Average Sat Essay Score 2013

How the SAT Essay Is Scored

Responses to the optional SAT Essay are scored using a carefully designed process.

  • Two different people will read and score your essay.
  • Each scorer awards 1–4 points for each dimension: reading, analysis, and writing.
  • The two scores for each dimension are added.
  • You’ll receive three scores for the SAT Essay—one for each dimension—ranging from 2–8 points.
  • There is no composite SAT Essay score (the three scores are not added together) and there are no percentiles.

We train every scorer to hold every student to the same standards, the ones shown on this page.

Quick Links

Reading Scoring Guide

Analysis Scoring Guide

Writing Scoring Guide

Score of 4

  • Demonstrates thorough comprehension of the source text.
  • Shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) and of most important details and how they interrelate, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the text.
  • Is free of errors of fact or interpretation with regard to the text.
  • Makes skillful use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating a complete understanding of the source text.

Score of 3

  • Demonstrates effective comprehension of the source text.
  • Shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) and important details.
  • Is free of substantive errors of fact and interpretation with regard to the text.
  • Makes appropriate use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating an understanding of the source text.

Score of 2

  • Demonstrates some comprehension of the source text.
  • Shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) but not of important details.
  • May contain errors of fact and/or interpretation with regard to the text.
  • Makes limited and/or haphazard use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating some understanding of the source text.

Score of 1

  • Demonstrates little or no comprehension of the source text.
  • Fails to show an understanding of the text’s central idea(s), and may include only details without reference to central idea(s).
  • May contain numerous errors of fact and/or interpretation with regard to the text.
  • Makes little or no use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating little or no understanding of the source text.

Score of 4

  • Offers an insightful analysis of the source text and demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the analytical task.
  • Offers a thorough, well-considered evaluation of the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive elements, and/or feature(s) of the student’s own choosing.
  • Contains relevant, sufficient, and strategically chosen support for claim(s) or point(s) made.
  • Focuses consistently on those features of the text that are most relevant to addressing the task.

Score of 3

  • Offers an effective analysis of the source text and demonstrates an understanding of the analytical task.
  • Competently evaluates the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive elements, and/or feature(s) of the student’s own choosing.
  • Contains relevant and sufficient support for claim(s) or point(s) made.
  • Focuses primarily on those features of the text that are most relevant to addressing the task.

Score of 2

  • Offers limited analysis of the source text and demonstrates only partial understanding of the analytical task.
  • Identifies and attempts to describe the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive elements, and/or feature(s) of the student’s own choosing, but merely asserts rather than explains their importance, or one or more aspects of the response’s analysis are unwarranted based on the text.
  • Contains little or no support for claim(s) or point(s) made.
  • May lack a clear focus on those features of the text that are most relevant to addressing the task.

Score of 1

  • Offers little or no analysis or ineffective analysis of the source text and demonstrates little or no understanding of the analytic task.
  • Identifies without explanation some aspects of the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive elements, and/or feature(s) of the student’s choosing.
  • Or numerous aspects of the response’s analysis are unwarranted based on the text.
  • Contains little or no support for claim(s) or point(s) made, or support is largely irrelevant.
  • May not focus on features of the text that are relevant to addressing the task.
  • Or the response offers no discernible analysis (e.g., is largely or exclusively summary).

Score of 4

  • Is cohesive and demonstrates a highly effective use and command of language.
  • Includes a precise central claim.
  • Includes a skillful introduction and conclusion. The response demonstrates a deliberate and highly effective progression of ideas both within paragraphs and throughout the essay.
  • Has a wide variety in sentence structures. The response demonstrates a consistent use of precise word choice. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone.
  • Shows a strong command of the conventions of standard written English and is free or virtually free of errors.

Score of 3

  • Is mostly cohesive and demonstrates effective use and control of language.
  • Includes a central claim or implicit controlling idea.
  • Includes an effective introduction and conclusion. The response demonstrates a clear progression of ideas both within paragraphs and throughout the essay.
  • Has variety in sentence structures. The response demonstrates some precise word choice. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone.
  • Shows a good control of the conventions of standard written English and is free of significant errors that detract from the quality of writing.

Score of 2

  • Demonstrates little or no cohesion and limited skill in the use and control of language.
  • May lack a clear central claim or controlling idea or may deviate from the claim or idea over the course of the response.
  • May include an ineffective introduction and/or conclusion. The response may demonstrate some progression of ideas within paragraphs but not throughout the response.
  • Has limited variety in sentence structures; sentence structures may be repetitive.
  • Demonstrates general or vague word choice; word choice may be repetitive. The response may deviate noticeably from a formal style and objective tone.
  • Shows a limited control of the conventions of standard written English and contains errors that detract from the quality of writing and may impede understanding.

Score of 1

  • Demonstrates little or no cohesion and inadequate skill in the use and control of language.
  • May lack a clear central claim or controlling idea.
  • Lacks a recognizable introduction and conclusion. The response does not have a discernible progression of ideas.
  • Lacks variety in sentence structures; sentence structures may be repetitive. The response demonstrates general and vague word choice; word choice may be poor or inaccurate. The response may lack a formal style and objective tone.
  • Shows a weak control of the conventions of standard written English and may contain numerous errors that undermine the quality of writing.

