The SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test, is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It assesses a student’s readiness for collegelevel work by measuring their critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills. Understanding how to calculate SAT scores is crucial for both students and educators involved in the college application process.
The SAT is divided into two main sections: EvidenceBased Reading and Writing and Mathematics. Each section is scored separately, and the total score is the sum of these two section scores. The EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section is further divided into two subsections: Reading and Writing and Language. The Mathematics section consists of two subsections: Math No Calculator and Math Calculator.
Calculating the SAT score is a multistep process that involves understanding the scoring system, section weights, and scaling process. This guide will provide detailed explanations of each step to help students and educators accurately calculate SAT scores.
How to Calculate SAT Score
Calculating SAT scores involves understanding scoring systems, section weights, and scaling.
 Understand Scoring System
 Sum of Section Scores
 EvidenceBased Reading and Writing
 Mathematics Section
 Section Subscores
 Raw Score Conversion
 Scaling Process
 Total Score Range
Accurately calculating SAT scores is essential for college applications.
Understand Scoring System
The SAT scoring system is based on a scale of 200 to 800 points for each section, with the total score being the sum of the two section scores.

MultipleChoice Questions:
Most questions on the SAT are multiplechoice, with four answer choices per question. Each correct answer is worth one point.

GridIn Questions:
Some questions require students to write their answers in a grid. These questions are also worth one point each.

Subscores:
In addition to the total score, the SAT also provides subscores for specific skills within each section. These subscores can be helpful for students and educators to identify areas of strength and weakness.

Scaled Scores:
The SAT scores are reported on a scaled score system. This means that the raw scores from the multiplechoice and gridin questions are converted to a scale of 200 to 800 points.
Understanding the SAT scoring system is essential for interpreting the scores and making informed decisions about college applications.
Sum of Section Scores
The total SAT score is the sum of the scores from the two main sections: EvidenceBased Reading and Writing and Mathematics.

Section Weighting:
Both sections contribute equally to the total score, meaning that each section is worth 50% of the total.

Individual Section Scores:
Each section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. To calculate the individual section score, add up the number of correct answers in the section.

Total Score Calculation:
Once you have the individual section scores, add them together to get the total SAT score. The total score can range from 400 to 1600 points.

Score Reporting:
The SAT score report includes the total score, as well as the individual section scores and subscores. This information can be useful for students and educators to understand strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding how the SAT score is calculated can help students and educators set realistic goals and track progress in preparation for the exam.
EvidenceBased Reading and Writing
The EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section of the SAT measures a student’s ability to read, analyze, and interpret various types of texts, as well as their ability to write effectively.

Reading Test:
The Reading Test consists of five passages from different genres, such as literary fiction, social science, and natural science. Students are asked to answer multiplechoice questions about the passages, demonstrating their comprehension and analysis skills.

Writing and Language Test:
The Writing and Language Test consists of four sections: one essay and three multiplechoice sections. The essay section requires students to write an argumentative essay on a given topic. The multiplechoice sections test students’ grammar, usage, and rhetoric skills.

Scoring:
The EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. The Reading Test and the Writing and Language Test are each worth half of the total section score.

Subscores:
In addition to the total section score, the EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section also provides subscores for specific skills, such as command of evidence, word usage, and sentence structure. These subscores can be helpful for students and educators to identify areas of strength and weakness.
A strong performance on the EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section is important for students who plan to pursue college majors in fields such as English, literature, history, and social sciences.
Mathematics Section
The Mathematics section of the SAT measures a student’s mathematical knowledge and skills, including problemsolving, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

Calculator Section:
The Calculator Section consists of 30 multiplechoice questions that can be answered using a calculator. The questions cover a range of mathematical topics, including algebra, geometry, and statistics.

No Calculator Section:
The No Calculator Section consists of 20 multiplechoice questions that must be answered without a calculator. The questions cover similar mathematical topics as the Calculator Section, but they are designed to be solved without the use of a calculator.

Scoring:
The Mathematics section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. The Calculator Section and the No Calculator Section are each worth half of the total section score.

Subscores:
In addition to the total section score, the Mathematics section also provides subscores for specific skills, such as algebra, geometry, and data analysis. These subscores can be helpful for students and educators to identify areas of strength and weakness.
A strong performance on the Mathematics section is important for students who plan to pursue college majors in fields such as science, engineering, business, and economics.
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Raw Score Conversion
The raw score on the SAT is the total number of correct answers on the multiplechoice and gridin questions. However, the raw score is not directly reported to students. Instead, the raw score is converted to a scaled score between 200 and 800 for each section.
The raw score conversion process is designed to ensure that the SAT is fair and consistent from year to year. The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, uses a statistical method called equating to convert raw scores to scaled scores. Equating takes into account factors such as the difficulty of the test and the performance of students on previous administrations of the SAT.
The scaled score is the score that is reported to students on their score report. The scaled score is more meaningful than the raw score because it allows students to compare their performance to other students who have taken the SAT.
Here is an example of how the raw score conversion process works:
 A student takes the SAT and gets 55 correct answers on the EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section.
 The College Board uses equating to determine that a raw score of 55 corresponds to a scaled score of 650.
 The student’s scaled score of 650 is reported on their score report.
Scaling Process
The SAT uses a scaling process to convert raw scores to scaled scores. This process ensures that the SAT is fair and consistent from year to year, and that students’ scores are comparable regardless of when they take the test.

