SAT Score Calculator – Raw and Scaled

Understanding how the SAT score calculator works can be difficult with raw scores, scaled scores, and total scores. In this post, we’ll go over the overall scoring structure of the SAT, how the SAT calculates scores, and how to use this information to your advantage.

How Are SAT Scores Calculated?

When you receive your SAT score calculator report in the mail or online, one number will be larger than the others. This is the sum of your SAT scores. Your total SAT score ranges from 400 to 1600. This is the most commonly discussed score among students – if you hear someone say, “I got 1,310 on the SAT,” they’re simply talking about their total SAT score.

Your total SAT score is calculated by adding your two section scores, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math, which range from 200 to 800. Colleges will sometimes look at your section scores in addition to your total score (all of which are listed on the same score report) to evaluate your performance in a particular area.

A high Math section score, for example, might be more important to an engineering school than a high Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score. If you take the SAT essay (which will be discontinued in January 2021), you will receive three essay scores ranging from 2 to 8.

Total SAT Score Calculator 400–1,600
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section 200–800
Math Section 200–800
SAT Essay (discontinued in January 2021) 2-8

The scoring system for the SAT is somewhat complicated. The Math sections are combined to yield a single score of 800. The Reading, Writing and Language scores are added together to yield a single score out of 800. Then your Math and combined Reading, Writing, and Language scores are added up for a total score of 1600. For example, if you received a 520 on the Math section and a 490 on the Reading, Writing, and Language sections, your total score would be 1010.

One thing to keep in mind: because the SAT combines your Reading, Writing, and Language scores, the Math section accounts for 12 of your total SAT score, rather than 13. Half of your SAT score is calculated by the Math section. This is something to think about if you find yourself to be a better reader or a better mathematician. 

The SAT Exam: What to Expect

If you want to know more about the SAT score calculator, how the SAT is structured, and how you should study, this is the place to be! The SAT is a college entrance exam for students in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. All four-year colleges and universities in the United States accept SAT scores. More than 2 million students from the United States and around the world took the test in the 2018 graduating class.

The SAT is intended to assess the skills that are most important for success in a college setting. To that end, the SAT assesses students in three areas: English, Math, Reading, and an optional Essay section. These three multiple-choice sections (also known as “tests”) are scored and added together for a total score of up to 1600 points.

Because each SAT is different, the College Board converts your raw score into a scaled score using a conversion chart unique to that test. They scale the scores to reflect the test’s difficulty. On a difficult test, students may be able to miss one or two questions and still receive an 800. On a simpler test, however, missing just one question could reduce your score to a 790 or 780. 

The College Board’s Scoring Your Practice Test documentation includes instructions on how the SAT score calculator works and how to calculate your section scores, as well as a sample conversion chart. 

 

The College Board’s SAT Scoring Instructions Are As Follows:

How to Calculate your SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section score (on a scale of 200–800) 

This is done by first calculating your Reading and Language Test scores. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Count the number of correct answers you got on Section 1 (the Reading Test). There are no repercussions for incorrect answers. The number of correct answers calculates your raw score.

Step 2: Go to the Raw Score Conversion Table 1: Section and test scores on page 7. Look for your raw score in the “Raw Score” column and compare it to the number in the “Reading Test Score” column.

Step 3: Repeat this process for Section 2 to calculate your Writing and Language Test score.

Step 4: Add the results of your Reading and Language tests together.

Step 5: Multiply that figure by 10. This is your score for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section.

SAT Score Calculator

How to Calculate Your SAT Math Section Score (On A Scale Of 200–800) Using the SAT Score Calculator

Step 1: Count the number of correct answers you got on Section 3 (Math Test — No Calculator) and Section 4 (Math Test — Calculator). There are no consequences for incorrect answers.

Step 2: Add the number of correct answers you received on Sections 3 (Math Test — No Calculator) and 4 (Math Test — Calculator) together.

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Step 3: To convert your raw score to your Math Section score, use Raw Score Conversion Table 1: Section and Test Scores.

Step 4: Add your Math section score and your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score together. This represents your total SAT score!

 

How to Study Using SAT Scoring Calculator System

When developing test-day strategies, you can use information about the SAT’s scoring practices. Now, because the College Board scales scores differently for each test, you can’t be certain how your test will be graded. However, by understanding how the SAT score calculator works, you can set reasonable goals and make test days less stressful.

For example, if you know how many questions you can miss while still achieving your goal score, you won’t be stressed if a few questions on test day stump you because you planned for it! You knew you could skip a few questions and still get the desired score. So, all of a sudden, those tricky questions become the few questions you intended to skip! The same idea applies to improving your score.

If you want to improve your Math score by 100 points, you can use the conversion chart to see that you’ll need to answer about 11 more math questions correctly. Isn’t getting 11 questions right much more attainable than the ambiguous “100 points?”

