You’ve taken the SAT and received your scores. But how are these SAT scores calculated? You can compare your score to the national average by knowing how SAT scores are calculated.

Total SAT Score

Total SAT® scores range from 400 to 1600. Your total score is the sum of your section scores. In other words, your SAT score is a total score that is calculated based on two section scores: Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math. (The SAT Essay score is calculated separately.)

Section SAT Scores

The section scores for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and the Math section range from 200 to 800. Your raw score—the number of questions you answered correctly—is converted to the section score.

SAT calculates scores based on your correct answers. Consequently, there is no penalty for incorrect answers. So there’s never an advantage to leaving any question blank.

Benchmark Indicators

You gain perspective on your future success in college by looking at the benchmark icon. First of all, take note of an exclamation point in the benchmark area. This shows that you are below the benchmark (480 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 530 for Math). As a result, you will want to focus on SAT prep if you intend to retake the test.

Percent Indicators

Percentiles show the percentage of students who scored equal to or below your score. These scores are helpful if you want to compare your score to other SAT takers. SAT percentiles scores are a number between 1 and 99. In other words, this score represents the percentage of students whose scores are equal to or below yours. For example, if your Math percentile is 68, 68% of test-takers have Math scores equal to or below yours.

2021 Average SAT Scores

After all SAT 2021 scores were calculated, the average score was 1060. Comparatively, the 2020 average SAT score was 1051. You can check out how you stand with other SAT scores at this College Board 2021 Annual Report.

Although there were fewer opportunities for students to test during the pandemic, 1.5 million students still took the SAT. Check out this site for the impact Covid had on the class of 2021.

Improving your SAT Score

Practice and preparation are two of the most significant ways to improve your SAT score. Above all, find SAT prep that’s fun and engaging and gives you strategies to help you take the test. Not all test prep is created equal, so make sure you do your research, read reviews, and look past flashy guarantees. 

OnToCollege offers a practical video course that gives you the strategies you need and provides practice tests and detailed solution videos to help you learn from your mistakes.

In addition, make sure you use actual SAT practice tests to learn the test format as you study. Then, take the national SAT multiple times. We recommend you take it four times: twice your junior year and twice your senior year.

Do you want to get started? Sign up for the OnToCollege SAT free trial to start your test prep at no cost!