You may be wondering how your SAT score is determined. Where does that score of 200-800 on each section of the SAT come from? What does your SAT score mean? Or, maybe you're familiar with the concept of raw scores, but you don't know how your raw score is converted into a scaled score. Hopefully, this article will answer your questions and clear up any confusion.

In this post, I'll clarify the difference between raw scores and scaled scores and provide charts that show the SAT raw score conversion to scaled score. Furthermore, I'll explain why the data from these SAT score charts can be helpful to you in your SAT preparation.

## What Is a Raw Score?

Your raw score for each section is calculated from the number of questions you answered correctly and incorrectly. For every question you answer correctly on the SAT, you receive one point. For every question you answer incorrectly on the SAT, you receive minus ¼ point, with the exception of grid-ins in the Math section, for which you receive zero points for wrong answers. For every question you skip on the SAT, you receive zero points.

The maximum raw score varies for each section. For Critical Reading, there are 67 questions; therefore, the max raw score is 67. For Math, there are 54 questions; the max raw score is 54. For Writing, there are 49 questions and 1 essay. The maximum multiple-choice raw score is 49 and the maximum essay score is 12.

## What Is a Scaled Score?

The scaled score is the score from 200-800 you receive on each section of the SAT. Your scaled score is determined from the raw score through a process that the College Board calls equating. Equating “ensures that the different forms of the test or the level of ability of the students with whom you are tested do not affect your score. Equating makes it possible to make comparisons among test takers who take different editions of the test across different administrations.”

Therefore, your scaled score is not dependent on the difficulty of the test or the skill level of the students who take your edition of the test. The College Board doesn’t release its formula for equating, but it does periodically release scoring charts to convert raw scores to scaled scores. The scoring charts change slightly for each edition of the test, but they remain somewhat consistent.

From your target scaled score, you can get a rough idea of how many questions you need to answer correctly on each section to reach your goal. For example, if you want to get a 750 on Critical Reading, you need to get a raw score of about 62. Therefore, you can only get about 4 questions wrong or omit 5 questions to reach your target score. Having this knowledge can inform your guessing and study strategies.

If you’re aiming for a 600, focus on the easy and medium level difficulty questions. To get a 600 in Reading, you only need a raw score of about 46 out of 67. This means that you can skip 12 questions, get 7 wrong, and still get a 600. Therefore, if your target score is a 600, don’t waste time on the most difficult, time-consuming questions. You can skip the hardest 20% of questions and still reach your target score.

Also, you'll see that the math curve is very harsh. For most tests, you have to answer every single question correctly to get an 800.

Finally, the essay has a big impact on your Writing score. It counts for almost ⅓ of your Writing score. If you get a multiple-choice raw score of 45 and an essay score of 12, your scaled score is about a 760. If you get the same raw score, but an essay score of 7, your scaled score is about a 670. If you can master the SAT essay, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your Writing goal.

## Raw Score to Scaled Score Conversion Charts

Below is a sample SAT conversion chart released by the College Board. Remember that SAT score charts change for each edition of the test, but the changes are usually not that drastic. For example, a raw score of 46 in Math converted to a scaled score of 660 on the January 2010 and 2011 editions of the SAT. However, in May 2011 and 2009, a 46 in Math converted to a 680.

 Raw Score Scaled Score 2014 Percentile 67 800 99 66 800 99 65 800 99 64 790 99 63 770 99 62 760 99 61 740 98 60 730 97 59 720 96 58 700 96 57 690 95 56 680 94 55 670 92 54 670 92 53 660 91 52 650 90 51 640 89 50 630 86 49 620 84 48 620 84 47 610 82 46 600 80 45 600 80 44 590 78 43 580 75 42 570 73 41 570 73 40 560 70 39 550 67 38 550 67 37 540 64 36 530 61 35 530 61 34 520 57 33 520 57 32 510 54 31 500 51 30 500 51 29 490 48 28 480 44 27 480 44 26 470 41 25 460 37 24 460 37 23 450 35 22 440 31 21 440 31 20 430 28 19 420 25 18 410 22 17 410 22 16 400 19 15 390 17 14 380 15 13 380 15 12 370 13 11 360 11 10 350 9 9 340 8 8 330 7 7 320 5 6 310 5 5 300 4 4 290 3 3 270 2 2 260 2 1 240 1 0 220 1 -1 210 1 -2 or below 200 --

Charts are fun.

