Sat scoring - find out what your score means

Updated February 14, 2017

An SAT score is the score awarded to students who have completed the SAT, a standardized test administered by the College Board. The SAT is an admissions test commonly used by colleges and universities in the United States.

How Colleges Use SAT Scores

The SAT tests critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills. Students who take the test are given a score for each section. Colleges look at the scores to determine your skill level and readiness for college.

The higher your score is, the better it looks to admission committees who are trying to determine which students should be accepted to their school and which students should be rejected.

Although SAT scores are important, they are not the only thing that schools look at during the admissions process. College admissions committees also consider essays, interviews, recommendations, community involvement, your high school GPA, and much more.

SAT Sections

The SAT is split into several different test sections:

  • Reading Test - This portion of the exam includes command of evidence, words in context, and data analysis questions.
  • Writing and Language Test - The questions on the SAT Writing and Language test your ability to analyze writing and correct writing errors. Questions focus on word choice, organization, impact, evidence, and standard English conventions.
  • Math Test - This section of the SAT asks questions related to algebra, data analysis, and advanced math (complex equations, geometry, trigonometry).

  • Essay (Optional) - Students can take the SAT or the SAT with Essay. In other words, the essay is optional. Before you decide not to do the essay, though, you should know that some colleges and universities require SAT essay scores as part of the admissions process.

SAT Scoring Range

SAT scoring can be very hard to understand, so we are going to take a closer look at how each section is scored so that you can make sense of all of the numbers.

The first thing that you need to know is that the scoring range for the SAT is 400-1600 points. Every test taker receives a score in that range. A 1600 is the best score you can get on the SAT. This is what is known as a perfect score. Although there are some students that get a perfect score every year, it is not a very common occurrence.

The two main scores that you need to worry about are:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score: The EBRW score combines your scores from the Reading Test and the Writing and Language Test. Your EBRW score will range from 200-800 points.
  • Math Score: The math score ranges from 200-800 points.

If you decide to take the SAT with Essay, you will be given a score for your essay as well. This score ranges from 2-8 points, with 8 being the highest possible score.