How to Read Your SAT Scores

Between deciding what colleges to apply to and then filling out your college applications, getting into college is stressful. On top of selecting, applying and getting accepted into a college, there are the ever-dreaded standardized tests. Most schools base their acceptance of a student on their high school GPA, high school extracurricular activities and standardized test scores. Each college varies on which version of standardized test that they require for acceptance, whether it be the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or the ACT (American College Test) but standardized tests are a must for the college-bound student.
The stress of these tests is huge, but reading the scores can be just as intimidating. Prior to taking your test of choice, (it doesn’t hurt to take both, if you are still undecided) you can arrange to have your scores sent directly to the colleges and universities of your choice, but you’ll want to know your scores, and what they mean, to see if all your hard work paid off.
For those taking the SAT, the following information can help you become comfortable with reading your SAT test scores so that you’re ready when you receive them.
Your SAT score will be on a scale of 200-800, with the lowest being 200 and the highest score being 800. There are also sub scores ranging from 20 to 80 used for the multiple choice writing questions. The scores for the 25 minute essay section of the test are different from the rest of the test and range from two to 12. Each essay is scored by two different readers on a scale of one to six, and their combined scores are what give the final score between two and 12.
With the SAT, there are a lot of comparing factors. It is important for colleges to see how you scored in comparison to all other students in your graduating class that plan to attend college. The percentile portion of your SAT scores will compare your test score to other test takers in your state, as well as the entire group of people that took the test. If you receive a percentile for the state of 73, that would mean that your score was higher than 73 percent of people within your state that took the test. Your total SAT score will be made of a combination of both your multiple choice scores, which account for 70 percent of your total score, and your essay section, which accounts for 30 percent of your total score.
You can also now arrange to see your test scores online two to three weeks after taking your test. The numbers may seem confusing, but if you know how to read your scores and what colleges are looking for, they can be a great asset to planning your future.
Taken from College Board