# Explain SSAT/ISEE score average please

I have a friend who took the SSAT, and she scored 85th percentile in math and 98th percentile in verbal and reading. She placed in the 98th percentile overall, so I was wondering how that score was calculated. If you average out her scores it doesn’t compute to a 98, so I’m a bit confused. Pls enlighten me!

Lol I used to think the same way as you with the averaging part, but actually, there’s a scaled score for each section. The full score for each section is 800. Scaled scores can vary with the same percentile in each section due to competitiveness. For example, you may get an 86th percentile on reading and get 713 scaled score, but when you get an 86th percentile in math, you may get 775.

Because of how unreliable this is, they add up all the scaled scores instead of averaging. They compare this total score with everybody else’s total score and that’s how they calculate the total percentile.

Another way to look at it @Wonderwoman101 is that the people who score really high in verbal and reading tend to score much lower in math. Of the people who got 98th in V and R, she did REALLY well in math comparatively. (Another way to think about it: the people who got 98% in math mostly did NOT do as well in R and V). So that is why if you do really well in a couple of subsections, doing well, but not stellar, in the third subsection might not bring down the overall score.
So to answer your question: no, it is not an average of the three sub scores.

I hope that helped rather than confused?

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Yes, it’s based on what others score as well. My oldest scored 99% overall. The math was a perfect score, the reading was strong (don’t remember but high 90s) and the vocab section was 78% or something like that. My youngest was 98% but had stronger scores in everything. Math wasn’t perfect ( but close, maybe 98%) and the vocab was 96 and reading 99. Maybe a tougher cohort that year?

ty! You guys definitely cleared things up.

Same here: R99 Q86 V96 was a 98 overall.

I got V65(701) R75(701) Q88(776) and scored T79

My total was a 2178(just for reference if you want to compare scores to see where you will fall.