What You Should Know About the SAT Test
The myOptions Team
Ahhh the SAT! Three of the most dreaded letters in the English language (neck and neck with ACT), yet one of the most important tests of your academic career. A majority of US colleges take your standardized test scores into account for admission purposes, so being in the know about all things SAT is crucial; so we’ve compiled some FAQs for you.
How do I register for the SAT?
On the College Board website.You will first need to create a free College Board account. Be sure to pay close attention to registration deadlines because no one likes late fees!
When should I take the SAT?
Like most things in life, planning ahead is key. There is definitely not a one size fits all answer to this question like you were probably hoping for, but here are things to consider to find the ideal timing for you:
-Give yourself ample time to prep for your first test date and be sure you have the opportunity to take the test at least 2-4 times in advance of application and scholarship deadlines.
-Have you taken Geometry and Algebra II? You’ll want to have a firm grasp on these concepts in order to succeed on the math section.
-What else do you have going on in your life? We know most high school students are insanely busy so no time is ever necessarily a good time, but if possible, schedule your SAT when your course load is lighter or during your off-season for sports. There are 7 dates available annually so you have some options!
How many times should I take the SAT?
Technicallyyyyy as many times as you want, but that gets to be pricey and we imagine you have better ways to spend your Saturdays. You should plan to take it at least twice with the ability to have a 3rd or 4th attempt if absolutely necessary. There is a feature called “score choice”, which allows you to pick and choose which scores are sent to colleges. This is an awesome feature, but beware that some schools still require you to send them all scores, so do your best to make every attempt count. On the contrary, some schools take your “superscore” which is your best score in each section across test dates.
How much does the SAT cost?
For the SAT without the essay component: $45 (includes 4 score reports) For the SAT with the essay component: $57 (includes 4 score reports)
Low-income juniors and seniors may qualify for fee waivers. You can check out the fee waiver requirements here.
What is on the SAT?
Reading : How you interpret things you read and apply that information. Writing and Language: You will read passages with intentional errors, identify the errors, and fix them.
Math: Algebra, problem-solving and data analysis, and manipulation of complex equations. Parts of the math section will allow calculators; others won’t.
Essay: (optional) You will read a passage and explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience utilizing evidence from the passage. Always check school’s admissions requirements to see if you need to complete the essay. To be on the safe side, definitely, err on the side of doing the essay instead of scrambling to retake the SAT at the last minute to add in the essay.
What is the SAT score range?
Scores range from 400-1600. The optional essay is scored on three different dimensions, and the scores range from 2-8. Also, gone are the days where you were penalized for guessing on the SAT, so guess away!
How do I prepare?
The Khan Academy offers FREE SAT prep resources. Definitely, check it out! It is recommended you dedicate at least 100 hours of studying prior to your first test date.
Being prepared and knowing what to expect on the SAT can do wonders for your mental clarity and your ability to focus on the task at hand. Like all tough things in life, this too shall pass, so work hard and have the end in mind…your college acceptance letters! For the most up to date SAT information, please visit the College Board website. Good luck, we are rooting for you!