A brief explanation of SAT section scores, subscores, cross-test scores, essay scores and more!
Download an annotated score chart here.

SAT score components

The main thing you need to know about your SAT scores is that they’re more detailed and more holistic than ever before. The SAT is now scored out of 1600 (the old SAT was out of 2400), and there are new subscores and cross-section scores to consider as you evaluate your performance. Let’s take a look at what we’re working with:
  • Your total score is your overall score and is a combination of your section scores (see below). The highest composite score for the redesigned SAT is 800+800, or 1600. The average score is 1000.
  • Your section scores are the individual scores for the two main sections of the SAT: reading/writing and math. Each of these sections is scored out of 800, and they are added together to get your overall score.
  • The essay is optional in the redesigned SAT and will not be factored into your overall SAT score. The essay scores will be shown separately on the report.
  • Your essay, should you choose to write one, will be scored on three measures: Reading, Analysis and Writing (a good way to remember it: RAW). You will receive a score of 2 to 8 in each of these areas.

SAT score breakdown

In addition to the "top-line" scores, you also receive additional sets of scores that contain additional detail about how you performed on specific skill or subject areas.
To view your full score breakdown, choose "Show score breakdown" on your practice test results page, right below your total and section scores:
  • Your test scores break out the reading/writing section into reading and writing and language and give you scores out of 40 points as well as a math test score out of 40 points. These are the basis for your section scores, and therefore your overall SAT score.
  • Your two cross-test scores, each scored out of 40 points, are based on your performance answering questions that have science or history/social studies contexts. These subject-related questions appear both in Reading & Writing as well as Math.
  • Your SAT subscores show how well you're performing in different skill categories, to give you a clearer picture of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Subscores can be within reading and writing and language (Command of Evidence and Words in Context), writing and language alone (Expression of Ideas and Standard English Conventions), and math alone (Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math).
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