Your SAT score is a pivotal component of your college applications. Most colleges use these scores to help decide whether to admit students or not.

SAT Quick Facts

Frequency 7 times/year
Duration 3 hours, 50 minutes
Sections Math, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing,
Optional Essay
Cost $54.50 ($43 without Essay)
Max. Score 800/section (Essay reported separately)
Avg. Score Score information to be released in May 2016

Learn about the 2016 SAT changes, and check out the new SAT portal from The Princeton Review.

What is the SAT and why is it important?

Created by the College Board, the SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea (in theory, at least) is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. However, it is just one factor in the admissions decision. Schools also consider your high school GPA, academic transcript, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, interviews, and personal essays. The weight placed on SAT scores varies from school to school. 

The SAT is offered nationally every year in October, November, December, January, March, May and June.

For more specific information on the importance of SAT scores at the schools you're interested in, contact the admissions offices directly.

What does the SAT test?

As of March 2016, there are two SAT sectionsMath, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, plus an optional Essay. The Essay results are reported separately. Start to finish, the test will take you three hours and 50 minutes.

Should I take the SAT or the ACT?

Is one harder? Is one better? More prestigious? More useful? If only it were that simple. In many cases, schools will accept either exam, so it's up to you to figure out which test to take. We can help you explore both tests. Click to read more about the SAT vs. the ACT or take our quiz

How is the SAT scored?

Each section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale, making the "perfect" score 1600.

How do I know if my SAT score is good enough to get me into my dream school?

Good question. The first administration of the New SAT was in March 2016, but scores will be held until after the May 2016 test. Our awesome research team will continue to closely monitor how schools are using New SAT scores to make sure counselors, parents, and students get this important information.

How do I register?

SAT registration deadlines fall approximately five weeks before each test date. Register online on the College Board website. You can also register by mail by filling out the registration form in the College Board's The Student Registration Guide for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. You can get a free copy of this publication from your school's guidance counselor. Or you can call ETS at 609-771-7600, and they'll send you one free of charge.

How can I prepare?

We can help. We have prep solutions for every student and every budget. Learn about our convenient SAT online courses.