You know your SAT score is important for college admissions and even things like scholarships, but how does your SAT score get calculated? I'll show the steps to calculating your final SAT score so you can get an accurate idea of how well you're doing on the exam. This article is fully updated for the new, digital SAT!

How Is the Digital SAT Scored?

Before the SAT moved to being a digital test, it was fairly easy to calculate your SAT score. You'd first simply add up the number of questions you answered correctly (one point for each correct answer). This is called your raw score. Then, you'd use a chart to see what score from 200-800 that raw score corresponded with. The new score would be your converted score. Do that for both sections, add them together, and you had your SAT score!

However, when the SAT became digital, the College Board also implemented adaptive testing. With adaptive testing, an exam’s difficulty is modified in real-time based on a student’s performance. Questions on later sections of the exam depend on a student’s performance on previous sections of the exam. Test questions get harder if a student does well, and test questions get easier if the student doesn’t do as well.

To adapt each student’s exam, the digital SAT is divided into modules of test questions. Both SAT Reading and Writing and SAT Math consist of two modules: Module 1 and Module 2.

On both exam sections, students answer all of the questions in Module 1 first. Module 1 is made up of a mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. Based on the student’s performance on Module 1 questions, the exam then assigns them one of the following second modules: a set of questions that are generally more difficult than the questions in Module 1, or a set of questions that are generally less difficult than the questions in Module 1.

What does this mean for calculating your SAT score? It makes it more complicated. The College Board generally keeps their exact score calculation procedures fairly secret, and this is especially true with the digital SAT. We do know that more challenging questions are weighted more heavily, meaning if you get a harder question right, it'll be worth more than a correct response on an easier question.

What this means in terms of exact calculations is still unknown. It does mean we can't offer an exact chart  for you to add up the number of questions you answered correctly on a digital SAT practice test and see what your final score would be. There just isn't enough information available. However, we can explain how the current version of the paper SAT (which is only available to students with a testing accommodation) is scored and how you can use that information to estimate your digital SAT score.

First, let's dive into scoring for the paper SAT.

How Are Paper SATs Scored?

The first step is calculating your raw score. As mentioned above, your raw score on the paper SAT is simply calculated using the number of questions you answered correctly.

• For every question you answer correctly on the SAT, you receive one point.
• There is no penalty for guessing or skipping.

The maximum possible raw score varies by section (and depends on the total number of questions asked). For example, for the Reading and Writing section on the paper SAT, there are 66 questions total, so the maximum raw score is 66. If you answered all 66 questions correctly, you would have a raw score of 66. For Math on the paper SAT, there are 54 questions. This is different than the digital SAT, which has 54 Reading and Writing questions and 44 Math questions.

How Are Raw Scores Converted to Scaled Scores?

The raw score is converted into the scale score (on the 200 to 800 scale for each section) using a table. This table varies by SAT test date. The table is used as a way to make sure each test is "standardized". The table is a way of making "easier" SAT tests equal to the "harder" SAT tests. For instance, a raw score of 51 in Math might translate to an 800 on one test date and 790 on another.

You cannot know what the raw to scale score conversion will be in advance. While the exact raw to scale score conversion will vary by testing date, here are example charts from one of the official College Board SAT Practice Tests:

 Raw Score Reading and Writing Section Score Percentage of Questions Correct 66 790-800 100% 65 770-790 98% 64 750-770 97% 63 730-750 95% 62 720-740 94% 61 710-730 92% 60 700-720 91% 59 690-710 89% 58 680-700 88% 57 670-690 86% 56 660-680 85% 55 650-670 83% 54 640-660 82% 53 630-650 80% 52 630-650 79% 51 620-640 77% 50 610-630 76% 49 600-620 74% 48 590-610 73% 47 590-610 71% 46 580-600 70% 45 570-590 68% 44 560-580 67% 43 550-570 65% 42 540-560 64% 41 540-560 62% 40 530-550 61% 39 520-540 59% 38 510-530 58% 37 500-520 56% 36 490-510 55% 35 490-510 53% 34 480-500 52% 33 470-490 50% 32 460-480 48% 31 460-480 47% 30 450-470 45% 29 440-450 44% 28 430-450 42% 27 420-440 41% 26 420-440 39% 25 410-430 38% 24 400-420 36% 23 390-410 35% 22 380-400 33% 21 370-390 32% 20 370-390 30% 19 360-380 29% 18 350-370 27% 17 340-360 26% 16 320-340 24% 15 290-310 23% 14 280-300 21% 13 260-280 20% 12 250-270 18% 11 240-260 17% 10 230-250 15% 9 210-230 14% 8 200-220 12% 7 200-210 11% 6 200 9% 5 200 8% 4 200 6% 3 200 5% 2 200 3% 1 200 2% 0 200 0%

So, if you answered 50 SAT Reading and Writing questions correctly on the paper SAT, you could expect a section score between 610 and 630 (although it may fall slightly outside that range, too).