If you took the SAT from 2011-2015, you may be wondering what your percentile score is on the SAT. Is a 1500 on the SAT in 2011 the same percentile score as a 1500 in 2015? Do percentile scores change over time?

In this article, I will explain SAT percentile scores, how they change, and I'll provide the percentile scores for SAT combined scores and section scores for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

Note: Go to this article instead if you're looking for historical percentiles for the new SAT (tests taken March 2016 and later).

 

What Are Percentile Scores?

Percentile scores reveal how well you did in relation to other people. If you scored in the 99th percentile, then you did better than 99% of the people who took the test. If you scored in the 50th percentile, then you scored higher than 50% of the people who took the test.

The College Board determines its percentile scores annually from the scores of college-bound high school seniors who took the SAT. The higher your percentile score, the better you did relative to other high school seniors

 

Do Percentile Scores Change?

Generally, percentile scores for equivalent SAT scores stay the same from year to year. For example, a combined SAT score of 2180 was the 98th percentile in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

However, percentile scores for the same combined and section scores can change very slightly. A combined score of 1990 was the 92nd percentile for 2014, but it was the 93rd percentile in 2011-2013 and 2015. Similarly, a score of 630 on Critical Reading was the 86th percentile in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015, but it was the 87th percentile in 2012.

The SAT does try to utilize its scoring system so that equivalent SAT scores are indicative of the same percentile scores and skill level, regardless of when the test was taken. The purpose of the SAT is to provide a valid way to compare students. A score of 1600 from March 2015 is supposed to be equivalent to a 1600 from April 2015 or April 2007

 

How Should You Use This Data and Why Is It Important?

Your percentile score is the most straightforward way to determine if you got a good or bad SAT score. If you scored higher than the majority of test-takers, then you did well. However, when you apply to a specific college, you're being compared to the other students who apply to that school. Most colleges publicize their 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores. If you want to be competitive for admission at a certain college, then your target score should be around the school's 75th percentile score.

Also, percentile scores help put your scores in context. There may not seem to be much difference between a 680 on the Critical Reading section and a 600 on Math, but the Critical Reading score is the 94th percentile while the Math score is the 75th (according to 2015 SAT percentiles). Raising each section score by 100 points would raise the Critical Reading percentile ranking by 5 points but the Math by 18. If you're considering retaking the SAT, your percentile scores can help you determine how you should prioritize your time.

Similarly, a small composite score increase can have a huge impact on your percentile score if you received a middle score. For example, in 2015, a 1500 was the 52nd percentile but a 1750 was the 78th. Raising your score 250 points can raise your score from average to among the top 1/4 of test-takers.

Finally, seeing the percentile scores for multiple years shows how little variance there is between percentile scores for the same SAT composite or section score in different years. If you're worried about how an older SAT score stacks up with more recent scores, take a look at these charts to get an idea of how it compares.

 

 

 

Composite Score Percentiles, 2015 - 2011

Score2015 Percentile2014 Percentile2013 Percentile2012 Percentile2011 Percentile
240099+99+99+99+99+ 
239099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
238099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
237099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
236099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
235099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
234099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
233099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
232099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
231099+99+99+99+ 99+ 
2300999999+9999+ 
229099999999 99+ 
228099999999 99 
227099999999 99 
226099999999 99 
225099999999 99 
224099999999 99 
223099999999 99 
2220999999 99 99 
2210989898 99 99 
2200989898 98 98 
2190989898 98 98 
2180989898 98 98 
2170989898 98 98 
2160989898 98 98 
2150979797 97 98
2140979797 97 97 
2130979797 97 97 
2120979797 97 97 
2110979697 97 97
2100969696 96 96 
2090969696 96 96 
2080969696 96 96 
2070959595 96 96 
2060959595 95 95 
2050959595 95 95 
2040949494 95 95 
2030949494 94 94 
2020949494 94 94 
2010939393 93 93 
2000939393 93 93 
1990939293 93 93 
1980929292 92 92 
1970929292 92 92 
1960919191 91 91 
1950919191 91 91 
1940909090 90 90 
1930909090 90 90 
1920898989 89 89 
1910898989 89 89 
1900888888 88 88 
1890888788 88 88 
1880878787 87 87 
1870878686 87 86 
1860868686 86 86 
1850858585 85 85 
1840858484 85 84 
1830848484 84 84 
1820838383 83 83 
1810838282 82 82 
1800828182 82 82 
1790818181 81 81 
1780808080 80 80 
1770807979 79 79 
1760797878 79 78 
1750787778 78 78 
1740777777 77 77 
1730767676 76 76 
1720757575 75 75 
1710747474 74 74 
1700747373 73 73 
1690737272 72 72 
1680727171 71 71 
1670717070 70 70 
1660706969 69 69 
1650696868 68 68 
1640686767 67 67 
1630676666 66 66 
1620666565 65 65 
1610656464 64 64 
1600646363 63 63 
1590626262 62 62 
1580616161 61 61 
1570606060 60 59 
1560595958 59 58 
1550585757 57 57 
1540575656 56 56 
1530565555 55 55 
1520555454 54 53 
1510535352 53 52 
1500525251 51 51 
1490515050 50 50 
1480504949 49 49 
1470494848 48 47 
1460484746 47 46 
1450464645 45 45 
1440454444 44 44 
1430444343 43 42 
1420434242 42 41 
1410424140 40 40 
1400404039 39 39 
1390393838 38 38 
1380383737 37 36 
1370373636 36 35 
1360363534 34 34 
1350343433 33 33 
1340333232 32 32 
1330323131 31 30 
1320313030 30 29 
1310302929 29 28 
1300292827 27 27 
1290282726 26 26 
1280272625 25 25 
1270262524 24 24 
1260252423 23 23 
1250242322 22 22 
1240222221 21 21 
1230222120 20 20 
1220212019 19 19 
1210201918 18 18 
1200191817 17 17 
1190181717 16 16 
1180171616 16 15 
1170161515 15 14 
1160151414 14 14 
1150141413 13 13 
1140141313 12 12 
1130131212 11 11 
1120121111 10 11 
1110121111 10 10 
1100111010 
10901010
10801099
1070988
106098
105087
1040777
103076
1020766
101066
100065
99055
98055
97054
960444
95044
94043
93033
92033
91033
90032
89022
88022
87022
86022
85022
84021
83011
82011
81011
80011
79011
78011
770111- 1- 
760111- 1- 1- 
750111- 1- 1- 
7401-1-1- 1- 1- 
7301-1-1- 1- 1- 
7201-1-1- 1- 1- 
7101-1-1- 1- 1- 
7001-1-1- 1- 1- 
6901-1-1- 1- 1- 
6801-1-1- 1- 1- 
6701-1-1- 1- 1- 
6601-1-1- 1- 1- 
6501-1-1- 1- 1- 
6401-1-1- 1- 1- 
6301-1-1- 1- 1- 
6201-1-1- 1- 1- 
6101-1-1- 1- 1- 
600----------

