Scoring and Concordance

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The SAT provides information and insight into student readiness. Some quick facts:

  • The SAT has a 400- to 1600-point score scale. View a summary of the score structure.
  • Scores for the optional Essay are reported separately.
  • There’s no penalty for guessing: The test uses rights-only scoring.

Vertical Scaling

Every exam in the SAT Suite of Assessments, including the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT, focuses on the same skills and knowledge in ways that make sense for students in different grades.

The exams share a score scale, providing students and educators with consistent feedback and making it easier to measure progress toward college readiness from test to test. Section scores on the PSAT/NMSQT range from 160 to 760 while section scores on the SAT range from 200 to 800.

Recruitment Strategy

Vertical scaling means that if students took a PSAT-related assessment and the SAT on the same day, they would get the same score on both tests. While this makes it easier to understand what to expect from younger students when they reach college, it can also affect higher education recruitment strategies.

Outreach to younger students should always account for their potential growth. When a student takes the SAT at least six months after taking a PSAT-related assessment, they can generally expect to see their scores increase by 20 points in each section (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math) or a total increase of 40 points.