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SAT is the most widely taken college test, measures your level in math, vocabulary and reading comprehension. Math sections cover algebra, geometry, arithmetic, logical reasoning, probability and counting. Verbal sections cover analogies, sentence completions and critical reading. Experimental section is used by the test developer to try new questions, and is not scored.

There is also the SAT II that contains 22 Subject tests such as world history, Spanish or chemistry, you will be able to choose which subjects tests you would like to take, but you canít take SATI and SATII on the same date.

  SAT Structure

Critical Reading
Question Type Number of Questions
Sentence completions 19
Passage-based reading 48
Time: Two 25-minutes sections; one 20-minute section. Total: 70 minutes
Question Type Number of Questions
Identifying sentence errors 18
Improving sentences 25
Improving paragraphs 6
Essay writing One essay
Time: Two 25-minutes sections; one 10-minute section. Total: 60 minutes
Question Type Number of Questions
Multiple-choice 44
Grid-ins 10
Time: Two 25-minutes sections; one 10-minute section. Total: 60 minutes

  SAT registration and information

Try to register early for SAT, if is possible six weeks before your testing date. In this way you will avoid pay extra fees and at the same time increase your chances of taking the exam at your first choice testing center. You can register for the SAT in three ways:

Online: You can register online visiting College Board. Just select your test date, test center, and you will receive immediately a confirmation message. This kind of registration will give you some advantages like 24-hrs access to registration for printing or correcting admission tickets, view and send scores on the web, etc. To complete your submission, you will make your payment with one of the following credit cards: American Express, Discover, Master Card and Visa.

Mail: Ask for the SAT registration form to your guidance counsellor. You can make the payment with credit card, check or money order.

Phone: If you have taken the test before, you have to register by phone. Dial 800-728-7267.

  Calendar Dates

For taking the SAT, students have seven testing dates to choose from. SAT is offered on one Saturday morning in October, November, December, January, March, May and June.

For high school juniors, the best tests dates are in winter and spring and if they scores arenít what they want, they will retake the exam early in senior year. High school seniors usually take the tests in October or November so they can get applications completed on time. To know the exact date to take the SAT, you should count back six weeks from each collegeís application deadline, this is how long it takes to score your test and send out the grades. To take the tests, you should have at least two or three months of preparation, so plan your schedule properly.

  SAT Scores

SAT is scored on scale of 200-800 for each section: math, writing and critical reading, so the perfect score is 2400. Usually the average score for each section is 500, so the average total score is 1500. Perfect scores are really few, so donít pressure yourself. The writing section is not used in admission decisions of many colleges because it is relatively new. The chart bellow shows the middle range of SAT scores for different colleges, the middle 50% was admitted with these scores. But you must know that the 25% of admitted students obtained lower numbers listed here.

College SAT Scores
Mathematics Writing
Auburn 500-610 520-630 -
Carleton 670-750 660-740 640-740
Duke 690-770 690-790 680-780
Harvard 690-800 700-790 690-780
MIT 660-760 720-800 660-750
Middlebury 630-740 740-740 630-740
Pomona 690-760 680-760 680-760
Stanford 660-760 680-780 670-770
UCLA 570-680 610-720 580-690

   Tips to prepare for the SAT

- This test is made to evaluate your skills, and it is not necessary to study everything. Good practice could be doing sample questions online at College Board (URL:
- Other way to prepare yourself for the SAT is to take the PSAT (Preliminary SAT) and understand the types of questions offered in the real SAT, you can also experiment the time limits and the pressure so you will not be surprised on the real test.
- Plan on arriving early to the test location, at least 30 minutes before the test is to start.
- It is important to rest appropriately before the test, so try to go early to bed the night before the SAT.
- Try to not leave any question unanswered; you donít loose points for wrong answers.
- If you donít know a question, skip it and continue with the next one. That way, you make sure you get all the points you deserve.
- Pay attention to the time, but donít be obsessed with the clock. The 25 minutes per section will pass really fast.

  Other facts about SAT

- Colleges not only take SAT scores to make admission decisions, but its importance shouldnít be underestimated.
- Usually all colleges make their SAT data public, the scores determinate their reputations.
- The writing section of the SAT is a new addition; you will be required to write an essay on a given topic.

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