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How are SAT scores calculated?


The Scholastic Assessment Test, sometimes known as the SAT, is a standardised examination that is frequently utilised by educational institutions in the United States as a component of their admissions procedures. The exam is taken by juniors and seniors in high school since it is intended to determine whether or not a student is prepared to perform successfully at the college level.

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, as well as the Mathematics section, make up the two primary components of the SAT. There is a possible total score of 1600 points, with each segment being scored on a scale ranging from 200 to 800 points. In addition, there is a second Essay portion that students can choose to take or not, and it is scored anywhere from 2 to 8 points.




Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Analysis in History/Social Studies, Analysis in Science

Writing and Language


Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions

Math (No calculator)


Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Math

Math (calculator)


Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Additional Topics



Reading, Analysis, Writing

Note: The total score range for the SAT is 400-1600, which is the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math scores. The Essay is optional and scored separately.

An Explanation of the SAT Scores

When you receive your SAT scores, you will notice three scores: one for the Math part, one for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, and one for the Essay section (if you took it). The range from which each score is recorded is from 200 to 800 points, and the final score is just the addition of the scores from the two individual sections.

Your total score would be 1300 if, for instance, you received a score of 600 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing component and a score of 700 on the Mathematics section of the exam.

(Read More: Quick tips to improve the SAT score)

You will not only obtain your actual scores but also a percentile rank that corresponds to those values. Your scores are compared to those of other students who took the test, and the percentile rank provides you with information regarding the percentage of students who took the test and scored lower than you did.

If your percentile rank is 75, for instance, this indicates that you scored higher than 75% of the other people who took the test.

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, as well as the Mathematics section, make up the two primary components of the SAT. Let's take a more in-depth look at the topics that are covered in each section.

Reading and Writing Section Based on Evidence

The purpose of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portion is to evaluate not just your capacity to read and comprehend written information, but also your ability to compose essays that are lucid and to the point. Reading and Writing and Language each make up one half of this section's overall structure.

Reading: The Reading section includes excerpts from a variety of subject areas, including science, history, and literature, among others. You will be required to read the readings and respond to questions regarding them, including determining the key ideas of the passages, drawing inferences from the passages, and determining their meaning.

Writing and Language: The Writing and Language part is comprised of paragraphs that have grammatical, punctuational, and structural faults in them. You are going to be tasked with locating and fixing these faults, in addition to revising certain parts to make them more understandable and efficient. You can prepare for the test day by practicing SAT sample papers.

The Mathematics Chapter

The purpose of the math portion of the exam is to evaluate not only your familiarity with various mathematical ideas but also your problem-solving skills. This part of the section is broken up into two parts: the first part allows the use of calculators, and the second part does not.

Calculator-Allowed: This portion is comprised of 30 questions with multiple-choice answers and 8 questions with grid-in responses. On this particular section, the use of a calculator is going to be permitted.

Calculator-Not-Allowed: This part has a total of 20 questions, 15 of which are multiple-choice and 5 of which are grid-in questions. On this particular question, the use of a calculator is not permitted at all.

Completely Voluntary Essay Portions

The essay portion of the application is voluntary; nevertheless, a number of colleges and institutions require or recommend that you complete it. The purpose of the essay portion of the test is to evaluate your capacity to interpret and make sense of a piece of writing. You will be given a passage to read and analyse, and you will be expected to write an essay that explains how the author utilises evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic features to construct their argument. This assignment will be graded on the basis of your ability to demonstrate critical thinking.

(Read More: A guide to register for SAT in India)

Comprehending the Meaning of Your SAT Subject Test Scores

There is the Standardised Test of Academic Competence (SAT), which is the primary exam, as well as SAT Subject Tests, which are designed to test a student's understanding in certain subject areas. Students who wish to demonstrate their mastery of a particular subject matter or who are applying to colleges that require or recommend SAT Subject Test scores are the ones who typically sit for these exams.

