Scoring and the SAT II U.S. History
Scoring and the SAT II U.S. History
Scoring on the SAT II U.S. History is the same as scoring for all other SAT II tests: for every right answer, you earn one point; for every wrong answer, you lose 1/4 of a point; for every blank answer, you earn no points. These points combined equal your raw score. ETS then converts your raw score to a scaled score according to a special curve table tailored to the particular test you take. We have included a generalized version of that table below. (Note that because ETS changes the curve slightly for each edition of the test, the table will be close to, but not exactly the same as, the table used by ETS.) You should use this chart to convert your raw scores on practice tests into a scaled score.
Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score Scaled Score
90 800 55 650 21 450
89 800 54 640 20 440
88 800 53 640 19 440
87 800 52 630 18 430
86 800 51 630 17 430
85 800 50 620 16 420
84 800 49 610 15 420
83 800 48 600 14 410
82 800 47 600 13 410
81 790 46 590 12 400
80 790 45 590 11 400
79 790 44 580 10 390
78 780 43 570 9 390
77 780 42 570 8 380
76 770 41 560 7 380
75 770 40 560 6 370
74 760 39 550 5 370
73 760 38 540 4 360
72 750 37 540 3 360
71 740 36 530 2 350
70 740 35 530 1 340
69 730 34 520 0 340
68 720 33 520 –1 330
67 720 32 510 –2 320
66 710 31 510 –3 320
65 700 30 500 –4 310
64 700 29 490 –5 310
63 690 28 490 –6 300
62 690 27 480 –7 300
61 680 26 480 –8 290
59 670 25 470 –9 290
58 670 24 470 –10 280
57 660 23 460
56 660 22 460
In addition to its function as a conversion table, this chart contains crucial information: it tells you that you can do very well on the SAT II U.S. History without writing a perfect essay or answering every question correctly. In fact, you could skip some questions and get other questions wrong and still earn a “perfect” score of 800.
For example, in a test of 95 questions, you could score:
  • an 800 if you answered 87 right, 5 wrong, and left 3 blank
  • a 750 if you answered 78 right, 10 wrong, and left 7 blank
  • a 700 if you answered 72 right, 12 wrong, and left 11 blank
  • a 650 if you answered 64 right, 20 wrong, and left 11 blank
  • a 600 if you answered 56 right, 24 wrong, and left 15 blank
This chart should prove that when you’re taking the test, you shouldn’t imagine your score plummeting with every question you can’t confidently answer. You can do very well on this test without knowing or answering everything. The key is to follow a strategy that ensures that you will get to see and answer all the questions you can answer correctly, and then intelligently guess on those questions about which you are a little unsure. We will discuss these strategies in the next chapter.
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