 

Structure and Timing

The SAT’s Scheduling

The SAT is divided into four sections: reading, writing, and language, math without a calculator, and math with a calculator (and an optional Essay section). The exam lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes (with breaks).

The SAT’s Organization

The SAT sections are always presented in this order: Reading, Writing and Language, Math without Calculator, Math with Calculator. The essay is the last one. There will be a 10-minute break between the Reading, Writing, and Language sections, followed by a 5-minute break between the two math sections. There will be a two-minute break between the last math section and the essay section if you choose the essay.

SAT Exam Breakdown

SAT Section Time (minutes) Number of

Questions

Minutes per

Question

Reading 65/180 (36%) 52/154 (34%) 1.25
Writing and

Language

35/180 (19%) 44/154 (27%) 0.80
Math without

Calculator

25/180 (14%) 20/154 (13%) 1.25
Math with

Calculator

55/180 (31%) 38/154 (25%) 1.45
Optional Essay 50
Total 195 minutes (with breaks) 154 questions

 

What is Tested on the SAT?

Reading, Writing, and Language, Math without Calculator, and Math with Calculator are always presented in the same order on the SAT score calculator.

Reading

The SAT reading section assesses your ability to read and interpret written material. The Reading section contains five passages: narrative or prose, natural science, social science, humanities, and paired passages, which are usually classified as social science or natural science. The natural science passage usually includes a chart or graph as well as questions that require you to analyze or comprehend the data presented.

Language and Writing

The SAT Writing and Language section places you in the shoes of a writer who is revising and editing a text. You’ll see four short passages riddled with grammatical errors, each accompanied by 11 questions asking you to identify and correct the errors in the passage. This section covers basic grammar rules as well as rhetorical skills. Brush up on your knowledge of commas, semicolons, and sentence structure for this section.

Math

On the SAT, there are two math sections: Math without Calculator and the longer Math with Calculator. Both sections consist primarily of multiple-choice questions, with a few free-response questions sprinkled throughout. Because you enter your answers in the grids provided on the answer sheet, these free-response questions are also known as grid-ins.

The SAT Math sections are divided into three sections: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. There are also a few questions in the “Additional Topics in Math” category, which covers geometry, shape properties, and proportional reasoning.

The SAT math questions are often lengthy. Some students may find the questions confusing as a result of this; however, the additional information may be useful in solving the problem. On both math sections of the SAT, you will be given a formula sheet to use.

When Is The Best Time To Take the SAT – Winter or Spring?

The SAT is administered seven times per year. Register for the SAT by going to the College Board’s website and creating a College Board account. To register, you’ll need a photo ID, a payment method, and a photo (that meets certain requirements). Many students retake the exam at least twice because your score almost always improves on the second attempt. 

We recommend taking your first test in the winter or spring of your junior year, and your second test in the summer or fall, so that you have plenty of time to receive your results before the deadline for college applications. Taking your first SAT earlier in your junior year allows you more time to plan follow-up tests if necessary. If you take a winter test (typically in December, January, and February) or a spring test (typically in March and April), you can use the results to focus your study for Test #2, which is scheduled for May or June. 

The end of the school year does not appear to be the best time to take the SAT right now. You’re a whirlwind of activity, knee-deep in finals, and summer break is the beacon guiding you forward. However, taking the test in May or June, when you are focused on school and studying, generally results in a more focused prep and test-taking experience. You’re probably nearing your peak performance level, but you’re still stuck in school mode.

You’ve been practicing all year, and your abilities are razor-sharp. You should also consider the fall tests as backups. If things don’t go as planned during Test #1 (Winter/Spring) and Test #2 (Early Summer), there’s still time to get your scores back, do some more focused studying, and retake the test in the fall.

If you decide to take a third or fourth test, make sure you check the admissions deadlines for your preferred school and that you will receive your results in time to submit your application. All of this being said, if it aligns with your goals, we believe the winter or spring of your junior year is one of the best times to take the SAT for the first time.

 

How Do I Prepare for the SAT?

Study for the SAT by researching study materials, selecting your favorite, and then developing a study schedule that you will follow. We’ve discovered that students perform best when they prepare for about three months and actually understand how the SAT score calculator works. While this may appear to be a long time, it is a long test with a lot of material to cover! Allowing three months to study allows you enough time to cover all of the material and review it, with time left over for missed days and breaks.

Prepare thoroughly for your first test. When you receive your results, use that information to help you decide whether or not to retake the test. If you’re satisfied with your score, that’s fantastic! You only had to take the exam once. If you see room for improvement and decide to retake the test, that’s fantastic! Because you studied well the first time, you can concentrate on what needs to be improved for the second time you take the test. 

After taking the test a second time, you can use the third time (if necessary) to drill down on extremely specific areas. Again, simply taking the test does not improve your score. Taking the test plus effective studying equals a higher score. When you’ve prepared for the test, it’s best to take it. You may never feel completely prepared – and that’s fine; most people don’t! And “preparedness” does not imply studying for months on end until you’re exhausted. 

