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SAT consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200–800. All scores are multiples of 10. Total scores are calculated by adding up scores of the three sections. Each major section is divided into three parts. There are 10 sub-sections, including an additional 25-minute experimental or "equating" section that may be in any of the three major sections. The experimental section is used to normalize questions for future administrations of the SAT and does not count toward the final score. The test contains 3 hours and 45 minutes of actual timed sections,although most administrations, including orientation, distribution of materials, completion of biographical sections, and eleven minutes of timed breaks, run about four and a half hours long. The questions range from easy, medium, and hard depending on the scoring from the experimental sections. Easier questions typically appear closer to the beginning of the section while harder questions are towards the end in certain sections. This is not true for every section but it is the rule of thumb mainly for math and sentence completions and vocabulary.

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About SATWhat does the SAT test?
The SAT tests the skills you’re learning in school: reading, writing and math. Your strength in these subjects is important for success in college and throughout your life.

• The reading section includes reading passages and sentence completions.
• The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage.
• The math section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability.
See a detailed breakdown of what’s on the test.

How can I do my best on the SAT?
The best way to get ready for the SAT is to take challenging courses, study hard, and read and write in and outside of the classroom.

Cramming and short-term prep can’t substitute for hard work in school. The PSAT/NMSQT® is one of the best ways to begin preparing for the SAT, because it covers the same subjects under timed conditions.

It does help to become familiar and comfortable with the test format and question types. You should take advantage of our free online practice tools, such as an online or printable practice test, sample questions, The Official SAT Question of the Day™ and more.

How important is the SAT in college admission?
The SAT is just one factor among many that colleges use to get to know you better. It’s part of a comprehensive admission process that also takes into account your high school academics, extracurricular activities, recommendations, personal essay and other factors.

Every college and university uses a different combination of criteria for admission. Research the schools you’re interested in using College Search to understand their unique admission policies.

How is the SAT related to the College Board?
The College Board is a not-for-profit education organization dedicated to helping students discover their path to higher education. Our programs strive to provide every student with an opportunity to go to college and the tools to succeed there.

The SAT is one of the College Board’s best-known programs. In keeping with the College Board’s mission, the SAT provides an equal opportunity for all students to show what they’ve learned in school and how they apply that knowledge. This provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in college.

How is the SAT scored?
Each section of your SAT (critical reading, mathematics and writing) will be scored on a 200- to 800-point scale, for a possible total of 2400. You’ll also get two “subscores” on the writing section: a multiple-choice score from 20 to 80, and an essay score from 2 to 12.

But how do you get these scores? Two steps happen before you see a final score.

First, we figure out your raw score by:
• Adding points for correct answers.
• Subtracting a fraction of a point for wrong answers.
Remember: Questions that you skipped don’t count either for or against your score, and points aren’t taken away for wrong answers on the math questions where you needed to enter the answer into a grid.

Then we take your raw score and turn it into a scaled score. This is where the score of 200–800 points comes from, and it is done through a statistical process called “equating.” This process makes it possible to compare your score with the scores of other students who took alternative versions of the test, and to your own scores on previous tests.

Visit How the SAT Is Scored to see exactly how your score gets calculated.

How much time will I have to take the SAT?
The SAT is made up of 10 sections:

• A 25-minute essay
• Six 25-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
• Two 20-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
• A 10-minute multiple-choice writing section
Total test time: 3 hours and 45 minutes
You’ll also get three short breaks during the testing, so don’t forget to bring a snack!
• See what test day is like
• What to bring on test day
Testing accommodations are available for students with a documented need. Learn more aboutaccommodations, like extra time.

When should I take the SAT?
Most students take the SAT during the spring of their junior year of high school. Many students choose to take the SAT a second time in the fall of their senior year after becoming familiar with the test day experience.

How many times should I take the SAT?
Most students take the SAT once or twice. We don’t recommend taking it more than twice because there’s no evidence that taking the SAT multiple times significantly changes your score.

How are the exam questions created?
Every SAT question goes through a very careful review process before making it into your exam booklet.

Each question that you see has been:
• Reviewed by a team of experts, including math and English teachers, to make sure that it reflects what most college-bound students are learning in school.
• Thoroughly tested to make sure that it is fair for students of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Questions that don’t make it through these steps will never show up on an actual exam.
What is the “unscored” section?
Each SAT exam includes an extra 25-minute critical reading, mathematics or writing multiple-choice section that doesn’t count toward your score.

This section is where we try out new questions to make sure that future exams are fair for students from different backgrounds. It also helps us make sure that scores from students taking future exams can be compared to scores from students who took earlier versions of the test.

Does the College Board sell SAT test prep products over the telephone?
No, we do not. The College Board makes every effort to protect a student's privacy. When a student takes a College Board exam [such as the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT® or Advanced Placement (AP®)] they have a choice to "opt in" to Student Search Service (SSS). If the student says yes, this enables the College Board to provide that student's basic information to eligible colleges and universities, scholarship programs and certain higher education enrichment opportunities.
While the College Board recommends that students take advantage of our free and low cost practice tools in order to help them do their best on test day, it is our strict policy to NOT sell student information to test preparation companies nor are such companies affiliated with the College Board.
We recommend the following precautions if you receive unsolicited calls from persons identifying themselves as belonging to a test preparation company:

• Never give credit card information
• Don’t commit to a purchase regardless of the caller’s high pressure tactics
• Get the company’s contact information and the name of the caller; ask for a call-back number
• Contact your local consumer affairs office, Better Business Bureau and/or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if the company continues to make unsolicited phone calls

To learn more about our Student Search Service policy, go to Please don’t hesitate to contact the College Board’s Student Search Service( if you have additional questions or concerns.