What are your chances of acceptance?
Duke University
UCLA
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

#### Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

# Understanding the SAT Scoring Distribution

Hey folks, I've been looking at SAT scores and got stumbled on the scoring distribution concept. Can anyone share info about how the SAT scores are distributed? Is there an easier way to understand this whole process?

29 days ago

Sure, happy to help explain how SAT scores are distributed and the broader process of how the SAT is scored.

Firstly, let's understand this: when you take the SAT, your responses are scored by machines. Each correct answer adds point(s) to your raw score. And good news - there's no penalty for wrong answers when calculating these raw scores.

Now, these raw scores are then converted to scaled scores using what's known as an equating process. The goal here is to adjust for slight differences in difficulty between different versions of the test. That way, a score of let's say, 1300, means the same regardless of when or which version of the SAT it was taken.

Now, onto the distribution. SAT scores follow what is known as a 'normal' or 'bell-curve' distribution. This means that most test takers will score somewhere near the middle of the SAT score range (a 400-1600 scale). As scores get higher or lower, fewer and fewer test-takers achieve them. This forms a 'bell' shape when plotted on a graph.

For example, a larger proportion of students will score around 1000, but as you move away from this average towards both the lower and higher ends (400 and 1600 respectively), fewer and fewer students achieve those scores.

So if you score above 1000, you've scored better than a significant percentage of test takers. Remember that the median (50th percentile) SAT score is usually somewhere around 1050-1060. If you score even higher (1200, 1400, etc.) you’re within an even smaller, more elite percentage of test takers.

Hopefully, this explanation makes the process a bit clearer for you. Don't hesitate to ask if you have further questions!

29 days ago