WHAT IS THE SAT REASONING TEST?

The SAT Reasoning Test is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions. There are three sections in the SAT – Critical Reading, Writing, and Math. Within the Writing section, there is an essay.

REGISTRATION

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR THE SAT? 

Register for the SAT here. When you sign up for the first time, you must complete a one-time registration process that is rather lengthy. However, you will not need to complete this application again if you take the SAT again.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN I TAKE THE ACT?

Most students take the SAT 2-3 times. Once in the spring of their junior year and once in the fall of their senior year. You are allowed to take the SAT as many times as you’d like but most students do not see a substantial change in their scores after the first three sittings.

HOW MUCH DOES THE SAT COST?

The SAT costs $50.00. Included within the  $50 fee is 4 score reports so that you may send your test scores to colleges. If you have a fee waiver, you may take the first two SATs at no cost.

HOW DO I GET A FEE WAIVER?

 To get a fee waiver, go to Ms. Drell in the College Office and ask for a Fee Waiver Request form. The form has basic information to determine eligibility for a fee waiver. If you are eligible, you will receive the actual SAT/SAT II/ACT fee waiver with a code on that back which you will need to input when you are registering for your test.

SCORING

HOW IS THE SAT GRADED?

The SAT is score is calculated as the sum of the three sections. Your Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing Scores are combined to make up your total SAT Score. Each section is graded out of 800 points and a perfect score on the SAT equates to 2400. Each section score is calculated based on the number of questions you answer correctly, with a quarter point deduction for each wrong answer (except for the fill-in-the-blank section on the Mathematics test). The Writing score consists of both your essay score and multiple choice score on the Writing section.

WHEN WILL I GET MY SAT SCORES?

The College Board typicallly releases SAT scores 20 days after each test date.

 

CAN I COMBINE SCORES FROM DIFFERENT TEST DATES TO HAVE A HIGHER SAT SCORE?

 

Yes and no. CollegeBoard gives you the option to “superscore” your SAT scores from different sittings. Say you earned a 590 in Math, 600 in Critical Reading, and 610 in Writing on your first SAT sitting. This means you earned an SAT score of 1800. On your next sitting, you earned a 650 in Math, 500 in Critical Reading, and 650 in Writing. Although both your Math and Writing Scores improved, your SAT score for this sitting is still 1800. However, with CollegeBoard’s Score Choice option, you are allowed to report your highest scores from each section. In this case, you can send in your 600 in Critical Reading from the first sitting with the 650s you earned in Math and Writing for a combined total score of 1900.

The unfortunate part of this is the fact that UCs only accept your highest scores from a single test date. CSUs and most private colleges will combine your highest scores from each section to compute your total SAT score.

(We know this is a bit confusing – please see a CPC if you have any questions).

PREPARATION

 

HOW DO I STUDY FOR THE SAT?

 

There are plenty of SAT prep books at the library. Most students suggest the Official SAT Prep Book from the CollegeBoard (the people who make the actual SAT!). Equipped with actual past tests, it can prepare you for the real SAT. Getting used to the format of SAT questions can help you do much better on the SAT.

Make a study plan for the three or four weeks preceding your test date. Take one or two practice tests each night and correct your tests to find out your mistakes. Many of the SATs questions come with the same “tricks” and formats – your job is to find some of the common tricks used on SAT and catch them as you’re taking the real test. Practice makes perfect. Nothing will help your score like taking and correcting your own practice tests.

WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE SAT?

 
Also on the Collegeboard website is a great book list “101 Books for the Collegebound Student.” The list is also located in the College Office in our bins.