The scores you receive on the SAT topic Tests are based on a scale that ranges from 200 to 800 points, and each test is tailored to a different topic area. For instance, the SAT offers subject tests in the areas of English, mathematics, science, history, and even languages other than English.

Your score on the SAT Subject Test will be accompanied with a percentile rank, just like it is with the main SAT score. This rank compares your performance to the scores of other students who took the test.

(Read More: How to take a SAT test in India?)

Analysing Your Scores on the SAT

Scores on standardised tests such as the SAT are taken into consideration throughout the college admissions process; however, they are not the only aspect that schools look at. The GPA you earned in high school, the extracurricular activities you participated in, the essays you wrote, and the letters of recommendation you received are all things that colleges consider in addition to your SAT results.

Having said that, a student's score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) can be a significant predictor of their academic potential and can assist universities decide whether or not a student would be a suitable fit for their university.

When it comes to the main SAT, a score of 1200 or above is considered to be a good score, while a score of 1400 or higher is considered to be an excellent score. An extensive SAT preparation would help you in achieving the high score. However, the score that is considered "good" or "excellent" can vary depending on the college or university that you are applying to. This is something that you should be aware of before you submit your application.

In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that the SAT scores you submit are but one component of your application to college overall. A high SAT score can unquestionably help you stand out to colleges, but it does not guarantee that you will be admitted to those colleges.

Your Performance on the SAT

As was stated before, the scoring range for each area of the SAT is from 200 to 800 points, with a maximum possible score of 1600 points overall. The separate Essay portion, which is optional, is scored on a scale that ranges from 2 to 8 points. You will not only receive your actual scores, but also a percentile rank that is a comparison of your scores to the scores of other students who took the test.

Getting Ready for the SATs

It is essential to put in the necessary work to get yourself ready for the SAT plenty of time in advance. The following is a list of suggestions for how to better prepare for the exam:

Take some mock examinations:  On the day of the exam, you will feel more at ease if you have a thorough understanding of both the structure and the material covered on the SAT. You can get a head start on your preparation by taking advantage of the various free practice exams, as well as books and courses, that are available online.

 After you have completed a practice exam, it is time to review your scores and figure out the subject areas in which you have the most room for growth. Concentrate on honing your skills in those areas and learning more about them.

  • Develop good test-taking strategies:- It is necessary to establish techniques for taking the test itself, in addition to studying the subject that will be on the test. This includes techniques for time management, narrowing down your answer options, and making educated guesses when absolutely necessary.
  • Don't be hesitant to ask for help if you need it: If there is a particular topic or aspect of the exam that you are having trouble understanding, don't be embarrassed to ask for assistance. You have the option of working with a tutor, enrolling in a preparatory course, or seeking assistance from a teacher or a counselor.
  • Take care of yourself:- In the days preceding the test, make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking care of your mental and emotional health by giving yourself enough of attention. On the day of the test, your performance will be much improved if you are able to remain calm and attentive throughout.


The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is an essential component of the application process for higher education, and it may be the deciding factor in whether you are admitted to the college or university of your choice. You will be able to better prepare for the day of the test if you approach for SAT training classes. This will boost your chances of success if you understand how the test is scored and interpreted, as well as its format and the material that will be covered on the test.

Keep in mind that while your SAT scores do play a significant role in your total college application, they are only one component of the process. Your primary focuses should be on establishing a solid academic record, getting involved in extracurricular activities, and highlighting the distinctive qualities and skills that you bring to the table in the essays and interviews you submit. You can improve your chances of finding the college or university that is the right match for you by approaching the process of applying to colleges and universities in a comprehensive and well-rounded manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, some universities don’t make IELTS scores mandatory and some universities have waivers during admissions through which you can enter the US without IELTS.

It depends on the course you are taking up. For English language proficiency, the best tests to choose from are IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL.

A minimum of 60% is mandatory to be eligible to go abroad. For studying abroad, you may need to submit scores of IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, PTE, GMAT, or GRE.


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