Can Messy Handwriting Affect Your SAT Scores?

Having a messy handwriting can affect your SAT score?Upto what extent and how to avoid it. Check out this article to know more about your SAT scores due to poor and messy handwriting.

TCM Staff

27th February 2020

Messy Handwriting

Yes, You may lose your mark due to your messy handwriting if your content is highly difficult to make it out. When there are beautifully calligraphed and printed block-like letters there are people with messy and chicken scratch handwriting. More than 47% of High school students have awful handwriting which makes teachers strain their eyes.

Starting from using Four-lines notes to practice handwriting to writing exercises during the vacation always implies that handwriting is the most stressed thing teachers wanted us to do.

Figures come out that almost two-thirds of teachers giving reduced marks due to their “illegible writing”.

Are you worried about your scores due to your poor handwriting? Don't worry you are not alone. More than half of the students who take up the SAT do have this worry. To reduce the stress in this article, We will see if your bad handwriting affects your SAT score and how to correct it.

When Will You Lose Your Marks?

Yes, You have a chance to lose your marks due to your handwriting if you present your paper completely illegible and difficult to understand the answer you are conveying. If the reader finds your writing hard to decipher then you have high chances to lose your marks or else you do not need to worry.

For example, If one or two sentences of your essay are difficult to understand then there is no problem but if those lines are key points of your writing or if it comes out to be your conclusion part then you may lose your mark.

Will I lose marks only due to my Messy handwriting?

No, You do not lose marks only due to your messy handwriting. SAT evaluators are not supposed to give you score based on your handwriting. Rather they should check only your content and the points you have mentioned. Marks will be awarded truly based on the context of the answer you present. But keep one thing in mind that the graders are also humans like you and me. Handwriting is the first impression and in fact the only impression, you give them during your exams. Present your paper well to make it attractive and more engaging to them to correct it without getting bored.

Tips to improve your handwriting

  • Choose a pen you are comfortable with. More than pens design and texture see if it has a good consistent ink flow along with a perfect grip. Try writing a practice Essay using the pen to check its qualities.                  choose the pen wisely 

  • Do not hold your pen too tight. This stress in hands makes it pain after some time. So handwriting becomes bad at the end of your paper. Hold the pen lightly or moderately   
  • Do a writing warmup before the exam begins. This gives flexibility to your hand and handwriting comes out a little better during your exam.

  • Increase your font size. Bigger letters make your writing a bit more legible and clear.

  • Give sufficiently more space between words. Do not cramp up letters and make your writing messy. Spacing out letters makes your Essay easy to read.

  • Use your time well. Even though you are given only 40 minutes to complete your essay, spend it effectively. Try to write in a slow phase as it makes your writing organized and clear.

  • If you have still more time for your SAT exam, Practice handwriting.


Use time wisely


To sum up, handwriting does not affect your score in SAT. Unless or until your writing becomes completely illegible and hard to figure out you will get the marks you deserve for the content you have written. Follow these simple tips to improve your handwriting and make it more appealing to the evaluator.

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