College-bound juniors are presented with two options in the way of standardized testing: the SAT and ACT. The tests are different on a variety of levels – including scoring.
Students receive a base score of 200 points in each section, and then additional points for each correctly answered question. Incorrect answers result in a .25 point deduction.
Questions may be left blank on the test. These questions do not result in any additional point deduction; however, blank questions do not contribute to a higher score. Because high scores can not be attained if there are too many blanks, students should limit the number of questions they leave unanswered. Students scoring at a 550 or higher should not leave any blanks on the test. Students that score below a 500 should leave questions in which they cannot eliminate answers blank.
ACT Scores are calculated solely on the number of correct answers. Incorrect answers do not result in any additional point penalties, and unanswered questions are marked as incorrect. Therefore, students should always guess on questions they are unsure of.
The raw scores are then translated to a 36-point scale. This converted score is used when calculating a student’s composite score. The essay portion of the test receives a separate score out of a maximum 12 points. The essay is graded by two readers, each of whom score the essay out of 6. These two scores are then combined for the total essay score, out of 12. The essay is optional, and is not factored into a student’s composite score.
Use the charts at the following links to convert between SAT and ACT scores: