The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a multiple-choice and grid-in test taken on paper with an optional essay section. It’s used across the globe to assess readiness for college, making it a good choice if you are looking for practice. Students 13 years of age and older can also use it to qualify for our Study of Exceptional Talent.
To learn more about registering for the SAT, visit the College Board website.
The SAT is split into three sections: reading, writing, and math. Please note that the optional essay section is not used for CTY qualification. The entire test takes around three hours with an additional 50 minutes for the optional essay.
This section is 65 minutes long and contains 52 questions that assess reading comprehension and understanding of meaning. These questions are multiple-choice analyses of written passages, asking you to interpret their arguments or intent.
This section is 30 minutes long and contains 44 questions that assess writing and editing skills. These questions are multiple-choice analyses of sentences and passages, asking you to correct errors and improve weak points.
This section is 80 minutes long and contains 58 questions that assess qualitative skills. These questions are multiple-choice and grid-in evaluations of algebraic equations, graphs, and real-world math problems. One half of this section includes the use of a calculator while the other does not.
Results from the SAT will include scores for each section on a range of 200–800 (with reading writing combined into one score) as well as a composite score for the whole test on a range of 400–1600.
If you’d like a sense of what to expect on the SAT, you can find resources on the College Board website. There are also many sample tests and practice guides available both online and in print.
- Don’t panic! Remember, this is a test designed for older students and you are not expected to know all the answers. If you feel stressed, take a moment to relax. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.
- If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to guess—there’s no penalty for wrong answers on the SAT. If you don’t have enough time to finish, use the last minute of each test section to fill in any remaining answers.
- If you have extra time, go back and check your answers. Trust your instincts, though—only change your answers if you are certain you got them wrong the first time.
- U.S. students: $52 USD; $68 USD with essay
- International students: Cost varies by country. Visit the College Board for more information.