General SAT Information

The SAT is an admission test created by the College Board and accepted by all U.S. colleges and universities and aims to evaluate student's reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning abilities. High school juniors and seniors take this test as an integral part of the college admissions process.
Yes, it is an essential piece of the application process to gain admission to most American colleges and 4-year educational institutions.
Along with your SAT score, other pieces of the admission procedure include your GPA, academic transcript, personal essays, recommendations and information on extracurricular activities.

Your SAT score is very important as it is used to compare how good you are in relation to thousands of other applicants who apply for admission every year. The importance placed on the SAT scores varies from school to school.

Anyone can get a score from a SAT, but getting a score that is high enough to get you into your preferred school is another thing. If you want a competitive college application, you need high test score results. If you want high test scores, you need to take the right test for you.

Reading:52 questions – 65 minutes
Mathematics: 58 questions – 80 minutes
Writing & Language: 44 questions – 35 minutes
Total: 154 questions
Writing: 1 persuasive argument – 50 minutes
You should be at the test center by 07:45. The test will begin promptly at 08:00 after all examinees are present, checked in and seated.
The SAT is 3 hours (without essay) and 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay).
After the first two tests there will be a short break. If you are taking the SAT with writing, there will also be a short break before the writing test.

Aside from the differences listed in the table below, the tests are very similar now that the SAT has been redesigned. The main differences come down to timing and how you like to solve problems. The material tested is very similar. They both take 3-4 hours to complete, and getting a good score on either will get you past the admissions officer to the next part of the admissions process.

SAT Exam ACT Exam
4 answer choices 5 answer choices
Scores range from 200 – 800 per section Scores range from 1 – 36 per section
3 hours + 50 minute essay (optional) 2 hours 55 minutes + 40 minute essay (optional)

Subjects Covered

  • Reading
  • Writing & Language
  • Math
  • Writing section - Optional

No science section

Subjects Covered

  • Reading
  • English
  • Math
  • Writing section - Optional
  • Science
Places an emphasis on vocabulary. Science section rewards good reasoning skills, not specific science knowledge
Under the writing section (which is optional) you have the option to write your own argument / essay. Under the writing section (which is optional) you evaluate an argument that someone else has already written for you.
Has a “with calculator” and “without calculator” section. Can use a calculator on all its math problems.
More time per problem, so it’s a less intense testing experience. More time per problem, so it’s a more intense testing experience.

Based on the above information you should decide which test will give you the biggest advantage based on your own preferences and test taking style. Once you have done that, focus solely on that one test.

Because the New SAT lacks a science section and is less time intensive, it might seem like an easier option but this is not the case. Decisions need to be made on an individual basis based on your personal way of thinking and problem solving.

Visual thinkers who work well with and without a calculator may gravitate to the many charts, tables, and graphs on the SAT. Strong readers who work well under time pressure may do better with the dense reading passages on the ACT. You can do well on either test, but it is a good idea to explore both. Keeping your options open means less stress and more choices about which scores to send to colleges.

We believe in the adage of “Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail”. You need time to effectively prepare for this test so it can be a positive experience and not the horrendous test it is reported to be.


Create an account with the College Board by simply going to and register for the test and location online. From this account you may view your scores and score reports, make changes to your registration, print your admission ticket and receive updates about registration.
Log into your College Board online account to change your test date or location.
Log into your College Board online account and print it there. Remember to bring your Admission Ticket on test day as you will not be allowed into the testing center without it.
SAT registration deadlines fall approximately 4 weeks before each test date.
Yes. It is approximately 11 days before the test date.



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1. Printed SAT admission ticket
2. Photo ID Official, valid, original ID with photo containing your first and last names issued by a government institution or your school (The name on your admission ticket must match your ID.) Check the College Board website to see if your ID meets the criteria.

You do not want to be turned away on test day so it is incumbent on you to bring an acceptable form of ID.

1. Admission ticket
2. Photo ID
3. Pencils – Nº 2 soft lead (No mechanical pencils, pens or highlighters)
4. Watch so you keep track of time
5. Approved calculator
6. Food or drink for a break
Most graphing calculators and all scientific calculators are permitted (see College Board calculator use). Four-function calculators are not recommended. Check the website to see if your calculator is permitted. Remember, it is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.
No, you will not be provided with a calculator nor can you share a calculator. If you are unsure if your batteries are strong enough to last the test session, you are permitted to bring a spare calculator and extra batteries.


About 3 - 4 weeks after you sit the test you will receive an email to sign into your online score report when scores are ready.
The College Board will send you an email telling you the scores are available. Log in to check them there.
No, you can’t choose to send your Reading score from one test day and your Math score from another test day. Some colleges use superscoring, which means they consider your highest section scores across multiple test dates. You would need to check that with individual institutions.

Yes, you can do it either of two ways.

Option 1: At the Test Center
1. After the test, request a to Cancel Test Scores form from the test supervisor.
2. Complete and sign the form.
3. Return the form to the test supervisor before leaving the center.

Option 2: After You Leave the Test Center
You can fill in the "Request to Cancel Test Scores" form from the College Board site or use the link below, sign it and fax it to 610-290-8978. It must be received no later than 11.59 P.M. ET on the on the third business day following your test day.

Students with disabilities have until the Monday, one week after the test date to cancel their score.

Downloadable Request to Cancel Test Scores form:

  • Name, address, sex, birth date and registration number
  • Name of test you are cancelling
  • Test date
  • Test center number
  • Signature (required or the cancellation will not be processed)
The College Board has something called Score Choice, which allows students to choose which of their scores are sent to the colleges and or universtiries of their choice. Scores from the entire SAT are sent. You will have to register with the College Board first. Be aware that some colleges and scholarship programs require you to send all your scores.
Yes you can; however, all your scores will be sent to the colleges you choose. You will still receive scores from all of your test dates.
Yes, as most colleges require your scores to be sent directly from the College Board, use your online account to ask them to be sent to the colleges of your choice. You can send up to four score reports to colleges every time you register for the SAT. After the test date you can also send four free score reports to colleges of your choice for up to nine days after the test. There is a fee after that.