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, 45 minutes
Sections Math, Critical Reading, Writing
Cost $50
Max. Score 800/section
Avg. Score
Math 513
Critical Reading 497
Writing 487

Learn about upcoming SAT changes here and the new SAT portal from The Princeton Review here.

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, 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 specifically does the SAT test?

There are three SAT sections: Math, Critical Reading and Writing. The Writing section requires test takers to complete an essay that is factored into the final score. Start to finish, the test will take you three hours and 45 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 the right test to take. To do that, you can take The Princeton Review Assessment, a test designed to help you determine which test is a better fit with your abilities. Click to read more about the SAT vs. the ACT.

How is the SAT scored?

Each section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale, making the "perfect" score 2400.

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

Good question. Check out the Can I Get In function in our School Search.

How do I register?

SAT registration deadlines fall approximately five weeks before each test date. To register by mail, fill out the registration form in the College Board's Bulletin for the SAT Program. 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. You can also register online at the College Board website.

How can I prepare?

We can help. We have prep solutions for every student and every budget.