Understanding New SAT Scores

The new SAT scores are confusing (even more so than one would think).  Let’s clear up the ambiguity.

For the sake of consistency and clarity, one would think the Collegeboard would keep the scoring for the old and new SAT the same.  Unfortunately, like other decisions that the Collegeboard has made this year, they decided to make an incomprehensible change: they inflated the grading scale.  For example, a score of 700 on the new SAT Math is only equivalent to a 670 on the old SAT Math.

To further complicate understanding the scores, Collegeboard now also reports two percentiles: the “Nationally Representative Sample Percentile” and the “SAT User Percentile – National.”  Only the second percentile matters; the first is completely irrelevant.

new sat score report 1 edit (1)

So, how can a person reasonably decipher the complexity of new SAT scores without using a directory of concordance tables?  Luckily, Collegeboard recently published an SAT score converter tool to help out.  You can find the link here.  (The tool is at the bottom of the webpage.)

This tool will convert new SAT scores to old and vice versa.  After inputting the section and subsection scores (make sure you have your detailed score report for your new SAT at the ready), you can also select “See what your score would have been on a 1600 scale” and “Show ACT scores comparison.”

score converter

Now that we understand the scores, the real question is: are we happy with them?  If not, don’t worry, you can still take them again in the fall and you can try out the ACT as well.





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