The raw score you receive from the SAT® is calculated by adding up your correct answers. For each question that you answered right, one point is added to the raw score. For example, if you correctly answered 30 of the Math section questions, then 30 is your raw math score.
Raw Scores and Test-taking Strategies
Remember, there are no deductions for guessing or skipping questions, and correct answers are the baseline for your final score. If you find that you are unsure of how to answer a question, but you are able to make an educated guess, do so. This scoring method means that you risk nothing by guessing incorrectly, and if you happen to select the right answer, your raw score can go up one point. Your test-taking strategy can benefit from knowing how your scores are calculated.
Raw Score Conversion
A raw score is then converted to scaled scores for each section, which are added up to calculate your overall score. The raw scores from the Math and Reading sections of the SAT are scaled to 200–800 points each, then added up for a maximum total of 1600 points.
The process for scaling the raw score varies by test date in order to standardize the test scores between easier tests and harder tests. You will always receive a score between 200–800 points, but the process to reach those scores is adjusted for the test’s difficulty. The conversions from the raw score to the scaled score are not available before your test date. When you receive your score report, you will be able to evaluate the answers you answered correctly, incorrectly, or skipped. A breakdown of your raw score and scaled score is also available on the score report, along with the average performance ranges from other students.
As you are taking the exam, it can be helpful to know how your efforts are measured and graded. Remember that each question you answer is potentially adding to your raw score, and an educated guess is always worth bubbling in. Practice tests can give you a good idea of how you will perform on the SAT, and UWorld’s SAT prep course has designed multiple full-length practice tests and thousands of questions just like the ones you will face on the SAT exam.
These practice tests can help you get used to the scoring systems and help you know what to expect when you receive your SAT scores the first time.