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How the New SAT Scoring is Structured

Categories: SAT |

Information changes over time and updates to standardized tests are bound to be necessary. The College Board made some formatting changes to the SAT in 2016 to update the test in a way that reflects more modern and projected future requirements in college and work life.

This update included a change to the scoring of the overall exam. The old SAT was scored on a scale from 600 to 2400 but the new one is only 400 to 1600. Although the overall scale of the exam is smaller, there are also subscores and cross-test scores available which allow for a broader insight into the students’ understanding and knowledge.

The overall score (which falls on the 400 to 1600 scale) comes from the evidence-based reading and writing which will be scored on a scale from 200 to 800 and the math section which is also scored somewhere between 200 to 800. Those two scores are added to come up with the student’s overall score.

There are several subscores included with the SAT assessment report that break down knowledge in various areas within the main category of the tests. These subscores range from one to 15 points and include Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions, Heart of Algebra, and Problem Solving and Data Analysis.

To provide further insight to teachers and schools of a student’s overall knowledge and understanding, the newly revised SAT assessment report contain cross-test scores which are essentially integrated information within the two basic SAT sections. The two cross-section scores are analysis in history/social studies which is pulled from questions in the reading and writing test and analysis in science which is pulled from the math test.

The only other section in the revised SAT is the optional essay which is scored separately. The essay is judged on three different criteria: reading, analysis and writing. Each of these areas receives somewhere between two to eight points and all three scores are added to come up with the student’s overall essay score. This score is not included in the overall SAT score.

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