Last week on our blog we gave you the low-down on the ACT test. This week we are going to do the same with the other side of the coin – the SAT test. Like the ACT test, the SAT is a standardized test given to high school juniors and seniors to measure how ready they are to take on the challenges of college. The SAT test was developed first, in 1926.
What Makes Up The SAT Test?
The SAT test is comprised of two main sections – critical reading/writing and math. Most of the questions on the SAT are multiple choice, (like the ACT) but there are some sections that require the student to write in the correct answer.
Like the ACT, the SAT test has a writing section. The essay requires the student to write original content, but keep in mind that as of March 2016 the essay is an optional section of the test. If you take the SAT test without the essay portion, you have 3 hours to complete the exam. If you add the essay, you have an additional 50 minutes of test time.
How Is The SAT Test Scored?
The SAT has gone through some changes to how the overall score is determined. But we are back to the classic 1600 scoring for the foreseeable future. You can earn between 200 and 800 on each of the two main sections. Those scores are then added together to get a final score.
Just like the ACT test, each correct answer receives one point. Again, as unusual as it may sound, for the SAT test, students neither earn nor lose points by guessing incorrectly or skipping questions completely. It is in the student’s best interest to answer as many questions as they can in the time allowed.
What Is A Good SAT Score?
After learning how the test is set up and how it is scored, the next logical question is “what is a good SAT score?” Just like the ACT, there isn’t a magic score that is going to guarantee anything about getting into a certain college. We can’t stress enough that getting into college is more about proving a student is well rounded and has used their time in high school to the fullest.
We can’t tell students what number they should strive to get on the SAT test because, like the ACT test, it really depends on where you are applying and what else you are able to show to college admissions – your grades, extra curricular activities, etc.
With all of that said, we can talk averages. About half of the SAT takers will receive a score below 1000 and the rest will receive a score above 1000. 1200 and up encompasses the top tier (or 25%) of high school students.
Can You Take The SAT Multiple Times?
You are allowed to take the SAT as many times as you want but keep in mind that it is slightly different than the ACT. If you take the SAT multiple times, ALL of your scores will be sent with your college applications, not just the best one. While most students do score better when they re-take the test (especially if they have been studying) you may find that you reach a plateau and you are just not going to ever really improve your score.
Just like the ACT test, we invite you to come and see us and take an SAT test for FREE!
How Do You Register?
The SAT exam is offered at designated times throughout the year. Depending on the school you attend you could take the SAT up to 8 times. Right now the cost to take the SAT test is $54. You can register for the SAT by clicking here.