When you're a college-bound student, your SAT score is one of the most important metrics in your life. You know that every question counts, so you study hard, complete SAT math practice worksheets and work on your reading comprehension. On the day of the SAT, you sharpen your #2 pencils, bring your calculator and take your time answering each question.

What happens if the College Board gets your score wrong? Although the board takes steps to ensure accuracy in score reporting, mistakes can happen. When it comes to your SAT score, you want to be sure. That's where score verification comes in.

Request an SAT Answer Sheet

The College Board offers the Question and Answer Service to most testers. You can request the QAS either when you register for the test or up to five months after your exam. With the QAS, you get:

  • A booklet with all of the questions
  • Correct SAT answers on all questions
  • A list of your answers
  • Instructions to help you grade your exam
  • Information on each question's type and difficulty rating 

The QAS costs $18, but students who receive fee waivers for the test also qualify to get this service for free. If you find any inconsistencies with your score, consider requesting hand score verification from the College Board.

How to Request Score Verification

If you think your results are wrong, you can fill out the one-page form on the College Board's website for score verification. The board charges $55 per section that you want them to review. Include payment and mail the form to the address on the document.

You can use a credit or debit card number as payment for the service. Once you complete this task, wait a few weeks for your final results to come to your mailbox.

SAT Result Checking for Multiple Choice

Although scanning machines read answers on both multiple-choice sections of the exam, errors can occur. If something goes wrong with the machine that scans the answers or if the picture isn't clear, answers may appear wrong when you got them right.

If you request score verification for these sections, a grader will look over your results by hand. The scores from this rigorous process supersede the original scores. You may not want to request hand scoring if you:

  • Did not use #2 pencils as the board recommends
  • May see a score decrease with this method
  • Do not believe a mistake occurred

SAT Score Verification for Essays

If you took the optional essay section of the SAT, you can receive verification for this part as well. Sometimes, the scanned version of the essay can make words illegible, which lowers your scores.

The first time your essay gets graded, the process includes automatic verification:

  1. Two qualified readers look over the essay independently.
  2. They each assign scores independently.
  3. If the scores end up more than a single point apart, a supervisor scores the essay.

When you ask for verification of your essay score, nobody rereads what you wrote. Instead, the College Board determines if the scanners or graders made mistakes in processing the score.

What Happens With Verification Results

The letter that comes in the mail reveals your final scores whether they change or not. You cannot appeal the decision or request another verification. It's important to note that your scores can go up or down depending on what the investigation reveals.

For example, if your original score included a right answer that the verification reveals to be wrong, your score will decrease. This is different from the ACT process in which your scores can only increase. If your score changes in either direction, the College Board automatically sends updated results to any schools that you requested to see your results.

If the College Board finds errors in scanning or processing, they will refund you the amount you paid for verification.

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