The SAT is one of two standardized tests used by colleges as part of their admission requirements. The SAT measures language skills in both reading and writing as well as math reasoning skills. It is used for admission and scholarship eligibility at most colleges and is required by the NCAA for those athletes who hope to compete in sports once they are accepted into college.
The SAT Subject Tests, (formerly SAT II), consists of more than 20 subject areas and are achievement tests designed to measure subject area knowledge. Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, or to advise students about course selection but only some selective colleges and universities require them. These can be taken the same dates as the SATs, except in March when there are no SAT Subject Tests administered. For more information on SAT Subject Tests, click here.
When does my student take the test? The SAT is administered in October, November, December, February, March, May, and June of each school year. Most students take the SAT during the second semester of their junior year.
The best rule of thumb with the SAT is: “the earlier and more often, the better.” To see test dates for the current academic year click here.
When and how do I register my student? A registration packet should be available at your high school, but the best way is to register online at www.collegeboard.com. Keep in mind the registration deadlines for each test, as they are generally six weeks in advance. Try to register at least eight weeks in advance. The sooner your student registers, the easier it is to get your ideal location. Each test date has its own registration deadlines and locations available.
What’s the test’s structure? The SAT is a 3-hour, 45-minute test with two sections consisting of language skills (reading and writing) and math skills. There are two subsections for math depending on whether or not students can use a calculator. The new SAT has an essay section at the end of the test, which is now optional. However, we recommend students looking at competitive schools to understand the requirements before deciding whether or not to complete the essay portion of the exam. Extended time and other accommodations are available for students who qualify. For more information, see your guidance counselor.
How is it scored? The new SAT does not penalize students for wrong answers. Scores on each section range from 200-800 points. The scores from each section are combined, and the highest possible combined score is 1600.
How many times can my student take the test? Students can take the test multiple times without penalties, but we recommend students take the exam no more than three times.
What should my student bring to the test? Your student should bring an approved calculator, a snack, water, pencils, his or her ticket, and a picture ID. Do not bring a phone.
Which calculators are approved? Calculators permitted while testing are graphing calculators, scientific calculators, and four-function calculators (not recommended). The following devices are NOT permitted as a calculator: laptop or a portable/handheld computer, pocket organizers, cell phone calculators, calculators with QWERTY keypads (e.g., TI-92 Plus, Voyage 200), and calculators that use electrical outlets, make noise, or have a paper tape. For more specific information, read the calculator policy here.
What are the costs of the test? The test costs change year by year. In 2015 it was either $54.50 or $43, depending on whether you take the test with the essay or without. For updated information on fees, please click here.
Can I change a date once registered? Yes, life situations may keep your student from being able to meet a previous commitment and, thus, you may need to change a date. The College Board will charge a change date fee that, at the present time, is $28.
Can I get a copy of the test? Yes, you may order the Question and Answer Service (QAS) for $13.50 within five months of the date in which the test was taken but ONLY for the following test dates: October, January, and May. For more information about this service, please click here.
What is the registration schedule for the current academic year, and when should I start preparing?
Here is a brief summary to the test dates for the current academic year and our suggested start date to prepare based on an average 10-week preparation time. Call us at least 10 to 12 weeks ahead of the test date to get a diagnosis of what is needed for your particular case and to be able to get you into our schedule.