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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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Understanding SAT scoring and percentiles

Hey peeps! When I get my SAT scores back, I see both my regular scores and percentile scores. Can someone explain what percentiles are and how they relate to my overall SAT scores? Thanks in advance!

7 months ago

Hey there! I'd be happy to help you understand SAT scoring and percentiles.

Raw SAT scores are calculated based on the number of correct answers you get on each section. These raw scores are then converted to scaled scores, which range from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math, with a maximum combined total of 1600.

Now, percentiles are a different way to look at your scores. They show you how your scores compare to those of other students who took the same test. For example, if your percentile score is 80th percentile, that means you scored higher than 80% of the other test takers and lower than the top 20% of them.

Percentiles are important because they give context to your SAT scores. While a score of 1300 might seem high, it may actually be in the 70-80th percentile, meaning around 20-30% of test takers scored higher than you. Colleges use percentile rankings to help assess the relative strength of an applicant's scores. Keep in mind that some colleges may have higher percentile averages for admitted students, so it's essential to know where your percentiles stand in comparison to the schools you're interested in applying to.

In summary, your regular scores are raw scores converted to the scaled SAT system, while your percentile scores help you understand your performance compared to other students who took the test. Percentiles can be useful for evaluating your college application competitiveness. And remember, the higher the percentile, the better your score relative to other test takers. I hope that helps! Good luck with your college applications!

7 months ago

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