The SAT consists of multiple-choice questions and an essay that measure the skills you've developed in school and your ability to apply those skills. SAT scores help universities make informed admission decisions by providing one indicator of your academic readiness to do university-level work. SAT scores also help students determine the universities where they are most likely to be successful. Though the SAT provides an international benchmark to compare students across the world, you should remember that the SAT is just one of many factors that universities consider when making admission decisions.
SAT Subject Tests are offered in a variety of subject areas including English, mathematics, science, languages, and history. Many universities either require or recommend SAT Subject Tests for admissions, achievement, or placement purposes. Even if a university does not require SAT Subject Tests, they can help students stand out in the admission process and demonstrate readiness for specific majors or programs in college.
When considering Subject Tests, you should particularly consider subject areas that you like or in which you excel.
What Does the SAT Test?
The SAT consists of three sections: critical reading, mathematics, and writing. Each section is scored on a scale of 200-800.
The Critical Reading Section tests your ability to understand university-level passages written in English. The questions in this section will ask you to complete sentences with the appropriate word or words, or to answer questions that show your comprehension of short and long reading passages.
The Mathematics Section assesses how well you analyze and solve problems – skills you learned in school that you'll need at university. It includes questions that ask you to work with algebraic formulae, linear functions, exponential growth and manipulations with exponents, properties of tangent lines, absolute value, functional notation, geometric figures, probability, and to analyze data.
The Writing Section includes multiple-choice questions to test how well you use standard written English. You will also be required to write a brief essay.
How Should You Get Ready for the SAT?
The best way to get ready for the SAT is to participate actively in your own education. Take challenging classes, read as much as you can in and out of school, and practice your writing.
It is a good idea for you to familiarize yourself with the SAT so you know what to expect on test day. Sample SAT questions, a full-length practice test, and many other resources are available for free online at http://sat.collegeboard.com/practice.
If you want more practice, you can also purchase a subscription to The Official SAT Online Course™ or purchase a copy of the College Board's best-selling The Official SAT Study Guide™.
How Long is the SAT?
The test is three hours and forty-five minutes long. Accounting for breaks, check-in time, and pre-administration activities, you should plan to be at the test center for approximately five hours.
Where to Register
Online registration is the simplest and quickest way to register for the SAT. To register online, visit
http://sat.collegeboard.com. The remaining spring 2012 international test dates are May 5, and June 2.