A Guide to the SAT
If you want to walk into the SAT feeling confident and ready to succeed, preparation is key! To help you prepare for the big day, here is a guide to everything you need to know about the SAT.
How do I register for the SAT?
Visit the College Board website to register for the test. You’ll need to create a free online account. If you took an AP test or the PSAT, you may already have a College Board account. Register in advance to avoid late fees!
When should I take the SAT?
Plan to spend around 100 hours preparing for your first SAT, with enough time to take the test 2-4 times before submitting your college applications. Determine how much time you need to prepare for the test by working backward from your college application deadlines.
It’s also best to take the test after you’ve completed a majority of these classes:
- Algebra II
- Three years of science (one year of physical science)
Taking classes that cover concepts tested on the SAT can be very useful in preparing for the exam. Consider scheduling your SAT when you have a lighter course load. With seven test dates offered every school year, there are plenty of opportunities available.
How many times should I take the SAT?
Plan to take the test at least twice. To maximize your score, consider taking it 3-4 times. The SAT offers a feature called “score choice,” which allows you to pick and choose the scores sent to colleges. Some schools still require you to send all your scores, so do your best to make every attempt count. Other schools may want your “Superscore” – your best score in each section across test dates.
How much does the SAT cost?
SAT costs change from year to year, so visit their website for updated information on pricing. Check out the fee waiver requirements to see if you qualify.
What is on the SAT?
This section tests reading comprehension and your understanding of vocabulary within context.
In this section, you will read passages with intentional grammar errors. Your job is to fix them.
The math section assesses your basic arithmetic, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, probability, and statistics knowledge.
Although this section is optional, some colleges require it. Check the requirements of the schools you wish to attend. We recommend registering for the essay section just to be safe.
What is the SAT score range?
Scores range from 400-1600. The optional essay is scored on three different dimensions, and the scores range from 2-8.
How do I prepare?
Khan Academy offers FREE SAT prep resources. For the most up-to-date SAT information, please visit College Board.
Good luck! We’re rooting for you!