When you log on to the College Board website and find that your SAT scores are ready to view, you may feel several different emotions. You may feel nervous as you open your scores and any number of feelings when you see how you did. While you may have prepared yourself to feel disappointment or elation, you may also experience something for which you weren't ready: skepticism.
College-bound students sometimes find themselves doubting their SAT scores. The SAT Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) and the SAT Student Answer Service (SAS) can help. Use these resources if you want to feel absolutely certain about your important test results. Although the College Board takes every measure to ensure accuracy and fairness in their grading, errors can occur.
Machines read the multiple-choice answers, but human error can cause scanning problems. Furthermore, some SAT essays scan poorly, which can lead to low readability that causes the readers to give low scores. Due to the critical nature of the scores and the possibility of human error, the College Board allows testers to review their answers and the answer sheets.
What Is the SAT QAS?
To order from the QAS, simply log in to your College Board account and click "My Score Reports" and then "Order Now." If you qualify for a fee waiver, this service is also free, but you pay $18 if you do not qualify for the waiver. When you order from the QAS, you receive:
- A copy of all the questions you had on the day of the test administration
- All of your submitted answers
- A copy of the correct answers to all questions
- Instructions on scoring the test
- Information on some of the questions, including difficulty and type
With this information, you can score your test for yourself and ensure that your score matches the official results.
If you take the test in October or March, you can only use the QAS if you took the test on a Saturday in the United States or Canada. You cannot use the QAS at all if you did a makeup test, used an alternate date or took the test under the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support act as a member of the military.
What Is the SAT SAS?
Like the QAS, the SAS offers you the chance to see your answers and information about each question. However, the SAS does not give you the questions from the test. You may prefer the SAS if you simply want to see what types of questions you missed.
The SAS is particularly helpful if you plan on taking the SAT again. The information about the questions tells you what to study. The QAS offers more resources and is a better tool for both verifying past scores and studying for another exam.
What if You Find a Problem?
If you look over your QAS results and find that the graders counted something against you when it should have been in your favor, you can request score verification. To do this:
- Fill out and send the appropriate form
- Pay the verification fee
- Await a letter with your results
Score verification costs $55 per section. While the board does not waive these fees, some learners qualify for reductions. If the College Board finds that your score needs to change due to a problem in scanning or scoring, it will refund the fees you pay for verification.
When to Request Score Verification
If you believe that your official score is lower than what you really earned, you should request verification. However, be aware that if the graders find errors of any kind, your score will change. Unlike with ACT verification, your score can go up or down depending on the findings.
You may also want to request verification if the scanned version of your essay is hard to read. This could have caused problems with your essay scoring.
Although the College Board puts systems in place to avoid errors, they do happen from time to time. Ensure score accuracy and learn more about your SAT performance with the SAT QAS, SAS and score verification systems.
Mackenzie attended Texas Tech University, where she worked in the residence halls for three years. She also volunteered for school event committees and move-in welcome teams. These experiences fueled her passion for higher education and helping college students. Today, she uses her writing to help prospective college students find the right institutions for their needs. She writes for sites like The Best Schools, Nursing.org, Best Colleges, Nurse Journal, and PublicHealth.org.