SAT is one of the most important test taken by a student in his /her career and is can make or break many students dreams. the SAT measures the – “critical thinking” skills crucial to succeed in college and beyond. The SAT assesses the subject matter competence, taught and developed during everyday high school classrooms and evaluates problem solving skills in three key areas namely- Critical reading, Mathematical Reasoning and Writing. When taking SAT, it is important to understand how scoring is done and how it can affect your total score.
We will also explain you how about so called ‘guessing penalty’ on SAT and when can you guess.
The SAT is graded on a 2400-point scale, with the Math, Critical Reading, and Writing sections all being worth 800 points each.
SAT is divided into three sections – Writing, Maths and Critical Reading with a total of 170 SAT Test Questions (49 Writing Questions, 54 Mathematics questions and 67 Critical Reading questions).
Every SAT also includes a 25-minute section, called the “equating or variable”,which does not count towards your final score. It may be a critical reading, mathematics, or multiple-choice writing section, and is used by the College Board to analyze questions for use on future exams.
Each of the SAT section scores are reported on a scale of 200–800, for a total score ranging from 600-2400, with additional two sub-scores for the writing section
The final score report also includes percentile rankings which in turn helps evaluate how you scored in comparison to other test takers eg: The average overall score (50th percentile) in the United States for 2009 was a 1509
One of the most common question that comes to mind is if there is negative marking on SAT or not. You may have heard of the so-called “guessing penalty” on the SAT. Because of this, you may be reluctant to guess when you don’t know the correct answer. However, there really is no guessing penalty on the SAT.
But there is penalty for incorrect answers on the SAT. This holds true only for multiple choice questions. One wrong answer only leads to 1/4 of a point loss.
So until and unless you make an ‘intelligent guess’ , you may end up losing marks. Now I would not say that guessing is bad , I have myself done it many times but if you know the subject well, then your guess might also seem good enough.