How to interpret your SAT scores

How to interpret your SAT scores

The SAT which stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test is an important test taken by High School students all over the world who aspire to get admission for under-graduation in Colleges in USA.

When the SAT results are announced, go to the following link:

Login to see your score report.

Your SAT score report will have a similar layout as given below:

Score Report
Your Name and Address
Your Total Score

Test and Registration details
Center and High School code


Nationally Representative Sample

SAT User Percentile National

Section Scores

Test Scores

Cross-Test Scores


Let us go over each section of the SAT score report:

Your Total Score: The number below this line (1540 as given in the sample score above) is your actual SAT score. It is a value between 400-1600. This score isthe sum of your scores in 2 sections –

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section
  • Math Section

Percentile Ranks

According to the which is the Non-Profit organisation that administers the SAT - A percentile rank is a number more than equal to 1 and less than 100 [1-99] that gives a comparison with the scores of other students. This percentile is not a score out of 100 but actually represents the percentage of students whose scores are at or below your score. For instance, in the sample report above, a student who scored in the 99th percentile scored higher than or equal to 99 percent of test-takers.

You must have noticed that there are two percentiles:

The first one at the left side (99th in the sample report above) is the Nationally Representative Sample percentile which compares your score to the scores of typical 11th- and 12th-grade students in the U.S.

The second one (98th in the sample report above) is the User Percentile which compares your score to the actual scores of recent graduates who took the new SAT during high school.

The SAT score is then split up into various sections to help you understand how well you performed at a granular level.

Section Scores

There are two sections – one is Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, and the second is the Math section

The Section scores tell you how much you scored in the two individual sections.

Each score is a value between 200-800. The sum of the two section scores will add up to your SAT score.

The percentile value is also given for each section score.

Test Scores

In this section, there are three individual scoresfor three sections –

  • Reading,
  • Writing and Language, and
  • Math

Each score is a value between 10-40.

This is followed by the optional three Essay section scores (value between 2 – 8) each for Reading, Analysis and Writing. [not shown in the sample score report above].

Cross Test Scores

There are two scores given – Analysis in History/Social Sciences and Analysis in Science. Each score is a value between 10-40.

In this section, the score is based on selected questions in the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Tests.These scores show how good you were at analysing texts and solving problems in these subject areas.


There are seven scores given in this section:

  • Command of Evidence
  • Words in Context
  • Expression of Ideas
  • Standard English Conventions
  • Heart of Algebra
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and
  • Passport to Advanced Math.

Each score is a value between 1-15.

Hope this blog helped clear your doubts regarding how to interpret your SAT scores.

Also see our other blogs: College Admissions In The US, How Important Is Your SAT Score?

How Do You Prepare For SAT?

Back to Top