If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Scoring on the SAT

A brief explanation of SAT section scores, subscores, cross-test scores, essay scores and more!

SAT score components

Flow chart showing the sections of the SAT and cross-test and subscores.
Composite score at the top, 400-1600, branches into two tests: Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and Math (200-800). Reading and Writing branches further into two sections: Reading and Writing and Language.
Below that are the cross-test scores: Analysis in Science and Analysis in History/Social Studies.
Below that are the subscores: Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions, Relevant Words in Context, and Command of Evidence for Reading and Writing. On the Math side, the subscores are Heart of Algebra, Passport to Advanced Mathematics, and Problem Solving and Data Analysis.
On the far right is the score for the optional Essay, broken into 3 parts: Reading, Analysis, and Writing.
The SAT is scored out of 1600. Subscores and cross-section scores help you evaluate your performance.
  • Your total score is your overall score and is a combination of your section scores (see below). The highest composite score for the SAT is 800+800, or 1600. The average score is 1000.
  • Your section scores are the individual scores for the two main sections of the SAT: reading/writing and math. Each of these sections is scored out of 800, and they are added together to get your overall score.
  • The essay is optional and will not be factored into your overall SAT score. The essay scores will be shown separately on the report.

SAT score breakdown

In addition to the "top-line" scores, you also receive additional sets of scores that contain additional detail about how you performed on specific skill or subject areas.
To view your full score breakdown, choose "Show score breakdown" on your practice test results page, right below your total and section scores:
Image of a practice test score breakdown. The total in this example is 1080, with a 520 in Math and a 560 in Reading and Writing.
  • Your test scores break out the reading/writing section into reading and writing and language and give you scores out of 40 points as well as a math test score out of 40 points. These are the basis for your section scores, and therefore your overall SAT score.
  • Your two cross-test scores, each scored out of 40 points, are based on your performance answering questions that have science or history/social studies contexts. These subject-related questions appear both in Reading & Writing as well as Math.
  • Your SAT subscores show how well you're performing in different skill categories, to give you a clearer picture of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Subscores can be within reading and writing and language (Command of Evidence and Words in Context), writing and language alone (Expression of Ideas and Standard English Conventions), and math alone (Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math).

Want to join the conversation?