An Introduction to the SAT®
The SAT was developed as a tool to democratize access to college for all students. Specifically designed to measure what students have learned in high school, the SAT tests students’ reading, writing and math skills — the same skills they’re learning in high school and that are essential to college success. In addition to measuring what students know, the test also shows how well students can apply their skills, which is critically important to colleges when evaluating undergraduate candidates.
Each year, the SAT is administered to more than two million students in more than 6,000 test centers that are located in more than 170 countries. It is also provided free of charge to hundreds of thousands of low-income students every year at a total cost of approximately $30 million to the College Board, underscoring a firm commitment to promote college access for ALL students.
Through the test’s 80-year history, the college landscape has changed significantly, but the SAT has continued to be a valuable tool used by colleges in the admissions process, providing an important measure of likely success among undergraduate candidates. Additionally, the SAT Program has maintained a firm commitment to offering the necessary support and resources for students to effectively prepare for the test, giving them an opportunity to enjoy access to higher learning.
Official SAT website is sat.collegeboard.com.
The next SAT test dates are:
October 6: deadline to register is Sept. 7
November 3: deadline to register is Oct. 4
To register for the SAT, please visit sat.collegeboard.com/register.
Important Facts About the SAT
The SAT® is …
· Curriculum based — The SAT is designed to test what students are learning in schools today; the content of the SAT constantly evolves to stay current with today’s high school curricula.
· A good indicator of what students know — The SAT measures knowledge of subjects learned in the classroom, including reading, writing and math, and how well students can apply that knowledge. The SAT delivers insight to colleges on how a student thinks, communicates and solves problems.
· Fair — The SAT is carefully designed to be fair for all students across genders and ethnicity groups. After rigorous research and analysis, each question on the SAT goes through an extensive review process by a diverse group of educators to ensure that it’s fair and unbiased, and that it appropriately tests classroom material.
· The best predictor of college success — Research shows that the SAT, along with high school grades, is the most effective way to determine whether a student is likely to do well in college.
Practicing for the SAT
Because the SAT assesses what students have learned in high school and their ability to apply those skills, the most effective way for students to prepare for the test is to take challenging and rigorous courses, study hard, and read and write extensively. Independent research indicates that short-term test prep or “cramming” does not result in significant, if any, score gains.
In order for students to demonstrate their true abilities on test day, it’s important that students feel as comfortable and confident as possible. Taking practice tests can help students become familiar with the test and feel more at ease on test day. The College Board offers many free and low-cost SAT tools.
Available SAT Practice Tools and Features
The following free and low-cost tools have been developed to give students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the SAT and gain immediate feedback on areas to improve. To access all of these resources, students can go to www.collegeboard.com/practice.
• SAT Official Practice Test — Students can take practice SATs to see how they score and to identify ways to improve their results.
• SAT® Skills Insight™ — A free tool that helps students understand the academic skills tested on the SAT.
• My SAT Online Score Report — Students can learn the meaning behind the numbers to gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
• The Official SAT Study Guide™: Second Edition —Offers students an opportunity to take practice tests developed by the test maker, get estimated scores and review important test-taking approaches to effectively prepare for test day.