Equating:
The College Board uses a statistical method called equating to convert raw scores to scaled scores. Equating takes into account factors such as the difficulty of the test and the performance of students on previous administrations of the SAT.

Fixed Score Scale:
The SAT is scored on a fixed scale of 200 to 800 points for each section. This means that the same raw score will always correspond to the same scaled score, regardless of the difficulty of the test.

Score Consistency:
The scaling process helps to ensure that SAT scores are consistent from year to year. This means that students can compare their scores to students who have taken the SAT in previous years.

Fairness and Accuracy:
The scaling process helps to ensure that the SAT is a fair and accurate measure of a student’s college readiness. By taking into account factors such as test difficulty, the scaling process helps to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed on the SAT.
The scaling process is an important part of the SAT scoring system. It helps to ensure that the SAT is a fair, consistent, and accurate measure of a student’s college readiness.
Total Score Range
The total SAT score range is 400 to 1600 points. This range is the sum of the two section scores, which are each scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points.

400600:
This score range is considered to be below average. Students in this range may need additional support in their college preparatory coursework.

600800:
This score range is considered to be average. Students in this range are generally prepared for collegelevel work.

8001000:
This score range is considered to be above average. Students in this range are competitive for admission to many colleges and universities.

10001200:
This score range is considered to be excellent. Students in this range are competitive for admission to top colleges and universities.

12001400:
This score range is considered to be outstanding. Students in this range are competitive for admission to the most selective colleges and universities.

14001600:
This score range is considered to be exceptional. Students in this range are among the top scorers on the SAT.
The total SAT score range provides students and educators with a general sense of a student’s college readiness. However, it is important to note that the SAT is just one factor that colleges and universities consider when making admissions decisions.
FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions about calculators on the SAT:
Question 1: Is a calculator allowed on the SAT?
Answer 1: Yes, calculators are allowed on the SAT Math section. However, calculators are not allowed on the SAT EvidenceBased Reading and Writing section.
Question 2: What type of calculator is allowed on the SAT?
Answer 2: Only basic calculators are allowed on the SAT. Calculators with advanced functions, such as graphing calculators, are not allowed.
Question 3: Can I bring my own calculator to the SAT?
Answer 3: Yes, you can bring your own calculator to the SAT. However, your calculator must meet the College Board’s requirements.
Question 4: What if I don’t have a calculator?
Answer 4: If you do not have a calculator, you can borrow one from the test center. However, it is recommended that you bring your own calculator if possible.
Question 5: When should I use my calculator on the SAT Math section?
Answer 5: You can use your calculator on any question on the SAT Math section. However, some questions may be easier to solve without a calculator.
Question 6: What are some tips for using a calculator on the SAT?
Answer 6: Here are some tips for using a calculator on the SAT:
Make sure your calculator is in good working order and has fresh batteries. Familiarize yourself with the functions of your calculator before the test. Use your calculator efficiently and only when necessary. Doublecheck your answers before submitting your test.
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These are just a few of the frequently asked questions about calculators on the SAT. For more information, please visit the College Board’s website.
Now that you know more about calculators on the SAT, you can start preparing for the test. Here are some tips to help you improve your score on the SAT Math section:
Tips
Here are some practical tips to help you improve your score on the SAT Math section using a calculator:
Tip 1: Choose the Right Calculator
Make sure you choose a calculator that is allowed on the SAT and that you are familiar with its functions. The College Board provides a list of approved calculators on their website.
Tip 2: Practice Using Your Calculator
Before the test, practice using your calculator to solve different types of math problems. This will help you become more comfortable with using your calculator and avoid making mistakes on test day.
Tip 3: Use Your Calculator Efficiently
Don’t rely on your calculator for every problem. Use your calculator only when necessary, such as for complex calculations or when you need to check your answer. Using your calculator too much can slow you down and lead to mistakes.
Tip 4: DoubleCheck Your Answers
After you have solved a problem, doublecheck your answer using your calculator. This will help you catch any mistakes you may have made.
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By following these tips, you can use your calculator effectively on the SAT Math section and improve your chances of getting a higher score.
With careful preparation and practice, you can achieve your target score on the SAT Math section and take a step closer to your college goals.
Conclusion
Calculators can be a valuable tool on the SAT Math section, but it is important to use them wisely. By choosing the right calculator, practicing using it efficiently, and doublechecking your answers, you can use your calculator to your advantage and improve your score.
Here are the main points to remember about using a calculator on the SAT Math section:
 Only basic calculators are allowed on the SAT Math section.
 You can bring your own calculator or borrow one from the test center.
 Use your calculator efficiently and only when necessary.
 Doublecheck your answers after solving each problem.
Closing Message
With careful preparation and practice, you can use your calculator effectively on the SAT Math section and achieve your target score. Remember, the SAT is just one part of the college application process. Your overall academic record, extracurricular activities, and personal statement are also important factors that colleges will consider.