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Mathematics Support

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SAT/PSAT Testing

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that’s accepted at all U.S. colleges. The PSAT provides an important measure of each student’s readiness for advanced coursework, college and careers, and preparation for future college readiness examinations. The PSAT is administrated to all Grade 10 students in October of each year.  The SAT is offered to all Grade 11 students during the school day in March or April of each year.  MCPS PSAT/SAT School Day.

What the SAT Measures 

The SAT measures the skills and knowledge that research shows are the most important for success in college and career. It includes the following sections. EVIDENCE-BASED READING AND WRITING This section is made up of a Reading Test and a Writing and Language Test, each composed of multi-paragraph passages and multiple-choice questions. The Reading Test measures comprehension and reasoning skills and focuses on close reading of passages in a wide array of subject areas. The Writing and Language Test measures a range of skills including command of evidence, expression of ideas, and the use of standard English conventions in grammar and punctuation. MATH This section includes multiple-choice and studentproduced response questions. It assesses skills in algebra, problem solving and data analysis, manipulation of complex equations, geometry, and trigonometry. ESSAY (OPTIONAL) The SAT Essay asks students to read a high-quality source text and write an effective analysis of that text using evidence drawn from the source. It measures a range of skills in reading, analysis, and writing

How the SAT Is Scored 

Students receive a total score that is the sum of their scores on the two sections (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math). The optional SAT Essay is scored separately. To calculate section scores, we first compute the student’s raw score—the number of questions correctly answered— for each section. Nothing is deducted for incorrect answers or for unanswered questions. Next, we convert each of the raw section scores to a scaled score of 200 to 800. This conversion process adjusts for slight differences in difficulty among versions of the test and provides a score that is consistent across different versions. The scaled scores are the scores provided on score reports.

How You Can Use the Student Score Report 

The student score report clearly summarizes a student’s current achievement levels and encourages next steps to increase college and career readiness. You can help students by going over their score reports and helping them understand what their scores mean. Here’s how. 


For each section, the score report includes an indicator that shows whether the student’s score meets the college readiness benchmark. § If the student is meeting the benchmark for a section, explain that this means they’re right on track to be ready for college when they graduate from high school. § If the student isn’t meeting the benchmark for a section, encourage them to strengthen their skills in that area.


  • Use the test scores, cross-test scores, and sub-scores to evaluate the student’s relative strengths and weaknesses and see what skills need practice.  
  • Use the red/yellow/green coding on test scores and sub-scores to see how the student is performing relative to other students who are meeting or exceeding the benchmark. Prioritize areas in the red range for additional work and practice. 


  • Work with students to think of ways to develop each of the skills you’ve identified for focus and improvement. 
  • Encourage students to go online for more details about their scores and to link their College Board account to Khan Academy® for a personalized study plan. 
  • The online reporting portal at offers you an array of powerful tools to assess your students’ progress and plan instruction that delivers what they need.

Disclaimer: This site provides external links and videos as a convenience and for informational purposes only. The appearance of external hyperlinks on the MCPS Family Mathematics Support Center website does not constitute an endorsement by the Montgomery County Public School System of any of the products or opinions contained therein.