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What is the Scoring Range for the New SAT?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
With the new SAT comes a new scoring range and other key changes that can impact your test results. Read on to learn about these adjustments so you understand how your SAT test performance is measured.

New SAT Scoring Range

The range of possible scores for the new SAT is 400-1600 points, which represents a significant departure from the previous SAT scoring range of 600-2400. This is largely due to the fact that there are now two main test sections instead of three. These include a Math section and a Reading and Writing section - which is composed of a Reading subtest and Writing and Language subtest. Check out the table below for a breakdown of scoring ranges for each section.

Test Version Section Scoring Range
New SAT Math 200-800
Reading and Writing 200-800
SAT Before March 2016 Math 200-800
Reading 200-800
Writing 200-800

Additional Scoring Changes for the New SAT

On the new SAT, there is no longer a penalty for incorrect answers, so examinees are encouraged to guess on any questions they're not quite sure about. Another difference is that the essay is optional and is scored separately on a range of 2-8 points. Unlike the previous version of the SAT, this score is not factored into your cumulative test results.

Additionally, two new cross-test scores, which each range from 10-40 points, are calculated by taking your answers to select test questions from each section. These scores are designed to gauge your knowledge of History/Social Studies and Analysis in Science.

New subscores, ranging from 1-15 points, express a student's mastery of seven skills, as measured within these different areas of the test:

Test SectionSubscore Areas
Reading subtest,
Writing and Language subtest
Command of Evidence, Words in Context
Writing and Language subtest Standard English Conventions, Expression of Ideas
Math section Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Advanced Math

SAT Prep

Both comprehensive and subject-specific prep courses are available to help focus your studies on topics you'll be tested on within the new SAT. Study.com's online SAT courses help you prepare for the exam with short video lessons, lesson quizzes and practice tests. Options include:

Also, the College Board, which administers the SAT, offers sample questions for each section of the new SAT, along with four full-length practice tests, on their website (collegereadiness.collegeboard.org). They also have a daily practice app that delivers one test question each day for an on-the-go option to supplement your other SAT prep activities.

What You Need to Know About Test Day

Preparing for the content of the SAT is critical to your performance on the exam, of course, but you'll also want to know what to expect on test day to alleviate day-of stress. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Doors to the testing facility open at 7:45 a.m. on test day, and close at 8 a.m. If you show up after the doors close, you will not be allowed to take the test.
  • You will be assigned a seat in the test room.
  • You must work on each section, within the time allowed, as directed by the test supervisor. You can't go back to finished sections or go ahead to the next section.
  • You will typically be allowed two breaks during the test. Aside from these breaks, you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything during the test.
  • To be safe, you may want to leave your cell phone and other electronics behind. If you violate the policies for electronic devices, you run the risk of being dismissed from the testing facility.

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