SAT Scores including new categories of score reporting

SAT Scores and Score Categories

The 2022 SAT continues with the usage of the 1600-point scale put into place back in 2016. Prior to this, beginning in 2005, the SAT was scored on a 2400-point scale to include the newly added essay, allotting up to 800 points across three sections (writing, critical reading, and mathematics). This system was discarded in 2016 with a return to the 1600-point scale, allotting up to 800 points across two sections (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math).

The College Board has not indicated that the 1600-point scoring system will change when the test goes digital, beginning with international students in 2023 and students in the United States in 2024. As of 2022, SAT score reports contain detailed information about scores, sub scores, and cross-test scores, but according to the College Board, sub scores and cross-test scores will not be reported on score reports once the SAT goes digital. Total scores will still be reported and will continue to range from 400 to 1600.

The average total SAT score among United States high school students in 2022 was 1050, down slightly from the average score of 1060 for students in 2021. In 2022, the average Math score was 528 and the average Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score was 531. Just over 1.7 million students took the SAT in 2022, compared to 1.5 million in 2021 and 2.1 million in 2020.

Essays and the SAT moving forward

In 2021, the College Board announced that the then-optional essay would no longer be part of the SAT moving forward. With the upcoming transition from paper-and-pencil to computerized completion of the SAT, there has been no mention of bringing the essay back. Based on the most recent information from the College Board, the SAT in 2022 and beyond will continue to consist of only two sections, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math.

Scoring Categories for the 2016 SAT

Total scores on the 2022 SAT are a composite of two section scores that range from 200 to 800. These sections are called "Evidence-Based Reading and Writing" and "Math." The College Board also reports 2 "Cross-Test Scores" (Analysis in Science and Analysis in History/Social Studies), 3 "Test Scores" (Reading, Writing and Language, and Math), and 7 "Sub scores" (Words in Context, Heart of Algebra, Command of Evidence, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Expression of Ideas, Passport to Advanced Mathematics, and Standard English Conventions). Test scores and cross-test scores range from 10-40, while sub scores are between 1 and 15. The stated purpose of this additional data is to provide colleges with "deep insight into student readiness."

Beginning in 2023 for international test takers and 2024 for students in the United States, sub scores and cross-test scores will no longer be reported, offering a more streamlined and easy-to-understand score report.

SAT Scoring Process

As of 2022, completed answer sheets are securely transported to the College Board's processing center. For multiple-choice sections of the test, answer sheets are then scanned and analyzed on the basis of the filled-in circles, and a raw score is calculated. The raw score simply represents the number of correct answers. This raw score is then converted to a scaled score, which accounts for variations in test difficulty. Score reports reflect scaled scores rather than raw scores. The process for essay scoring is based on two independent readers, who are trained in College Board practices and policies to ensure fairness and accuracy. SAT scores are usually reported about two months after the test date, and students are generally notified by email when their scores are ready.

When the SAT is offered in digital format, beginning in 2023 for international students and 2024 for students in the United States, scores will be calculated after testing is completed and provided to students within a few days, rather than the current wait time of a few weeks.