How is it possible that you got more questions correct on the October SAT exam, compared to the April exam, but your score went down? Is this fair?
I read hundreds of comments on Reddit from students who sat for the October 2018 SAT exam, and were disappointed with their results. Many of these students improved in all sections, but received a lower score than before. What gives?
ACT and SAT exam scores ARE curved, but not in the traditional sense. Contrary to somewhat popular belief, your exam score is not based on the performance of your fellow test-taking students in any way. In other words, even if your exam date has many high performing students, this will not affect your score.
So where does the ‘curve’ come in? The SAT and ACT exam curve is calculated based on the specific difficulty of the test that you’re taking. For example, if the Math section on the August SAT exam is easier than normal, 5 wrong answers might put you at a 730, whereas on the harder December SAT exam, 5 wrong answers may get you a 750. So in this case the August SAT exam had a harder curve, because the exam itself was easier. A score on one test will always indicate the same level of ability as that same score on a different test date.
Legend has it that October exams usually have a harder curve – this is when many seniors are taking these exams for the final time. Make of that what you will.