SAT - Test Information

Test Information

About SAT

The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test and the Scholastic Assessment Test) is a standardized test used for undergraduate college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a non-profit organization in the United States, and was once developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Colleges use SAT scores to determine an undergraduate candidate's likelihood of academic success, with varying degrees of accuracy. The current SAT Reasoning Test takes three hours and forty-five minutes and tests students' Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematical abilities.

Taking The Test

The SAT is offered seven times a year in the United States. The test is held in the months of October, November, December, January, March (or April), May, and June. The test is typically offered on the first Saturday of the month for the November, December, May, and June SAT. In other countries, the SAT is offered on the same dates as in the US except for the first spring test date (i.e., March or April), which is not offered.

If you wish to take the SAT, you may register online at the College Board's website, by mail, or by telephone, at least three weeks before the test date:

  • Online Registration: You can register for SAT online. When you register online, you can select a test date as well as a test center. Registering online gives you an immediate registration confirmation. Its also possible to print your Admission ticket to the test hall using your online registration information.
  • Registration by Mail: If you do not wish to register online, you can request a SAT Registration Booklet from your school counselor. The booklet includes a test registration form and return envelope. Your completed registration form must be returned in the envelope provided with proper payment for the test.

When should you take SAT?

We recommend that most students take the SAT in the spring of their junior year, and possibly once more in the fall of their senior year. Although most students who prepare for their first exam do not significantly improve on a second try, this schedule allows a second opportunity to score well in case the student wishes to try again. College application deadlines also come into play when scheduling the test; it is vital that the test be taken at least 6 weeks before a students' applications are due so that the test may be scored and sent in time for the appropriate deadlines.

Why is the SAT important?

Every year more than 2 million high-school students take the SAT with the hopes that a good score will open the doors to a promising undergraduate education. Colleges nationwide use the SAT as one of the principal criteria for admission, often weighing it as heavily as a student's GPA. Here is an approximate breakdown of many US colleges' admissions criteria:

  • High school grades and courses: 30-40%
  • SAT/ACT test scores: 30-40%
  • Activities and extracurricular accomplishments: 10-20%
  • Essays: 5-10%
  • Recommendations: 5-10%


As you can see, the SAT is one of the most important pieces of your application, and it should be treated as such. Whereas your high school courses and grades are commitments that must be fulfilled over a period of 4+ years, the SAT offers you an opportunity to improve your chances at admission to your college of choice in a minimal amount of time. Dramatically improving your SAT score is the quickest and simplest way to effectively expand your college options.

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