College Admissions Test: SAT
The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.
Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for you — the place where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions. But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.
FACTS about the SAT
HOW IS THE SAT RELATED TO THE COLLEGE BOARD?
The College Board is a not-for-profit education organization dedicated to helping students discover their path to higher education. Our programs strive to provide every student with an opportunity to go to college and the tools to succeed there.The SAT is one of the College Board’s best-known programs. In keeping with the College Board’s mission, the SAT provides an equal opportunity for all students to show what they’ve learned in school and how they apply that knowledge.
HOW IS THE SAT SCORED?
Each section of your SAT (critical reading, mathematics and writing) will be scored on a 200- to 800-point scale, for a possible total of 2400. You’ll also get two “subscores” on the writing section: a multiple-choice score from 20 to 80, and an essay score from 2 to 12.But how do you get these scores? Two steps happen before you see a final score.
First, we figure out your raw score by:
- Adding points for correct answers.
- Subtracting a fraction of a point for wrong answers.
Remember: Questions that you skipped don’t count either for or against your score, and points aren’t taken away for wrong answers on the math questions where you needed to fill the answers in a grid.Then we take your raw score and turn it into a scaled score. This is where the score of 200–800 points comes from, and it is done through a statistical process called “equating.” This process makes it possible to compare your score with the scores of other students who took alternative versions of the test, and to your own scores on previous tests.Visit How the SAT Is Scored to see exactly how your score gets calculated.
WHY TAKE THE SAT
As the nation’s most widely used college admission test, the SAT is the first step toward higher education for students of all backgrounds. It’s taken by more than two million students every year and is accepted by virtually all colleges and universities.There are a number of reasons to take the SAT, but here are some of the best: It tests what you already know. The SAT tests the reading, writing and mathematics skills that you learn in school and that are critical for success in college and beyond. It’s fair to everyone.The questions are thoroughly researched and tested to make sure students from all backgrounds have an equal chance to succeed.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE ME TO TAKE THE SAT?The SAT is made up of 10 sections:
- A 25-minute essay
- Six 25-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
- Two 20-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
- A 10-minute multiple-choice writing section
Total test time: 3 hours and 45 minutes. You’ll also get three short breaks during the testing, so don’t forget to bring a snack!
Testing accommodations are available for students with a documented need. Learn more about accommodations like extra time.
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE THE SAT?
Most students take the SAT during the spring of their junior year of high school. Many students choose to take the SAT a second time in the fall of their senior year after becoming familiar with the test day experience.
HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I TAKE THE SAT?
Most students take the SAT once or twice. We don’t recommend taking it more than twice because there’s no evidence that taking the SAT multiple times significantly changes your score.
WHAT IS THE UNSCORED SECTION?
Each SAT exam includes an extra 25-minute critical reading, mathematics or writing multiple-choice section that doesn’t count toward your score.This section is where we try out new questions to make sure that future exams are fair for students from different backgrounds. It also helps us make sure that scores from students future exams can be compared to scores from students who took earlier versions of the test.
SAT SUBJECT TESTS
Go to https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/practice.
All information on these pages regarding the SAT provided by https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat.
Go to the SAT website for information on:
- How to Register
- Test Dates
- Services and Fees/Fee Waivers
- Making Changes
- Students with disabilities
- Special Circumstances
- Test Day Tips: Test Day Simulator and Test Day Checklist
- Code Search