The SAT has change names and format over the last few years and has been known as the “Scholastic Aptitude Test”, however in 2005 the test was renamed and is now called the “SAT Reasoning Test”. The test is administered by the College Board and is developed published and scored by ETS, the Educational Testing Service. It currently takes about 5 hours to complete the SAT (3 hours and 45 mins of actual timed tests – the rest of the time is administration, distribution of materials, etc..) and costs $41.50 ($63.50 for internationals).
The test covers three core areas, Mathematics, Critical Reading and Writing with each section receiving a score of between 200-800 – and all scores added up to provide a final score. The three sections are divided up into 3 sub-sections and an experimental section in any one of the 3 main sections, giving a total of 10 sub-sections.
The bulk of the Critical Reading section is made up of questions based on passages the students are asked to read. Students are also asked to complete sentences which tests their vocabulary and knowledge of sentence structure.
The Maths section consists of three scored sections (or 4 depending on where the experimental section is) and includes two 25 minute tests and one 20 minute test. The first test is entirely multiple choice questions, the second contains 8 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions and the third section is all multiple choice again.
The Writing section includes multiple choice questions and a brief essay. The essay section is 25 minutes long and the topic of the essay is based on a prompt, which can cover any topic
Taking the Test
The SAT is offered seven times a year in the USA and around the world and is typically on the first Saturday of the month. If you would like to register for the test, please visit http://www.collegeboard.com/ and they can provide you with online registration and test dates.
If you would like information on line programs to help you prepare for the SAT please see Kaplan.