Information is for the format of the new SAT as of March 2016.
About the SAT (originally the “Scholarship Aptitude Test”)
The SAT is a standardized entrance exam, similar to the ACT, that high school students take as part of their application to U.S. colleges and universities.
Duration: 3 hours (+ 50 minutes for optional essay), includes one 10-minute and one 5-minute break
Scoring scale: 400-1600
- Math (200-800)
- No-Calculator section: 25 minutes, 20 questions
- Calculator section: 55 minutes, 38 questions
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (200-800)
- Reading: 65 minutes, 52 questions
- Writing/Language: 35 minutes, 44 questions
- “Analyze a Source” Optional Essay (50 minutes, one prompt, scored separately from 1600 score)
- Read a passage and explain how the author uses evidence to support a claim.
The Optional Essay
- The essay is “optional,” but many colleges and universities recommend it; some even require it!
- Essay score is separate from 1600 score on other two sections
- Scored by two readers on three dimensions: reading, analysis, and writing
- Reading: did you understand the passage?
- Analysis: did you understand the structure of the author’s argument?
- Writing: is your essay focused, organized, and precise?
- You’ll receive sum of readers’ scores for each dimension: 3 scores, from 2-8
Registration, Rescheduling, and Cancellations
- To register, start by completing a College Board account
- Registration Fee: $43, $54.50 with essay
- Additional $15 for phone registration
- $28 to change test center or test date
- $28 late registration fee
- Cancel 5 days or more before test day for a $10 refund
Preparing for Test Day
- Plan to arrive at 7:45 AM - doors close at 8 AM
- Test begins between 8:30 and 9 AM
- Be sure to bring
- Your admission ticket
- Acceptable, valid photo ID
- Two No. 2 pencils with erasers
- An approved calculator (most graphing and scientific calculators permitted)
- Consider bringing
- A watch (alarms must be disabled)
- Extra batteries
- Drink or snack for your break
- Don’t bring
- Electronic devices, digital watches
- Protractors, compasses, rulers
- Highlighters, colored pens/pencils
Getting and Sending Scores
- Scores are available online about one month after test date
- 4 free score reports included in test registration fee; indicate score recipients at time of registration or within 9 days after test day
- $11.25 per additional score report