The scoring system is also new. Instead of a 1–6 scale representing a holistic judgment, the new essay will be evaluated along three specific dimensions — Reading, Analysis, and Writing — with scores of 1–4 for each of these sub-scores. Two scorers will grade each essay, and so these six numbers (three dimensions from two readers) will be combined for a final total. These scores will not be included in the old-but-new-again 1600-point final SAT score comprising Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math . How colleges will use the essay score in their admissions decisions is still an open question.
The corresponding percentile of each scaled score varies from test to test—for example, in 2003, a scaled score of 800 in both sections of the SAT Reasoning Test corresponded to a percentile of , while a scaled score of 800 in the SAT Physics Test corresponded to the 94th percentile. The differences in what scores mean with regard to percentiles are due to the content of the exam and the caliber of students choosing to take each exam. Subject Tests are subject to intensive study (often in the form of an AP , which is relatively more difficult), and only those who know they will perform well tend to take these tests, creating a skewed distribution of scores.