Scoring the SAT II Subject Tests
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.
Your raw score on the SAT II Physics Test is based on a few simple rules:
  • You earn 1 point for each correct answer.
  • You lose 1/ 4 of a point for each incorrect answer.
  • 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 you answered incorrectly. Then multiply the number of wrong answers by 1/4, and subtract this value from the number of right answers:
raw score# of correct answers 1/4# of wrong answers
Suppose, for example, that of the 75 questions on the test, you answered 52 questions correctly, 18 questions incorrectly, and left five blank. Your raw score would be calculated as follows:
The raw score is rounded to the nearest whole number. In this case, your raw score would be 48.
The Percentile Score
Your percentile is based on the percentage of the total test takers who received a lower raw score than you did. Let’s say, for example, your friend Methuselah took the SAT II Physics Test and got a score that placed him in the 37th percentile. That means he scored better on that test than did 36% of the other students who took the same test. It also means that 63% 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 about.
The curve to convert raw scores to scaled scores varies 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 on the Math IIC might 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 accomodate the varying levels of difficulty and student performance from year to year.
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