Information about the SAT Test

SAT Basics

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is the most widely-used standardized test for admission to college in the U.S. It was taken nearly 3 million times last year. The SAT measures reading, writing and math skills necessary for academic success in college. The most common time for high school students to take the test for the first time is spring of their junior year of high school. The SAT is a paper-based test and it is offered seven times a year in the US and six times a year internationally.

The SAT is owned and developed by The College Board, a non-profit organization representing more than 6,000 colleges, universities and schools. It was formerly developed by Educational Testing Service, which still administers the test. The test was first introduced in 1926, and was previously called the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The test is intended to serve as a standardized measure of college readiness and to provide a national perspective to local high school GPAs and class rank. All US colleges accept the SAT and most require that incoming students take either the SAT or its rival the ACT as part of the application process. Various studies have shown that when SAT scores are combined with high school GPA there is a correlation with the level of success in the first year of college.

There are also SAT Subject Tests that high school students can take to demonstrate their proficiency in certain subject areas. These tests are separate from the SAT and are generally not required for college admission. Students may elect to take one or many SAT Subject Tests to send colleges extra evidence of their mastery of certain subjects. In some cases, SAT Subject Tests can be used to fulfill basic subect area requirments or earn credit for introductory level courses. There are 20 subject tests offered in five subject areas: English, history, languages, math and science.