What’s the Lowest SAT Score Possible? How to improve it?

Sep 8, 2022 | Turito Team USA

The highest SAT score you can get is 1600, and the lowest possible SAT score is just 400. And if you happen to hit the lowest, here is how to deal with it.

What Is The Lowest SAT Score Possible?

According to the updated SAT, the lowest possible SAT score is 400, which combines both Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and the Math section has 200 points each.

The chances of you getting the lowest score on the SAT are extremely rare. But even if you think your score is low or close to 400 points, you can still make it or improve it for better chances. Regardless of your lowest SAT score, some colleges will accept your application.

The SAT is measured in a way that it is exceptional to get the lowest score, as the old SAT data backs up the statement.

How Do You Get the Lowest Possible SAT Score?

The median SAT score was 1500 previously and is now 1000. The lowest 25% scorers had a score of 1270 back then, and now it is 850 or lower. Any score below 750 now( 1100 previously) is exceptional, as only 10 per cent of students who take the SAT achieve that level…

It is even rarer to get a 400( 600 previously). Even if you guess the answer to every question, you will score higher than the lowest possible SAT score. Why?

Suppose you haven’t prepared for the exam and appear for a guess; odds are 25% of your guess answers will be correct since you will have four choices for answers. And getting 25% of the SAT answers right will get you a score higher than the lowest. The SAT is scored by interpreting your probable score, amounting to correctly answered questions, into a scaled score. 

According to the updated SAT, a reading score of 13 with 25 percent correct answers is equivalent to a writing score of 11 with 25 percent correct answers. The final Evidence-Based Reading and Writing combined score would be 350. The 25 percent of correct math answers will be 14. This results in a net score of 380.

After combining these two section scores, you will have a score of 730, which is low but nowhere close to the lowest. So, it is clear that only the worst-case scenario can bring bad luck. or if you are arbitrarily trying to score the lowest SAT score. 

To get a score of 200, according to the updated SAT, you need to score one or lower in every section. That means that each answer you give needs to be wrong. So, if you are not at all interested in the exam and think of guessing every answer with the same choice like ‘’B’’ you would still score more than 1 point on each section and more than 400. According to the previous SAT, getting the lowest SAT score was complicated. Since the previous SAT scores a penalty for guessing wrong, every wrong answer will also get a negative mark to get the lowest SAT score possible. 

How to Improve an SAT Score?

There are mainly two ways in which you can improve your SAT score. One is to fill content gaps, and the other is a test-taking strategy. 

If your SAT score is around 300 points, there are high chances that you don’t know the content of the SAT. Whether it is your grammar, vocabulary, or geometry, if you don’t know the basic concept of every section, you will lose your chances of getting a high score. Besides that, if you don’t have a test-taking strategy, you will again have a low SAT score.

Skills like time management, logical guessing, test familiarity, and process of elimination are some of the crucial factors that can make or break your SAT score. A student who remains stuck in one of the SAT problems and can only answer 30 out of 58 math questions will score less due to losing out on time. A student who manages time effectively and answers 40 out of 58 math questions correctly will score higher.

Furthermore, the process of elimination means if a student successfully identifies and corrects incorrect answers, their chances of getting correct answers increase from 25% to 50 %. Work on your shortcomings, practice with credible study resources, and learn test-taking strategies well to avoid scoring low on the SAT. 

  • Find a credible tutor to assist you with the format and style of the SAT exam and update your time with the correct information and strategy.
  • Get yourself the original book and guide resources to prepare for the SAT exam vigorously. Various books are available that resemble the official SAT study guide and offer the exact knowledge and preparation style you need for the SAT.
  • You can also access many study sources available online in the form of practice papers and video explanations.
  • Follow a strict schedule for SAT prep and be disciplined enough to stick to it. Be focused, dedicated, and engaged, and you will gain confidence in yourself.
  • You can also take your friend’s help, who holds a better knowledge of the concepts where you are weaker.

How to Choose a College with the Lowest SAT Score?

If you go further with the low SAT score and apply to colleges that can accept your low score, start with the lowest score they generally accept. If that matches your score, get answers to the below-mentioned questions:

  • Does that college offer the course you want to pursue?
  • Check with the previous batches on whether they reached their targeted careers.
  • Check how many students are there at the college.
  • Check whether the college is in a small or big town.
  • Check the student percentage who pursued the course but are still unemployed.


As you can see, even with the SAT’s lowest score, you can make it to some colleges. But we suggest you appear for the SAT exam once again as it will be easy for you to score better if you prepare satisfactorily. With a low score, there are chances that you won’t make it to your choice of college. Make sure you have better resources that help you manage time, practice enough, and familiarise yourself with the official SAT format.

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