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SAT Score Chart: Raw Score Conversion to Scaled Score

Posted by Justin Berkman | Nov 21, 2015 9:30:00 PM

SAT General Info

 

 

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.

 

 

Why Is This Data Important? How Can It Help You?

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.

 

 

Critical Reading

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.

 

Want to improve your SAT score by 240 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

Get eBook: 5 Tips for 160+ Points

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Justin Berkman
About the Author

Justin has extensive experience teaching SAT prep and guiding high school students through the college admissions and selection process. He is firmly committed to improving equity in education and helping students to reach their educational goals. Justin received an athletic scholarship for gymnastics at Stanford University and graduated with a BA in American Studies.



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