Your SAT score report will become available within three weeks if you take the test during the height of the application season (December or January) or within about five weeks if you take the test outside the traditional application season (think May, June, etc.). This report will include two SAT scores: one for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (aka “verbal) and one for math. Both of these SAT scores will be scaled, meaning they will be fit to a range that runs from a low of 200 to a perfect score of 800. Hence, the post-February 2016 SAT scores will fall between 400 and 1600.
Each score is still rounded to the nearest ten, meaning that your score will always end in a zero. So, if someone you know brags about a 1174 SAT score, whether on the most recent test or one taken decades ago, … well we probably shouldn’t encourage you to take an adversarial stance, but you can safely discount at least this particular statement from them!
A Note on the SAT’s Score ChoiceTM
Score ChoiceTM allows you to choose which full sets of test scores (all from the same day) that you wish to send to your colleges. You can not “pick and choose” which sections from which test dates to send. Of course, if all goes well, you will be fully prepared for the SAT the first time you sit for it and won’t have to worry about retaking the test or the whole Score ChoiceTM set of features. Yeah, we are pretty transparent with our thoughts on this test, aren’t we?
Quite simply, your raw SAT scores are calculated as the number of questions you answered correctly. There is no longer any penalty for guessing, so please disregard any well-intentioned but out-of-date advice on this subject! For the trivia types, please note it is your raw score that is used to determine the scaled, or official score.
Medians and Other Percentiles
Medians and other percentiles will be “in development” for a while as the College Board calibrates its new test. Your score report will let the colleges that receive your test know how you did compared to others in your grade who took the same test as you.
Nonetheless, your percentile score is probably the one that will give you a bit more comfort with your overall SAT score — assuming you are like so many SAT students we have encountered over the years. Quite simply, your percentile score indicates the percent of other test takers who scored lower than you. Hence, if you are in the 90 percentile for a test section, that means that 90% of the other SAT test takers did worse than you in that particular section.