We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is SAT Scoring?

By Amy Hunter
Updated Feb 24, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

SAT scoring occurs in three sections, critical reading, math, and writing. The scaled SAT scoring for each subject ranges between 200 and 800, with the average scores being 500. The total possible score for the entire test is 2400, with the average SAT score being 1500.

Anyone who has ever seen an SAT test may wonder where the 2400 perfect score number comes from. The testing company uses two different calculations to come up with the scaled score. When students take the SAT, their papers receive a raw score.

The raw score starts with the number of points the student receives for correct answers. Each incorrect answer reduces the SAT scoring by one quarter point. For skipped questions, there are no additions or subtractions. In the math section of the test, there is a section for student-produced results, where they complete and fill in math grids. An incorrect answer in this section does not subtract any points from the student's score.

Students may want to hire professional SAT math tutors to prepare for the math section of the test. Many people find the math section to be the most challenging element of the SATs, and tutors that specialize in the SAT math exam teach students strategies that will optimize their math skills and get them the best score possible. There are online SAT math tutors available as well, making it easy and convient for both parents and students. 

On the SAT sub-tests, the student received one point for each correct answer. There is no point deduction for a skipped question. If there were five choices, one quarter point is deducted for each incorrect answer. Four choices lead to a one third of a point deduction and three choices will earn a one-half point deduction.

For the writing sub-section, the multiple choice raw score section is converted to a scaled score. The scale for the multiple choice writing section is 20 to 80. The 25 minute essay section receives a grade between two and twelve. The only way a student can earn a zero on the writing test is by writing off topic, or not completing the essay at all.

Two readers will grade the essay on a scale of one to six. The scores will be added together to determine the score for the essay. The multiple choice portion of the writing section makes up 70 percent of the score, and the essay 30 percent.

Once the raw scores for the SAT tests are determined, the SAT scoring system uses a statistical calculation to convert the score to a range of 200 to 800. This process, known as equating, is to ensure that students across the country, taking different versions of the test, and with different proctors, will have scores that reflect the depth of their knowledge, and not just their test taking experience. Get started with an SAT tutor today for a successful tomorrow. 


WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.