SAT scoring can be complicated but ultimately is designed to help you understand exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are. Having a more detailed score will demonstrate the skills that you already perform well and help you know where you need to improve. Not only will this help you improve your SAT score if you decide to take it again, but it can also reveal what subjects you need to study to be prepared for college.
The composite score is the combined score of the Math section and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section. These two sections are scored out of 800, so your composite score will lie somewhere between 400-1600. These scores are weighted so that your score is comparable to scores of tests given on different days. The percentile give is how you did in comparison to other students. If you received an 80th percentile, you performed better that 80 percent of the people taking the exam.
The scores are then broken down into cross-test scores. These scores show your understanding of specific subjects across both sections of the test. These scores include Analysis in History/Social Studies and Analysis in Science. While there is no specific section for these topics, skills in these areas are required to answer questions throughout the exam. These cross-test scores range from 10-40.
Subscores indicate your performance in the various focuses that make up the two sections. In the reading and writing section these include, Command of Evidence and Words in Context, Writing and Language: Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions. In the math section these subscores are for Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math. These scores range from 1-15.
There is also a color code included with the scores. Green means you are at or beyond the benchmark for college readiness. Yellow means you are approaching the benchmark for college readiness. Red means you are falling behind the benchmark.
How Your Score Compares
You can use the CollegeBoard’s Big Future College Search function to find what colleges typically admit students with similar scores to your own. You can add to the search to find colleges that meet other criteria as well. Or, if you have a specific college in mind, you can use the search function to see if your score falls within the range of average scores admitted. These averages are good to use as a tool for determining a score to aim for. However, don’t assume these scores are a cut off. If you application is strong in other areas, you may still gain admittance, even when your score falls under the range.
Scores as a Tool
Use these very specific SAT scores to your advantage. If you know you struggle with scientific analysis or algebra, you can focus your studies very specifically in those areas. With focused study you can watch you SAT score improve.
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