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How SAT Subject Tests Are Scored

A lot happens after test day to ensure that your test is scored fairly and accurately.

Secure Delivery

After you turn in your answer sheet, it is carefully tracked until it's delivered to our processing center.

Scanning and Analysis

Your answer sheet is scanned and the resulting file of answers is analyzed by our system. The system takes the circles that you filled in and calculates your raw score. Basically, this is the sum of points you earned based on the number of questions you answered correctly, minus a fraction of the number of the questions that you answered incorrectly:

  • One point is added for each correct answer.
  • A fraction of a point is subtracted for wrong answers:
    • 1/4 point is subtracted for five-choice questions.
    • 1/3 point is subtracted for four-choice questions.
    • 1/2 point is subtracted for three-choice questions.
  • No points are deducted for unanswered questions.
  • If the resulting score is a fraction, it is rounded to the nearest whole number — 1/2 or more is rounded up; less than 1/2 is rounded down.


We monitor the scanning accuracy of answer sheets through several quality assurance checks, including alignment checks and double scanning of documents.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your answer sheet is scanned accurately:

  • Use a No. 2 pencil and a soft eraser. Do not use a pen or mechanical pencil.
  • Make sure you fill in the entire circle darkly and completely.
  • If you change your response, erase as completely as possible.

Conversion to Scaled Score

Your raw score is converted to a scaled score of 200 to 800 points, the score you see on your score report. We use a process that adjusts for slight differences in difficulty between various versions of the test (such as versions taken on different days).

We do this to make sure there’s no advantage in taking the test on a particular day. A score of 400, for instance, on one day’s test means the same thing as a 400 on a test taken on a different day — even though the questions are different.

Score Release

If you registered for SAT Subject Tests online or you registered by mail and set up a College Board account, you’ll get an email telling you how to sign in to your online score report when scores are ready.

Your score report includes information about what your scores mean and how your scores compare to those of other test-takers.

Find out when to expect scores.

Learn how to interpret scores.

Scores Delivered to Schools and Colleges

If you chose score recipients before scores were released, those colleges and scholarship programs will get your score report shortly after you do. Your high school, district, and state will be able to see your scores online, too.

Learn how to send scores.