About the SAT

    The SAT is one of two globally-recognized major college admission tests (along with the ACT). The SAT is designed for students to demonstrate what they know and how they can apply their knowledge to diverse challenges. Students typically take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school. Almost every college and university in the country requires SAT (and ACT) scores when considering admission for students, as it demonstrates a student's readiness for higher education. The SAT is traditionally more popular in the East Coast and West Coast areas of the United States. The SAT is owned and operated by the nonprofit organization the College Board and developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service.
    In addition to the regular admission exam, SAT Subject Tests are also offered. These hour-long tests allow students the opportunity to focus on one particular subject (out of 20) to demonstrate proficiency. Subject tests are offered in five general categories: English, history, mathematics, science and languages. Some colleges and universities require or strongly encourage taking a subject test as part of the admissions process, while others use subject test results to place students into appropriate courses. Students can complete basic college courses based on performances on the subject tests.
     Visit College Board for a complete list of resources an information.



    Starting in the Spring of 2016, the SAT will be redesigned in attempt to bridge the gap between what's on the test and what students are learning in high school classrooms. Here is a look at some of the changes taking place once the calendar turns:
    • A return to the old 1600-point scoring scale. The math section will be 800 and the reading section will be 800. The optional writing section will be scored separately on a 12 point scale.
    • 16 fewer questions
    • Longer time to answer questions, with double the time to write the essay
    • Essay is optional
    • No obscure vocabulary (focus on words used in classroom)
    • Fewer answer choices (four instead of five)
    • No penalty for wrong answers (right-only answers scored)
    • Use of evidence to support answers
    • Fewer areas in math section


    In 2017, Khan Academy and the College Board, the maker of the SAT, analyzed gains between the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT and found a positive relationship between use of Official SAT Practice and score improvements on the SAT. Score gains are consistent across gender, family income, race, ethnicity and parental education level.
    20 hours of practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average 115-point score increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average gain without Khan
Last Modified on October 9, 2019