SAT Math Section

 Raw Score Math Section Score Percentage of Questions Correct 54 790-800 100% 53 780-800 98% 52 770-800 96% 51 760-790 94% 50 750-780 93% 49 740-770 91% 48 730-760 89% 47 710-740 87% 46 690-720 85% 45 670-700 83% 44 650-680 81% 43 630-660 80% 42 620-650 78% 41 600-630 76% 40 590-620 74% 39 580-610 72% 38 570-600 70% 37 560-590 69% 36 550-580 67% 35 530-560 65% 34 520-550 63% 33 510-540 61% 32 500-530 59% 31 480-510 57% 30 470-500 56% 29 460-490 54% 28 440-470 52% 27 430-460 50% 26 420-450 48% 25 400-430 46% 24 390-420 44% 23 380-410 43% 22 370-400 41% 21 370-400 39% 20 360-390 37% 19 350-380 35% 18 340-370 33% 17 330-360 31% 16 330-360 30% 15 320-350 28% 14 310-340 26% 13 300-330 24% 12 290-320 22% 11 280-310 20% 10 250-280 19% 9 220-250 17% 8 200-230 15% 7 200-220 13% 6 200 11% 5 200 9% 4 200 7% 3 200 6% 2 200 4% 1 200 2% 0 200 0%

All that info is great, but the vast majority of students will be taking the digital SAT now, not the paper SAT. Fortunately, this data is still useful!

If you take a digital practice test on the Bluebook app, you'll see your scores for both sections of the SAT, but if you take unofficial practice tests (which we recommend if you need additional practice!) they may not provide score estimates.

To get a score estimate, you can use the percentage of questions you answered correctly on each section of the SAT. You can't just add up your correct answers and check to see what score that corresponds with on the chart because the test you take will likely have a different number of questions for each section. Remember, the digital SAT has fewer questions than the paper SAT: there are 54 Reading and Writing questions and 44 Math questions.

Say you took an official digital SAT that doesn't give score estimates. If you answered 30 Reading and Writing questions correctly, you'd divide 40 by 54 (or however many questions the Reading and Writing section had), which is 0.74. Multiply that by 100 to get 74% of questions answered correctly on Reading and Writing. Look at the Reading and Writing Section chart above, find that percentage (or the closest one to it), and see what section score that corresponds with. From the chart, we can see that a percentage of 74% corresponds with a Reading and Writing section score of 600-620. Nice! Do the same for Math to get an estimate of your digital SAT score.

This isn't a perfect solution, but it does allow you to get an estimate of how many right answers you need on each section to get the score you're aiming for.

Additionally, if you have a target digital SAT score that you're aiming for, you can work backwards to see what percentage of questions you'd need to answer correctly. For example, if your goal is a 700 on SAT Math, you'd need to answer about 83-85% of Math questions correctly.

What This Means for You

Once you have determined your target SAT score in terms of raw score, you can use it to determine your SAT test strategy options. We have plenty of resources to help you out. Once you know what SAT score you're aiming for and how far you are from that goal score, you can begin to develop a study plan, gather study materials, and get to work on raising your score!

If You Need Help Creating a Study Plan

How to Build an SAT Study Plan

How to Cram for the SAT

How Long Should You Study for the SAT?

If You Need More Study Materials

Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

The 9 Best SAT Prep Books

The Best SAT Prep Websites You Should Be Using

If You Want to Raise Your Score

The Best Way to Review Your Mistakes for the SAT

How to Get an 800 on SAT Reading and Writing

How to Get an 800 on SAT Math

What's Next?

Want to rock the SAT? Check out our complete SAT study guide!

Want to find free SAT practice tests? Check out our massive collection!