Everything You Need to Know About the SAT Test
What is the SAT Test
The SAT Reasoning test is a standardized test that most colleges and universities in the United States require for their college admissions process.
Scoring: The SAT is currently scored out of a total 2400 points. Please note that there is a ¼ point deduction for every question you get wrong. So, it may not be in your best interest to guess if you cannot eliminate one or more answers.
Structure and Timing: The SAT is broken into three sections: critical reading, math, and writing. You are given 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test. The three sections of the test, however, are each designated a certain amount of time. You will not be able to go back and work on the questions from the critical reading section, for example, once the time allotted for the critical reading section is up.
When should I take the SAT Test?
Although you have until December of your senior year to finish testing, it is recommended that you start thinking about your plans for taking the SAT once you start junior year and try to wrap up most of your testing by the end of junior year. Getting your studying and test taking out of the way by the end of junior year will enable you get a head start on your personal statement over the summer and deal with the whirlwind of paperwork in the fall without the weight of the SAT on your shoulders. Because the SAT is only offered seven times during the school year and the dates when they are offered are same as the dates when the SAT II subject tests are offered, starting the test taking process during junior year will give you ample time for retakes, if necessary.
Retaking the SAT Test
Most colleges take your highest SAT score out of three tries, so allow time for retakes in your SAT testing plans. You may want to check with the colleges you are applying to, if you are thinking about taking it more than three times. Some colleges advise against testing more than three times and may average out your test scores.
Importance of the SAT Test
The importance of the SATs in terms of admissions truly depends on which colleges and what type of colleges you aim to be admitted to. When it comes down to it, the importance of the SAT depends on the structure of the college admissions process for the universities you aim to be admitted to. While the SAT may not even be required for admissions to a vocational or art school, for example, it can also be the make it or break it factor for applicants applying to competitive four year universities. Although there are many components to a college’s admissions selection process, your SAT score may be the make it or break it factor for competitive universities like Berkeley or UCLA because of the large pool of qualified applicants that apply. If you are one of two applicants with straight As and similar extracurricular activities, for example, your higher SAT score may the distinguishing factor that gets you admitted.
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