Scoring the SAT II Subject Tests
There are three different versions of your SAT II score.
The “raw score” is a simple score of how you did on the test, like
the grade you might receive on a normal test in school. The “percentile
score” compares your raw score to all the other raw scores in the
country, letting you know how you did on the test in relation to
your peers. The “scaled score,” which ranges from 200 to 800, compares
your score to the scores received by all students who have ever
taken that particular SAT II.
The Raw Score
You will never know your SAT II raw score because it is
not included in the score report. But you should understand how
the raw score is calculated because this knowledge can affect your
strategy for approaching the test.
A student’s raw score is based solely on the number of
questions that student got right, wrong, or left blank:
- You earn 1 point for every correct answer
- You lose 1/
4 of a point for each
- You receive zero points for each question left blank
Calculating the raw score is easy. Count the number of
questions answered correctly and the number of questions answered
incorrectly. Then multiply the number of wrong answers by
and subtract this value from the number of right answers.
raw score = right answers - (
The Percentile Score
A student’s percentile is based on the percentage of the
total test takers who received a lower raw score than he or she
did. Let’s say, for example, you had a friend named Gregor Mendel,
and he received a score that placed him in the 93rd percentile.
That percentile tells Gregor that he scored better on the SAT II
than 92 percent of the other students who took the same test; it
also means that 7 percent of the students taking that test scored
as well as or better than he did.
The Scaled Score
ETS takes your raw score and uses a formula to turn it
into the scaled score of 200 to 800 that you’ve probably heard so
The curve to convert raw scores to scaled scores differs
from test to test. For example, a raw score of 33 on the Biology
might scale to a 600, while the same raw score of 33 on the Chemistry
will scale to a 700. In fact, the scaled score can even vary between
different editions of the same test. A raw score
of 33 on the February 2004 Math IIC might scale to a 710, while
a 33 in June 2004 might scale to a 690. These differences in scaled
scores exist to accommodate varying levels of difficulty and student
performance from year to year.