The new SAT came out in March 2016 along with its most significant changes since the year 2005. One of these is the inclusion of the writing section. Another change to the new SAT is the decrease in the scoring range which is 1600 points whereas the old SAT was 2400 points and had three sections. The College Board reveals that 45 percent of 2019 SAT takers were able to meet the college readiness benchmarks. However, this percentage is down from class 2018’s 47 percent.
To be able to get into one of the most selective schools you need to have a good SAT score. This could mean you have to enroll in SAT Prep Courses to increase your chances of being accepted at a Harvard, Princeton or a Yale University. Obtaining a good SAT score will give you a lot of advantages whatever school you hope to get accepted into. It communicates your strengths as a candidate in a world where schools have very different programs, courses and grading standards. It can also help you balance a low GPA to open up the doors to college. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do on your end to be able to increase your score on the SAT. For example, you can work on building your vocabulary, brush up your comprehension skills, and practice writing and math problems. Another important part is knowing how you are being scored on your SAT and what the results mean.
How You Are Being Scored
The SAT exam has two sections and the first one is the EBRW or Evidence-based Reading and Writing and the second one is Math. You need to earn a scaled score of 200-800 points for each of these two sections so you could gain a total of 1600 possible points.
Raw Score Will Be Converted into Scaled Score
When calculating the results, your scaled score will be converted from its raw score that you earn on the EBRW and Math exams. The raw score refers to the number of correct answers you had for each section. Note that the number of skipped questions and wrong answers will not be deducted from your raw score.
Converting Scores through Equating
The process of converting raw scores to scaled scores is done through a process called equating. This will help ensure that the different versions of the test and the other test taker’s level of ability will not have an impact on your score. Making comparisons among test takers who took different editions of the SAT exam is made possible through equating. Equating insures that your score is not curved relative to other students who took the SAT test. It also helps control the slight variations that may occur during the different SAT dates.
For instance, a student who got 600 in Math during the March SAT exam should reflect the same level of ability of a student taking the SAT exam administered in May. Therefore, if the exam held in May turned out to be more difficult for the test takers, certain adjustments have to be made so that the score gained, which happened to be slightly lower given the harder level will still net a scaled score of 600.
Correct Answer-Only Scoring
Starting in 2016, you do not get penalized for guessing your answers on your SAT test. This means that there are no penalties for wrong answers and if your superstuck on a question, you can guess and move on without having to overthink if you should guess or not. Guessing is obviously not an ideal strategy overall for taking the test, and being prepared to answer the question in confidence, increases your chance of getting through the test and doing well.
The Formula for Calculating SAT Scores Varies from Time to Time
However, the formula set for the process of equating changes occasionally and so there is no certainty about how exactly one’s raw score will be converted into a scaled score. The College Board will release both the raw score and a table showing how the raw score is scaled to the actual reported SAT score.
The SAT exam makes use of percentiles to help you figure out where you fall on a national level compared to other students who also took the exam in the same year. In other words, the percentile score shows how you scored in comparison to the rest of the test takers on a national level. These percentiles should not discourage you if it shows that you fall below the average.
What is Considered a “Good” SAT Score Varies Based on Your Goals
A good SAT score varies from one person to another. If your main goal is to be able to get into your dream college or dream university, then you should better have a high SAT score. Earning a good SAT score will also help you obtain enough money from scholarship programs so you can attend your desired school. If you want to know the SAT score requirement for 2020 admissions, you have to check out the SAT averages of the schools that you plan to enroll in to get a sense of the range of scores that were admitted.
It is also important to note that the SAT is not the only factor that you should keep in mind when thinking about your chances of being admitted to your preferred school. You also need to get a high GPA, be able to write an excellent personal statement and show through your extracurriculars your leadership skills and potential to contribute to the student body.