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Scoring the SAT Subject Test

As the May and June SATs quickly approach, many students will be taking the SAT Subject Test.

It is important to note, the scoring of the SAT Subject Test will differ from the scoring of the standard SAT.

What’s the difference?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that, when taking the SAT Subject Test, there is a wrong answer penalty. In the standard SAT there is no wrong answer penalty.

What is the wrong answer penalty?

Depending on which SAT Subject test you take, the wrong answer penalty falls into three categories:

  • Five-choice questions subtract .25 points per wrong answer
  • Four-choice questions subtract .33 points per wrong answer
  • Three-choice questions subtract .50 points per wrong answer

How is the Subject Test scored?

First, the number of questions answered correctly is tallied. Then, the number of wrong answers is tallied and multiplied by the correct points per wrong answer percentage (.25, .33 or .50). This number is then subtracted from the number of correctly answered questions and the corresponding Scale Grade is determined.

How does this change test-taking strategy?

When taking the SAT Subject Test you should weigh the pros and cons of guessing an answer. If you think you may have the right answer, then you will likely want to guess. If you are unsure of the answer, you may want to leave it blank.

Remember, Subject Test scores are out of 800. Most colleges like to see students scoring above 700.

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