If you’re using an SAT practice test to estimate SAT performance, how exactly do you compute for your SAT score? It’s a bit more complicated than just counting the correct answers.
It’s not always easy to figure out what the SAT score numbers mean when you get them. But you have to get some understanding of these numbers, especially when you’re using an SAT practice test to calculate your probable SAT score. Fortunately, it’s not really all that hard to figure out.
It was different in the old days before changes to the scoring method were made in 2016. Before that, the maximum score was 2400. The lowest possible score was more complicated to figure out back then, as there were point deductions for guessing the answer. If you guessed wrong, you get points deducted from your raw score.
The new, post-2016 scoring method is simpler and much easier to understand in comparison.
What’s Your SAT Score?
If you’re asked this question, it refers to your composite score. This is your overall SAT score, which can be as low as 400 or as high as 1600. This is the total of your 2 sections scores (one for Math, and another for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing). Each section has a possible scoring range of 200 to 800, which is why the composite score range is from 400 to 1600.
So, let’s say you scored 710 on the Math section, and 650 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. Add the 2 scores together, and you get a composite score—your so-called SAT score—of 1,360.
Calculating Your SAT Practice Test Score
Let’s say you just finished your SAT practice test, and you want to know how well you did. Did you get a high enough score that will help get you accepted by your preferred college?
For example, if you’re extremely determined to get into Stanford University, you better do well in the SAT so you can compare favorably with the other applicants. The incoming Stanford class of 2023 scored very highly on the SAT. The SAT Middle 50% Test Scores for Math ranged from 740 to 800. It was 700 to 770 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
To find out if you were able to get within these scoring ranges, you need to take the following steps.
Getting Your Raw Scores
To get to your composite score at the end of the process, you start by noting how many correct answers you get for each section.
For Math, you have 58 questions to deal with. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section actually has 2 subsections: Reading, along with Writing & Language. Reading has 52 questions, while Writing & Language has 44.
So, count the number of questions you got right. At this point, let’s assume you get the following number of questions right:
Math: 47 out of 58
Reading: 40 out of 52
Writing & Language: 41 out of 44
There’s an optional essay portion, but we’ll get to that later.
Converting the Raw Scores into Scaled Scores
The Scaled scores are what you see when you get your SAT scores. The College Board (which runs the SAT) doesn’t give out the precise conversion scale they use for the actual tests. But they do provide a conversion table for their practice tests, though it may differ for each practice test.
For the sake of convenience, let’s use the conversion table that has already come with one of these SAT practice tests.
|RAW SCORE||Math Section Score||Reading Test Score||Writing & Language Test Score|
Calculating for the Scaled Math Score
To do this, simply find the number of correct answers you got for the math section. If you got 47 answers right, check the box next to it, and you’ll find that your corresponding Scaled Math Score is 670.
Calculating for the Scaled Score for Reading and Writing & Language
First, you need to count the number of questions you got right for the Reading section. In our example, that means you got 40 answers right.
Check the raw score column again and find the 40, and you’ll note that the corresponding score in the Reading Test Score column is 33.
You also got 41 answers right for Writing & Language in our example, and the same process gives you a score of 37.
Add the 2 scores together (33 + 37) and you get 70. Multiply the sum by 10 (70 * 10) and you get 700. That’s your Scaled Score for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
Getting Your Composite Score
Just add your Math score and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score. In this case, you get 670 + 700, for a composite score of 1,370.
If you’re planning to get into Stanford, you have lots of work to do. That 700 for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section barely gets into the average scoring range. The 670 for Math is just lower than average! You can check our top SAT prep picks here.