The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States.
The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are a suite of tools designed to assess your academic readiness for college. The SAT is the most widely used college admission test while SAT Subject Tests complements or enhance the college admission credentials for applicants. The SAT Subject Tests offer you an additional opportunity to show colleges what you know and what you know you can do.
The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing, and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their senior year of high school, and many colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.
But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions. High school grades are also very important. In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.
What does the SAT test?
The SAT does not test logic or abstract reasoning. It tests the skills you are learning in school: reading, writing, and math. Your knowledge and skills in these subjects are important for success in college and throughout your life.
The critical 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 mathematics section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability
How to prepare for the SAT?
The best way to get ready for the SAT is to take courses, study hard, and read and write in and outside of the classroom.
Though short-term prep cannot substitute for hard work in school, but it is certainly a good idea for you to become familiar and comfortable with the test format and question types.
What is important in College Admission?
The SAT is just one factor among many that colleges use to get to know you better. It is best to keep the test in perspective and understand that it is only part of a comprehensive admission process that also recognizes other factors, like extracurricular activities and personal recommendations. Every college and university uses a different combination of criteria for admission.
SAT Subject Tests
Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas where you excel. These are the only national admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your achievements and interests.
SAT Subject Tests allow you to differentiate yourself in the college admission process or send a strong message regarding your readiness to study specific majors or programs in college. In conjunction with your other admission credentials (your high school record, SAT scores, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a complete picture of your academic background and interests.
Some colleges also use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or receive credit for introductory-level courses.
There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics, and science:
- English: Literature
- History:U.S.History, World History
- Mathematics: Math Level 1, Math Level 2
- Science: Biology/EM, Chemistry, Physics
Languages: French, French with Listening, German, German with Listening, Spanish, Spanish with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Chinese with Listening, Japanese with Listening, Korean with Listening.
Note: The SAT II (SAT ii/SAT 2) as it’s commonly referred to, is any one of the 20 different SAT Subject Tests. There is no single SAT II test.
Should you take an SAT Subject Test?
The SAT Subject Tests offer you an additional opportunity to show colleges what you know and what you know you can do.
Many colleges use the SAT Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Some colleges specify the SAT Subject Tests that they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.
Understanding Your Scores (min. 600, max 2400)
For the three SAT sections (Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics), the score for each section ranges from a min. of 200 to a max. of 800, your SAT score can range anywhere from a 600 on the very lowest end, to a 2400 on the very highest.
The average overall score (50th percentile) in the United States for 2012 was a 1498:
- Critical Reading: 496
- Math: 514
- Writing: 488
If you want to get into one of the top-ranking schools in the U.S., you’ll need to score around the 90th percentile, which would mean a score of 2100 or above. Remember, many universities also look at things like your extracurricular activities, GPA, and school involvement.
Students who take the test multiple times can actually choose which scores are reported to the universities with an option called Score Choice, so they’ll have the ability to ‘drop’ the scores that weren’t that good. And retaking the SAT gives you a chance to improve your SAT score quite a bit since you’ll learn from your mistakes.
Source: College Board, https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat