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Frequently Asked Questions About the SAT

How is the SAT scored?

A raw score is formed by adding your correct answers and subtracting 1/4 point for each incorrect answer . (There are a couple of exceptions, but that's the basic scoring scheme.) The raw score is then translated to a scale that compares you with all other people who took the test.

There are three scores on the SAT- one each for math, critical reading and writing. The scale runs from 200-800 for each section, and so your combined score can be anything from 600 - 2400. The middle of each scale is set around 500.

The writing section will have two subscores: a 20-80 subscore for the multiple choice questions, and a score between 2 and 12 for the essay. The essay score represents the evaluations of two judges each using a 1 to 6 scale.

You are also given a percentile ranking, indicating where, in a group of 100 students from around the country, you would place. If your score says that you are in the 45th percentile, it means that for every hundred students, 55 scored better than you.

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