How the SAT Is Scored

Here's an explanation of how the SATs are graded.

The SAT consists of three separate tests—reading, writing, and math—each with its own 200 to 800 score. The lowest possible total score is 600; the highest possible score is 2400.

Now, the moment you enter the exam room and start taking the test, guess how many points you start off with. The answer surprises most people: 2400.

That's right: for signing your name on the answer sheet, you start off the test with 2400 points. I kid you not; when you enter the exam room, your starting score is 2400.

That's the good news.

Here's the catch: you don't necessarily get to keep all those points. In fact, out of every fifteen hundred students taking the SAT, only one will leave the exam room with all of his or her original 2400 points.

You see, the bad news is that every time you leave a question blank or get one wrong, they take away points. Your goal on the SAT is to hang on to as many of your 2400 starting points as possible. How? By leaving the fewest number of questions blank and getting the fewest number of questions wrong.

Got that? Hang on to your points!

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