The SAT can be overwhelming for some students and their parents. Many students and their parents are surprised to learn that there isn’t a set number of questions you need to get right to get a perfect score on the SAT.

In fact, the number of questions you need for a particular score can change per test.

The SAT is a test that is graded on a curve. What that means is the SAT uses the average score of test takers to determine how many points are needed to get a perfect score.

Here’s what you need to know about the SAT curve.

SAT Curves: Is there a curve on the SAT (keyword)

In general, the SAT curve is not fixed for all tests. It is set for each test. The curve for each test is different depending on the level of difficulty of a test.

“Easier” tests require more points to get a 800. “Harder” tests require less points to get an 800.

A lot of students are not used to that system for scoring. In most high school classes, an 100% is a fixed number of points or answers correct. The grade and performance is based on how well they did on the test, not on how well they did when compared to their peers.

When Does the SAT curve the test?

The SAT curve is set before the test. Before your student takes the test the SAT has set a curve for the test through a series of practice test administered to students.

What does “equating the SAT” mean?

The college board does not set and forget the curve. After the test is taken the college board goes through a process called equating. Equating ensures the existing curve matches the performances they saw from the test. This means that your student is competing against everyone else who took the test in that sitting.

After the June 2018 scores were released The College Board released this statement to explain the process of equating.

Here’s How College Board Explained Equating:

“While we plan for consistency across administrations, on occasions there are some tests that can be easier or more difficult than usual. This is why we use a statistical process called ‘equating.’ Equating makes sure that a score for a test taken on one date is equivalent to a score from another date. So, for example, a single incorrect answer on one administration could equal two or three incorrect answers on a more difficult version. The equating process ensures fairness for all students.”

Will the SAT ever change the curve after scores or rescore the SAT after the results are released?

Short answer: no.

In 2018 students began a movement called #rescorethejuneSAT. These students believed the test was curved harshly. The College Board declined to rescore the SAT.

Once a SAT is scored it almost never is rescored.

So what should you do if your student did not get the SAT score they want? What should your student do if they feel like they have a “low” or “bad” SAT score?

STEP 1: Do Your Research

The first step is to determine where you or your student falls in terms of GPA and SAT scores for all the schools you or your student’s list this admission season.

Are there schools that your student is competitive for with their existing GPA and SAT score? If so, focus on those opportunities.

Are there colleges and universities that you may not have considered before but you are considering now? If so, decide to expand your list to include those.

If you are interested in the average ACT, SAT, GPA scores for all Virginia Colleges download our Navigating College Admissions 2018-2019 here: https://mailchi.mp/tri-edtutoring.com/navigatingcollegeadmissions2018-2019

STEP 2: Examine the SAT Score Report

Go through your students SAT score report and decide whether it is feasible to improve your SAT score.

If your student feels defeated or if there is not going to be enough time to prepare then consider focusing on applications instead.

If your student saw improvements in the last test and is okay taking the test again to see if another test will produce a better outcome, then consider taking the test again.

We walk through an SAT score report here:https://www.facebook.com/triedtutoring/videos/10155319290036021/

If you would like to set up a time for us to examine your student’s SAT score report click here: http://rcl.ink/5RF

STEP 3: Register for the Next SAT

If you decide to take another SAT register at collegeboard.org immediately to ensure your student get a spot.

If you miss the final deadline submit register for a waitlist spot at a testing location near you. More information about that process here:https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/special-circumstances/waitlist

STEP 4: Focus on the Application

Focus on creating the best application possible. Even if you decide to take the SAT again that is only one component of the college application.

While SAT scores are important they are one of many factors used to determine college readiness and whether a student is the right fit for a college or university.

Create a compelling essay for your application, make sure you have strong recommendations lined up, work hard your senior year to get the best grades you can to showcase your academic abilities, visit colleges and universities and connect with admissions officers if possible.

Know this, no matter what your score is there is a college or university out there for you.

Whatever you decide, Tri-Ed Tutoring is here to help. If you have any questions or need advice, schedule a consult today: http://rcl.ink/5RF