What is SAT?

Published On: 26 Mar 2012

 | Last Updated On: 22 Dec 2014

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test, administered by the College Board, that lets students show colleges what they know and how well they can apply that knowledge. Each year, more than 2 million students in 175 countries and territories take the SAT, and most colleges and universities in the U.S. use the SAT to make admission decisions. In fact, many universities in the U.S. and other countries have used the SAT for more than 80 years as a component of undergraduate university applications. Used with academic performance/high school transcripts, SAT scores allow colleges to fairly compare applicants from different backgrounds.

Most students take the SAT in Grade 11 or the early half of 12, some even earlier, in Grade 10. Almost all selective colleges and universities in the United States, and many colleges worldwide, use the SAT to make admission decisions.

The SAT can also help students connect with colleges, universities and scholarship programs through the ‘Student Search Service’. Moreover, the SAT provides students with the most comprehensive performance feedback of any admission test.

At least half of all students take the SAT twice, and most students do see an improvement in their scores the second time they take the test. However, students should be discouraged from taking the test too many times, unless there is reason to believe that their scores can improve dramatically, on their third or fourth attempt. Research does not indicate that SAT scores continue improving with multiple attempts. Instead, it is recommended that students focus their time on other important aspects of the college application, and on their academic performance at school.

The SAT is being redesigned, and the new exam will be administered for the first time in the spring of 2016. Students who plan to take their SAT in 2014 and 2015 will not get impacted by this redesign. Some of the key changes in the redesigned test will be – using a 1600 point scoring scale, the essay becoming optional, no negative marking, and limited use of calculators. Those who would like to learn more about the redesigned SAT should visit: https://www.collegeboard.org/delivering-opportunity/sat

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