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 200–800, 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 incorrect
- You receive zero points for each question left blank.
Calculating the raw score is easy. Count the number of
questions you 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.
The Percentile Score
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 John Quincy Adams, and
he received a score that placed him in the 37th percentile. This percentile
score tells John that he scored better on the SAT II than 36 percent
of the other students who took the same test; it also means that
63 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 200–800 that you’ve probably heard so much
The curve to convert raw scores to scaled scores
differs from test to test. For example, a raw score of 33 on the
Math IC might scale to a 600, while the same raw score of 33 on
the Math IIC 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 of 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.