Scoring and admissions

Each individual test is scored on a scale of 200 to 800; however, some of the tests are scored on such generous curves that it is impossible to get a 200; for example, if someone gets every question wrong on the Mathematics Level 2 test, he/she might receive a score of 310; it all depends on the version of the test. The one and only exception was the ELPT, which was scored on a scale of 901 to 999.

Prior to the first administration of the new SAT (which includes the writing section) in March 2005, some highly selective colleges required applicants to take three SAT Subject tests, including the writing test and two other tests of the applicant's choosing, in addition to the SAT. However, with writing now a standard component of the SAT I, most selective colleges recommend applicants to submit scores for any two SAT Subject tests. Engineering schools typically require Chemistry or Physics and prefer Math Level 2. A handful of the most competitive schools, such as Georgetown University, still require three Subject tests in addition to the three sections of the SAT;

Schools also vary with regard to their SAT Subject test requirements of students submitting scores for the ACT in place of the SAT: some schools consider the ACT an alternative to both the SAT and some SAT Subject tests, whereas others accept the ACT but require SAT Subject tests as well. Information about a school's specific test requirements can typically be found on its official website.

In October 2002, the College Board decided to drop the "score choice" option for exams. They figured that it benefited wealthier students taking the exam who could afford to take it multiple times. Score choice means that scores are not released to colleges until the student approves the score (after seeing it).

As of the March 2009 test, test takers now have the ability to choose whether or not to send scores thus reinstating the "score choice" option. The answer sheet has room for 115 answers; however, no test has more than 95 questions. 1-100 are standard multiple-choice bubbles and 101-115 are for 'relationship analysis questions', which are only used for the Chemistry exam. The Biology test is the only test to use answers 96-100; questions 1-60 are common to both the E and M tests, in addition, the E uses 61-80, and the M uses 81-100.


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