### Math

 Raw Score Scaled Score 2014 Percentile 54 800 99 53 790 99 52 760 97 51 740 96 50 720 95 49 710 94 48 700 93 47 690 92 46 680 90 45 670 89 44 660 87 43 650 86 42 640 84 41 640 84 40 630 82 39 620 80 38 610 77 37 600 75 36 590 73 35 590 73 34 580 71 33 570 68 32 560 66 31 550 62 30 540 59 29 540 59 28 530 56 27 520 53 26 510 50 25 500 46 24 490 44 23 480 41 22 480 41 21 470 37 20 460 34 19 450 31 18 440 28 17 430 25 16 420 22 15 420 22 14 410 19 13 400 17 12 390 15 11 380 13 10 370 11 9 360 9 8 350 8 7 330 6 6 320 5 5 310 4 4 290 2 3 280 2 2 260 1 1 240 1 0 220 1- -1 200 -- -2 and below 200 --

Charts are really fun.

### Writing

Essay Score

 Raw Score 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 0 49 800 800 800 790 770 750 740 720 710 700 680 670 48 800 800 780 760 740 720 710 690 680 670 650 640 47 790 770 760 740 720 700 690 670 660 640 630 620 46 770 750 740 720 700 680 670 650 640 630 610 600 45 760 740 720 710 690 670 650 640 630 610 590 580 44 740 730 710 700 670 660 640 620 610 600 580 570 43 730 720 700 680 660 640 630 620 600 590 570 560 42 720 700 690 670 650 630 620 600 590 570 560 550 41 710 690 680 660 640 620 610 590 580 560 550 540 40 700 680 670 650 630 610 600 580 570 550 540 530 39 690 680 660 640 620 600 590 570 560 550 530 520 38 680 670 650 630 610 600 580 560 550 540 520 510 37 670 660 640 630 610 590 570 550 540 530 510 500 36 660 650 630 620 600 580 560 550 530 520 500 490 35 660 640 620 610 590 570 550 540 530 510 490 480 34 650 630 620 600 580 560 550 530 520 500 490 480 33 640 620 610 590 570 550 540 520 510 490 480 470 32 630 620 600 580 560 540 530 510 500 490 470 460 31 620 610 590 580 550 540 520 500 490 480 460 450 30 610 600 580 570 550 530 510 500 480 470 450 440 29 610 580 570 560 540 520 500 490 480 460 440 430 28 600 580 570 550 530 510 490 480 470 450 440 430 27 590 570 560 540 520 500 490 470 460 440 430 420 26 580 570 550 530 510 490 480 460 450 440 420 410 25 570 560 540 530 500 490 470 450 440 430 410 400 24 560 550 530 520 500 480 460 450 430 420 400 390 23 560 540 520 510 490 470 450 440 430 410 390 380 22 550 530 520 500 480 460 450 430 420 400 390 380 21 540 520 510 490 470 450 440 420 410 390 380 370 20 530 520 500 480 460 440 430 410 400 390 370 360 19 520 510 490 480 460 440 420 410 390 380 360 350 18 520 500 480 470 450 430 410 400 390 370 350 340 17 510 490 480 460 440 420 410 390 380 360 350 340 16 500 490 470 450 430 410 400 380 370 360 340 330 15 490 480 460 450 430 410 390 370 360 350 330 320 14 490 470 450 440 420 400 380 370 360 340 320 310 13 480 460 450 430 410 390 380 360 350 330 320 310 12 470 460 440 420 400 380 370 350 340 330 310 300 11 460 450 430 420 400 380 360 350 330 320 300 290 10 460 440 420 410 390 370 350 340 330 310 290 280 9 450 430 420 400 380 360 350 330 320 300 290 280 8 440 430 410 390 370 350 340 320 310 300 280 270 7 430 420 400 390 360 350 330 310 300 290 270 260 6 420 410 390 380 360 340 320 310 290 280 260 250 5 410 400 380 370 350 330 310 300 280 270 250 240 4 400 390 370 360 340 320 300 290 270 260 240 230 3 390 380 360 350 330 310 290 280 260 250 230 220 2 380 370 350 330 310 290 280 260 250 240 220 210 1 370 350 340 320 300 280 260 250 240 220 210 200 0 350 340 320 300 280 260 250 240 220 210 200 200 -1 330 320 300 290 270 250 230 220 200 200 200 200 -2 310 300 280 270 250 230 210 200 200 200 200 200 -3 310 290 280 260 240 220 210 200 200 200 200 200

 Writing Scaled Score 2014 Percentile 800 99+ 790 99 780 99 770 99 760 99 750 98 740 98 730 98 720 97 710 96 700 96 690 95 680 94 670 93 660 92 650 91 640 89 630 88 620 86 610 84 600 82 590 80 580 78 570 76 560 74 550 71 540 68 530 65 520 62 510 59 500 56 490 53 480 49 470 46 460 42 450 39 440 35 430 32 420 29 410 25 400 22 3901 19 380 17 370 14 360 12 350 10 340 8 330 7 320 6 310 5 290 4 280 3 270 3 260 2 250 2 240 2 230 1 220 1 210 1 200 --

## What's Next?

Now that you've seen the SAT score chart, find out what's considered a good and bad SAT score.

Also, find out how many questions you can miss to get a perfect SAT score.