What is the Range of Scores for the SAT Test

Every student applying to his/her favorite college would want to know what is a good SAT score. If you are one of them, it would be helpful to know this as you can set your goal based on it. We have given a table here showing the SAT score range for different levels for the main sections of the test.

However, you can get SAT scores and other information for a wide range of colleges at one place. Important information like SAT score, number of admissions, application requirements, academics and GPA, application submission deadlines can be found on the website of CollegeBoard.

What is a good SAT score?

The SAT score comprises of two sections, i.e. Math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing. Each section allows you to score between 200 to 800 points. So the SAT total score is considered between the range of 400 to 1600 points. Considering the 800 points for the optional essay, the highest SAT score.

The average score for the Math is 531 which takes about 80 minutes and for Evidence-based Reading and Writing is 536 and takes about 100 minutes. Note that the average may vary from one college to other depending on the location and test administrations.

You can see the old SAT scores in the table given below.

SectionTop ScoresAbove Average ScoresAverage ScoresBelow Average Scores
Math680 – 800610 – 670520 – 600510 or lower
Evidence-based Reading and Writing660 – 800590 – 650510 – 580500 or lower
  • For college specific and accurate SAT scores, you should check college board sat scoressection on the CollegeBoard website.

What is covered in the test?

The Math test includes the statistics, data analysis, number and operations, probability, geometry, algebra, and functions. The Reading and Writing section contains the vocabulary, grammar, diction, usage, critical reading, and sentence-level reading.

What are the question types?

The questions are mostly in multiple-choice except for the essay and grid-in math questions. Multiple-choice questions give four options with one option correct. About 22% (13 questions) of the total questions in the Math section requires a grid-in response and are not multiple-choice questions.

How is the SAT scored?

Scoring of your essay is done in a different process. It is read and scored by two different persons. They give 1-4 points where 4 means advanced, 3 means proficient, 2 means partial and 1 means inadequate. These points are given for different factors, i.e. writing, reading, and analysis.

The essay as an optional section was added in 2005 to help students improve and test their writing ability. The total score of the essay is 800 and it can be helpful in improving your overall score.

When do SAT scores come out

Every student have a question “how long does it take to get SAT scores?” after completing the test. The score calculation is done by the college board system by scanning your answer sheet. The score report including the percentile is made available online three weeks after the test. The report also contains two sub-scores of the writing section, i.e. scores for multiple-choice questions and an optional essay.

The board also can send sat scores in the paper format in a mail if you want. It will take about six weeks after the test is taken.

If any student wants to know which answers were correct and which were incorrect, he/she can avail that service by paying an additional fee. That service is called the Questions and Answers Service and shows your correct and incorrect answers along with a description for the correct answer for each question.

How to check SAT scores

The number of correct answers is your row score as there is no penalty for the wrong answers. Your row score is equated based on the scale of 200-800 for each section to get the score and percentile ranking. Since the scale is relatively small, a small change in your total score will make a big impact on your percentile.

Students can know how many points they have gained with correct answers and how many are lost due to the incorrect answers from the score report. The percentile in the report may vary from test to test depending on the exam content and the number of students taking the exam. So if you have a question about “what colleges can I get into with this score?”, you should check the past average of the colleges on the website of CollegeBoard.

As there is no penalty for the wrong answer, you should aim to attempt all the answers to increase your score.

Note that a perfect score on SAT plays an important role as it is required by many colleges as an alternative to ACT score, but that is not the only factor you have to take care of. There are many other factors which determine your eligibility for the admission in a college.

Your extracurricular activities, the effectiveness of your personal statement, your course selection, and your high GPA will make your application stronger. So you should prepare for the admission process by keeping these point along with your ACT score in mind.

Best of luck!