Stressing about how the SAT is scored? Don’t worry, Bolt is here for you. Let’s go through how the SAT is scored step by step:
You probably already know that there are two parts of the SAT — one that tests your reading and writing skills, while one that tests your math skills. There’s also an optional essay, which we’ll get back to later. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing is what you’ll take first, followed by the Math section. Each of these sections is scored on a range from 200-800, and are added together to find your Total Score, which just means your overall SAT score. The highest score possible is 1600, while the average is 1000. (It is helpful to look at the colleges you are thinking about to see what their average SAT score is; nearly every college posts this information on their website).
The optional essay includes three sections, and each is scored on a range from 2-8. Note that the optional essay is not factored into your overall total score – it appears separately on your score report. Two graders will read your essay and will score you from 1-4 on the three sections: Reading, Analysis, and Writing, which are then added together. The Reading and Analysis scores are based on how well you understood and analyzed the passage provided (and demonstrated that in your writing), while the Writing score is based on how well you craft your essay in terms of structure, content, spelling, grammar, etc.
The SAT can be further broken down into Test Scores, which is incredibly helpful to understand which concepts you know well, and which you could improve on. Note that colleges generally don’t care about these scores, they are more interested in your overall Total Score, in addition to your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores.
First, you’ll receive a Test score between 10-40 for Reading, Writing and Language, and Math.
You’ll also receive a Cross-test score from 10-40 in both Analysis in History/Social Studies and Analysis in Science. This explains how well you did on particular subjects across both sections, the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section.
Finally, you’ll receive a Subscore between 1-15 in the following categories:
- Reading and Writing and Language:
- Command of Evidence
- Words in Context
- Writing and Language:
- Expression of Ideas
- Standard English Conventions
- Heart of Algebra
- Problem Solving and Data Analysis
- Passport to Advanced Math
If this still feels confusing, don’t worry. The SAT is designed on purpose to be a little incomprehensible. Any questions? Drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you ASAP! Just study well using Bolt and you’ll do great – we’re in this together! ❤