We simply mean that you should prepare a little before taking the SAT for the first time. You wouldn’t run a marathon just to see what happens. Likewise, never take the SAT “just to see what happens!” You should at the very least take a practice test before your first SAT. We recommend developing an effective study plan that will assist you in truly learning the material so that you can take the test with confidence the first time.

It is not necessary to memorize formulas or tricks when preparing for the SAT. It is all about learning the material that will be tested on the SAT. You’re on the right track if you fully understand the concepts behind the test questions and can apply your knowledge to new situations. To help you get started on your search, here are some of the best SAT prep companies for every budget; Khan Academy, Magoosh, and Peterson’s.

The course content covers every section of the exam and is intended to help you connect with the material through relevant questions and animated explanation videos. The course, created by veteran SAT tutors and high school teachers, teaches you the concepts you need to know to ace the exam. You don’t even have to work around someone else’s schedule because it’s online and self-paced!

 

SAT Test Dates

The SAT is given seven times a year by the SAT. We recommend scheduling a test date based on your anticipated college application deadlines and the number of times you intend to take the exam. Students take the SAT two to three times on average to achieve their target score, so plan accordingly! 

If you’re in the spring semester of your junior year, getting test dates for the early spring and summer (and, if necessary, the fall) on the calendar is a top priority. Register for the SAT by going to the SAT website and filling out the online registration form. You’ll need the following to register:

  • A photograph that satisfies the SAT photo requirements
  • A method of payment
  • Your fee exemption (if applicable)
  • Your Social Security number for special accommodations (if applicable)

Examine the SAT website for a comprehensive list of the information you’ll need to register for the SAT.

 

How Often Should I Take the SAT?

So we just talked about taking a third or fourth SAT. But here’s the thing: there’s a common misconception that the more times you take the test, the higher your score will be. While you may gain a couple of points with each test, simply taking the test does not improve your score. The best way to improve your score is to prepare (study!) for each test. It is acceptable to take the test multiple times, and schools understand that you want to do so. 

You may retake the SAT as many times as you like. As previously stated, many students take the SAT at least twice, and many students’ scores improve the second time around! For this reason, we recommend that students take the SAT at least twice and no more than three times. It’s best to take your second SAT on the next available test date to keep your mind fresh.

SATs are usually scheduled four to eight weeks apart, giving you plenty of time to focus on and correct any mistakes you made on your first test. If you prepare thoroughly each time you take the test, you should only need to take it three times.

 

Pros of Taking SATs

The SAT may be preferred by strong mathematicians. Because of the way SAT scores are calculated, the SAT math score accounts for half of the total score. And, because SAT scores are frequently reported as the two section scores (Math and Evidence-Based Writing and Language) rather than the total score, a strong math score can stand out.

Cons of Taking SATs

The SAT has more data in its questions and more long word problems, which can be difficult if you are not a strong English reader. Furthermore, you are not permitted to use your calculator in both Math sections. While most SAT and ACT math questions can be answered without the use of a calculator, this is something to consider if you prefer to use a calculator throughout the math section.

The best way to decide between the ACT and the SAT is to take a few practice tests and see which one you prefer. Colleges consider both tests equally, so choose based on where you can get a higher score.

 

Conclusion

You understand that your SAT score is important for college admissions and even scholarships, but how is it calculated? We hope this article gave you insights on calculating your final SAT score so you can get a good idea of how well you’re doing on the test. You can use your target SAT score in terms of raw score to calculate your SAT strategy options once you’ve calculated your target SAT score in terms of the raw score. 

Once you know what SAT score you want and how far you are from it, you can create a study plan, gather study materials, and get to work on improving your score!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the SAT Score Calculator Work?

The College Board converts your raw score for a section — the number of questions you answered correctly in that section — into the “scaled score” for that section using a conversion chart unique to each test to calculate your SAT score. The scaled scores are then added together on the SAT score calculator to your total SAT score.

How Do I Prepare for the SAT?

It is not necessary to memorize formulas or tricks when preparing for the SAT. It is all about learning the material that will be tested on the SAT. You’re on the right track if you fully understand the concepts behind the test questions and can apply your knowledge to new situations. To help you get started on your search, here are some of the best SAT prep companies for every budget; Khan Academy, Magoosh, and Peterson’s.

When Is The Best Time To Take the SAT – Winter or Spring?

We recommend taking your first test in the winter or spring of your junior year, and your second test in the summer or fall, so that you have plenty of time to receive your results before the deadline for college applications. Taking your first SAT earlier in your junior year allows you more time to plan follow-up tests if necessary. If you take a winter test (typically in December, January, and February) or a spring test (typically in March and April), you can use the results to focus your study for Test #2, which is scheduled for May or June. 

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