scans your bubble sheet and analyses the generated file of answers. Then, the system computes your raw SAT test score based on the circles you filled in. Because there is no penalty for guessing, your raw score is determined by the number of questions answered properly.

3. Accuracy
Several quality affirmation tests, such as alignment checks and double scanning of documents, are used to verify the scanning accuracy of SAT bubble sheets.


Here’s what you can do to ensure that your bubble sheet is correctly scanned:

  • Use a gentle eraser and a No. 2 pencil.
  • Do not write with a pen or a mechanical pencil.
  • Fill in the full circle darkly and comprehensively.
  • If you change your mind, delete as much as you can.

SAT Essay Score Evaluation

  • Essays are scanned and individually graded by two trained scorers. Consistent, high-quality reviews are provided by regularly introducing essay scorers using uniform criteria. This implies that even once readers have qualified, the training process continues.
  • The readers’ correctness and impartiality are reviewed regularly and frequently.
  • When necessary, scoring leaders examine readers’ scores on chosen essays and give feedback through phone and the web.
  • Leaders may monitor readers in real-time using web-based scoring, influenced by data on inter-rater reliability and other information.

Scaled Score Conversion

Your raw score is translated to a scaled value ranging from 200 to 800 points, which appears on your score report. In addition, a method is employed that accounts for minor changes in complexity across test versions.


This is done to ensure no benefit to taking the test on a specific day. A 400 on one day’s test signifies the same thing as a 400 on another day’s ordeal, even if the questions are different.

Score Publication

Suppose you registered online for the SAT exam or by mail and created a College Board account. In that case, you’ll get an email with instructions on accessing your online score report card once your results are available.

Your score report contains a thorough breakdown of your results, information about your numbers, and how your scores compare to other test-takers scores. If you take the SAT with an essay, you’ll be able to view your SAT essay score online.

Application of This Knowledge

So, now that you know how the SAT assessment is done, how can you utilize this knowledge to your advantage? There are four essential ways that understanding SAT scores may help you create an effective study strategy and boost your SAT test score. 

1. Create a set of raw scores that are aimed at a certain audience
You can utilize the raw-to-scaled score tables provided by the College to help you determine a goal raw score for each area.
For example, if you want to get a 700 score on Math, you should target no less than a 45, with a 50 being the safest bet. You can experiment with your raw score targets if you want to earn at the minimum a 700 score on EBRW because it mixes Writing and Reading. You may, for example, aim for a scale of 35 on each part, for a total of 70.

But suppose you are confident in the Writing segment but not in the Reading section. You may aim for a flawless 40 on Writing and a 30 on Reading and still score a 70, or 700 overall. In that instance, you’d want to strive for all raw 44 points on Writing and basic 36 points on Reading. So, regardless of your scoring objectives, utilizing the tables to determine the raw scores you require helps make your studying more real. Knowing how many basic points you need enables you to tackle each segment more effectively.

2. Aggressive guessing
Because there is no guessing penalty on the Remodeled SAT, answer every question on every section, even if it means filling in arbitrary bubbles if you run out of time after the exam. You’ll acquire one or two raw points; at worst, you won’t gain any. However, guessing will not harm you in any way, so it’s worth a go!
Remember that if you leave empty bubbles on your SAT response form, you’re essentially wasting free raw points.

3. Please don’t push the essay, but don’t pull it either.
Please don’t spend too much time on the essay because it counts toward your final compound score. Having the highest possible compound score is vital for admission to elite colleges and receiving merit scholarships. However, it would help if you did not go too far in the opposite direction and entirely fail the essay. When your SAT results are transmitted, colleges will be able to view your article, so you want it to reflect your best efforts. In addition, because universities will use your Writing essay, you want it to be high quality so that your carefully edited articles do not appear to have been written by someone else.
Bottom line: your total compound score is far more essential than your SAT essay score, and as long as your SAT essay score isn’t significantly lower than your compound score, you’ll be alright.

4. Do Not Fail the Math Section
Because Math accounts for exactly half of your total score, it’s more vital than ever to prepare for it. Unlike the previous SAT, where Math was just a third of your overall compound score, Math may make or break your score on the contemporary SAT.

Let’s look at two hypothetical pupils as an example.
Student A performed flawlessly in Writing and Reading, achieving a perfect 40 in each component for a total of 800. However, he falters a little in Math, receiving a compound of 600. The final compound score for Student A is 1400.
On the contrary, Student B excels in Math with a score of 800 and Reading with a scaled score of 40. However, he struggles with Writing and receives just a scaled score of 30. As a result, his final EBRW scaled score is 70 (30 + 40), giving him an EBRW compound score of 700.

As a result, Student B’s final compound score is 1500, which is significantly higher!
The point here is not to ignore studying for Writing and Reading. For a high EBRW score, it is still critical to do well in both categories. However, you can see that, of the three areas, Math bears the greatest weight, therefore doing well on Math is critical for a high final compound score.

What Comes Following?

Did the previous section frighten you? Don’t worry if you’re not a natural mathematician! The comprehensive SAT scoring guide for maths, complete with practice questions and critical ideas, will help you succeed.

How to Study Using SAT Scoring Information

When developing a test-day strategy, you can use your knowledge of the SAT scoring system. Now, because the College Board assesses the SAT differently for each test, you can’t be certain how your test will be graded. However, by understanding how the SAT scoring system is set up, you can establish sensible goals and have less stressful test days.



Relevant Articles

Calculate Cumulative GPA

How Should You Calculate Cumulative GPA for all Semesters?

Introduction In today’s college admissions environment, your Cumulative Grade Point …

How Should You Calculate Cumulative GPA for all Semesters? Read More »

card img

Strategies for Success: Mastering the Digital SAT Scoring System

Securing good marks on the digital SAT is important for …

Strategies for Success: Mastering the Digital SAT Scoring System Read More »

Is the Digital SAT Easier

Is the Digital SAT Easier? New Format & Adaptive Testing

With multiple speculations on the introduction of the newer SAT …

Is the Digital SAT Easier? New Format & Adaptive Testing Read More »

Is the Digital SAT Harder

Is the Digital SAT Harder? Exploring Changes, Similarities & Prep

High school students take the SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test …

Is the Digital SAT Harder? Exploring Changes, Similarities & Prep Read More »


Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito


card img

With Turito CAP.


card img

With Turito Coding.


card img

With Turito RoboNinja


card img

1-on-1 tutoring for the undivided attention