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
- 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
and subtract this value from the number of right answers:
raw score# of correct answers
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
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.