What You Should Know About the SAT

The SAT is the most widely used admissions test for undergraduate students applying to US colleges and universities.  SAT scores are often used in obtaining scholarships as well.

This test is given to determine student’s aptitude in:

  • Critical Reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Writing

Taking the SAT:

  • The Reading section contains reading comprehension questions and sentence completions.
  • The Writing section contains multiple choice questions and short essays.
  • The Mathematics section contains problems from algebra, geometry, statistics, probablities, and general mathematical operations.
  • Total test time is 3.75 hours (including short breaks.)
  • It is offered 7 times each year in the US (October, November, December, January, March, May and June), and 6 times internationally (October, November, December, January, May and June.)
  • Students of all ages and grade levels are eligible to take the SAT exam, though most choose to do so during the spring term of their Junior year and/or the fall term of their Senior year.
  • Exams may also be taken multiple times if a student is not satisfied with their score.

SAT Subject Tests:

  • Students may choose to take additional hour-long tests in particular subject areas to showcase particular areas in which they excel.
  • There are 20 different Subject Tests from which to choose, representing particular subjects within Math, Science, History, Language, or English.
  • Subject Tests are offered 6 times per year in October, November, December, January, May, and June.  Subject tests may NOT be taken on the same date as a student takes the SAT, but students may take up to 3 Subject tests on any given date.


  • Each SAT exam costs $52.50 (USD).  For students taking the SAT outside of the US, international fees will apply ranging from $33-$42, depending on home country.  See fee charts: https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/intl-services-fees
  • Fees include testing, and reports to the student, the student’s high school, and up to 4 colleges of the student’s choice (note: student must name these colleges and their codes during the registration process.)
  • Subject Tests cost $26 (basic fee) plus $16 per subject test selected, except for Language tests that include a listening section, which cost $26 per exam.


Create an account and register at: https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-international-dates


  • As with any exam, it is best to prepare as fully as possible to achieve the highest score.
  • SAT scores are a key factor in admission to US colleges and universities.


  • PlanetGPA offers guidance in registering for the SAT, as well as test prep, tutoring, sample questions, and practice tests.
  • There are also student links available at the SAT website: https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/



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