 

 

Section Score Percentiles

 

Critical Reading

Score2015 Percentile2014 Percentile2013 Percentile2012 Percentile2011 Percentile
80099999999+99+
7909999999999
7809999999999
7709999999999
7609999999999
7509898989898
7409898989898
7309797979797
7209697979797
7109696969696
7009695959595
6909594949494
6809493949393
6709292929292
6609191919191
6509090909090
6408988888888
6308686868786
6208484848484
6108282828382
6008080808180
5907877777878
5807575757675
5707372737373
5607070707170
5506766676767
5406464646464
5306160616160
5205757575858
5105454545554
5005150515151
4904847484847
4804444444444
4704140414140
4603737373737
4503534343434
4403131313130
4302827272727
4202525242524
4102221212121
4001919181918
3901716161616
3801514141414
3701312121211
3601110101010
35099898
34087777
33076666
32055555
31054444
30044433
29033333
28033322
27022222
26022222
25022211
24011111
23011111
22011111
21011111
200----------

 

 

Math

Score2015 Percentile2014 Percentile2013 Percentile2012 Percentile2011 Percentile
8009999999999
7909999999999
7809999999899
7709898989898
7609797979798
7509797979797
7409696969696
7309595969696
7209595959595
7109494949494
7009393939393
6909291929292
6809090909090
6708988898989
6608787878787
6508685858586
6408483838384
6308282818282
6208079798080
6107777777877
6007575757475
5907373737273
5807170707070
5706867676767
5606664656464
5506262626262
5405959585858
5305655555555
5205352525252
5105049484948
5004645454546
4904442424241
4804140383938
4703736353536
4603433323232
4503130292929
4402827262626
4302524232323
4202221212120
4101919181817
4001716161615
3901514141313
3801312121111
3701110101010
36099988
35087777
34076666
33065555
32054444
31043333
30033322
29022222
28022222
27011111
26011111
25011111
24011111
23011111
2201-1-1-1-1-
2101-1-1-1-1-
200----------

 

 

Writing

Score2015 Percentile2014 Percentile2013 Percentile2012 Percentile2011 Percentile
80099+99+99+99+99+
7909999999999
7809999999999
7709999999999
7609999999999
7509898989898
7409898989898
7309897989897
7209797979797
7109696969696
7009696969696
6909595959595
6809494949494
6709393939393
6609292929292
6509190909090
6408989898989
6308888888888
6208686868686
6108484848484
6008282828282
5908080808080
5807878787878
5707676767575
5607473737372
5507170707070
5406868686767
5306565656464
5206262616161
5105958585858
5005655555554
4905352515251
4804948484847
4704645454444
4604241414140
4503938373837
4403534343434
4303231303130
4202928272727
4102525242424
4002221212121
3901919181818
3801716161615
3701414131313
3601212111111
3501010999
34088887
33077666
32065555
31054444
30044333
29033333
28032222
27022222
26022211
25021111
24011111
23011111
22011111
21011111-
200----------

 

What's Next?

Check out these posts on what SAT scores measure and if you need SAT scores to transfer colleges.

Finally, learn how to calculate your SAT score.

 

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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