Understanding SAT writing score

<p>January: 770 essay score 9.
June: 710 essay score 11.</p>

<p>We'd assumed when we got the total score on the phone that he'd tanked the essay and were surprised when he actually scored better on it but his score came down 60 points. That's a pretty big dip on the multiple choice section. I'm wondering if this kind of change is typical or if he maybe got off on the bubble sheet or something.</p>

<p>Drops in scores, even large drops, are typical. The essay isn't as large a component of the writing section as people seem to imagine; the writing section is really all about grammar and not messing up the "trick" questions that are always thrown in.</p>

<p>Mathson's first writing score 690 - 7 on the essay. (He'd gotten an 800 on PSAT writing). Tries again score 690 - 9 on the essay. Sometimes you can't win.</p>

<p>March SAT - 700 with an essay score of 8</p>

<p>May SAT - 800 with an essay score of 9</p>

<p>I guess it is important to do well on the multiple choice section. :) Funny, cause everyone worries about the essay.</p>

<p>I somehow managed to pull a 560 with a score of 9 on the essay (terrible, I know). I believe I read on collegeboard somewhere that the essay accounts for 30% of the writing score, with the other 70% being attributed to the multiple choice questions.</p>

<p>The bulk of your writing score, as many have noted, comes from the 80 multiple choice points. That's the real key to the writing section.</p>

<p>That said, the section is bizarre. I spent an entire summer studying nothing but math between my first and second sittings, and went up 80 points on writing (to a perfect score).</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies. I know the essay is less of the score, but I was surprised to see such a big dip in multiple choice. I wish I could tell if it was just a particularly hard section or if he made a bubbling error (which is possible...there are reasons we could have sought accommodations but we didn't and overall he's scoring well).</p>

<p>The essay is 1/3 of the writing section. Going up two points and still dropping 60 points overall seems a little weird. He'd have to get like 10 more questions wrong for that to happen.</p>

<p>When you get your SAT score form in the mail, it has a section that tells you your statistical chances of going up or down if you retake the test. It also tells you what the average gain/loss is. I don't remember exactly, but if you get a score of 800, for example, your retest score could be the same, but it could be 60 points lower. I remember that a 610 math test score only went up on average 10 or 15 points with retesting. People assume that your scores will increase if you take the test again, but unfortunately it isn't true. I didn't realize until I saw those statistics how variable one's scores could be from test to test, and it was good to see what the average gain/loss was. It can help you decide if it's worth retesting.</p>

<p>My kid scored 720, with only an 8 on the essay, which also struck me as a strange result. To the extent any schools are using the Writing SAT, do you suppose they are drilling down to the essay score and giving it particular weight? I can see two arguments on this--the essay score is valuable because it reflects actual writing skill, or it's not valuable because it's graded subjectively. My kid's SAT coach did some essay grading for the College Board and thought the whole process was a farce, with so little time typically given to each essay--often just a few sentences are read--that the scores are meaningless.</p>

<p>Don't sweat it too much. I got a 510 on my SAT II Writing back when I did it, and I still got into a couple of the places listed in the "CC Top Universities". :)</p>

<p>(Oddly enough, when I took my GREs I got a 5.5/6 on the Writing and in the 85th percentile for verbal, though I did considerably worse on my GRE math than SAT. I'm a bad engineer. :()</p>

<p>My S took the SATs twice. He got an 800 on the CR both times. In writing, the first time he got a 780 (11 on essay, IIRC), and the second time a 720 or something, with a slightly lower essay grade. He got an 80 in CR on the PSAT, and around a 73 on W (4 wrong, in any case). He felt that the questions drew meaningless distinctions and described them as "ridiculous." I looked over the wrong answers, and I agreed with the test on three and with him on the fourth. (My credentials: former professional writer and editor who scored an 800 on the GRE, back in the mid-70s. :) )</p>

<p>My kid got 750 with a SIX on the essay. I've read her writing, and how she pulled a six is beyond me. She won't let me read this essay though, so maybe she just had a bad day. Anyway, her overall score is obviously fine, so we won't do anything other than shake our heads in bewilderment.</p>

<p>My younger son got a five on the essay when he was in 8th grade taking the SAT as part of CTY. He wrote a very nice introductory paragraph, but just froze thinking of any examples. Twenty five minutes isn't very long if you are prone to writer's block. Luckily it didn't count for anything (including CTY) so he came home thinking it was very funny.</p>

<p>My son also took the SAT's twice, got 800's (with none wrong) both times in CR; he got a 730 in writing the first time (I think with a 9 on the essay?) and a 760 the second time (either a 9 or a 10, I don't remember.) He couldn't figure out why it wasn't higher, but -- and please don't tell him I said this! -- I think it may have something to do with the fact that I always wonder how people manage to read his handwriting. (I spent years trying to get him to work to improve it -- no luck. He types almost everything now anyway.)</p>

<p>DonnaL, my thoughts exactly! I looked at the scanned essay on the college board site and I could make out perhaps one word in three!</p>

<p>I took a look at my D's essay online and could barely read a word of it! She got a 12 on the essay, 800 in writing. Her handwriting is just awful. No idea how the grader managed to read her essay.</p>

<p>Most colleges ignore the SAT writing score for two reasons: The SAT scoring methodology is arbitrary and the colleges have their own essay requirements and their own grading standards.</p>

<p>^ Not true. HYPS, among others, make it quite clear that they do indeed consider the writing section. This is really nothing new. Such schools have long required the SAT II writing subject test. The scoring for the section is most certainly not arbitrary. 80 percent of the score is mulitple choice grammar!</p>



<p>Maybe they used the ruler method--12 inches of material= 12; 11 inches =11, etc.</p>