SAT

The two most commonly required undergraduate admission tests are the Redesigned SAT Test and the SAT Subject Tests. The Redesigned SAT Test measures the critical thinking skills you’ll need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems — skills you learned in school that you’ll need in college.

You may be asked to take two or more Subject Tests for admissions or placement purposes. There are a total of 20 subject tests covering English, foreign languages, mathematics, sciences, history, and social studies. Some colleges specify which subject tests you must take.

Redesigned SAT Test

The College Board made content, format, and scoring changes to the SAT in 2016. The redesigned SAT test prioritizes content that reflects the kind of reading and math students will encounter in college and their future work lives. It was first administered in the spring of 2016.

SAT Test Score Validity

The SAT test score is valid for 5 years.

  • What does the SAT measure?

    What does the SAT measure?

    The SAT measures the knowledge and skills that research shows are essential for college and career readiness and success. The assessment is composed of the following sections:

    Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: Includes a Reading Test and a Writing and Language Test. Each test is composed of multi-paragraph passages and multiple-choice questions. The Reading Test measures comprehension and reasoning skills and focuses on close reading of appropriately challenging passages in a wide array of subject areas. The Writing and Language Test assesses skills in revising and editing a range of texts in a variety of subject areas to improve expression of ideas and to correct errors in grammar, usage, and punctuation.

    Math: Includes multiple-choice and student-produced response questions based on the math that collegebound students typically learn during their first three years of high school.

    Essay (optional): Asks students to read and analyze an argument and write an effective response.

  • How is the SAT scored?

    How is the SAT scored?

    First, the student’s raw score is computed as the number of questions correctly answered. The scores included on score reports are based on raw scores. There’s no penalty for guessing, so nothing is deducted for incorrect answers or for unanswered questions.

    Next, the raw scores for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section are each converted to a scaled score of 200 to 800. This conversion process adjusts for slight differences in difficulty among versions of the test and provides a score that is equated, or consistent, across forms. This process ensures that no student receives an advantage or disadvantage from taking a particular form of the test on a particular day; a score of 400 on one test form is equivalent to a score of 400 on another test form.

    SAT total scores

    The total score shown in the report reflects the combination (addition) of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score (200–800) with the Math section score (200–800). The total score reported range for the SAT is 400–1600. The percentiles accompanying students’ scores have been derived from research studies. 

    SAT section scores

    Your students will receive two section scores, both in the range of 200–800:

    • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Math

    These scores reflect students’ overall performance in each section. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score is a combination of the Reading Test score and the Writing and Language Test score. The Math section score is derived from the Math Test score (including both the Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator portions).

    SAT test scores and cross-test scores

    In addition to the total and section scores, students will see three test scores in the range of 10–40, reflecting performance on the content covered in each of the tests:

    • Reading
    • Writing and Language
    • Math

    Students will also see two cross-test scores in the range of 10–40. These scores represent student performance on items across the three tests that were in the domains of either:

    • Analysis in History/Social Studies
    • Analysis in Science

    SAT subscores

    Finally, students receive subscores in the range of 1–15 that offer feedback on their performance in the following skill areas:

    • Command of Evidence
    • Words in Context
    • Expression of Ideas
    • Standard English Conventions
    • Heart of Algebra
    • Problem Solving and Data Analysis
    • Passport to Advanced Math

    SAT Essay scores

    Students who take the optional SAT Essay will receive three scores, each on a 2 to 8 scale:

    • Reading
    • Analysis
    • Writing

    The online score report shows the prompt that the student responded to, the student’s essay, and a link to the Essay Scoring Guide at sat.org/essay.

  • How to Register Online

    How to Register Online

    1. Sign in to your free College Board account.
    2. Provide your full, legal name and other identifying information. Make sure it’s the exact same name and information shown on your photo ID.
    3. Decide if you want to answer other questions about yourself. This takes time, but it’s worth it if you want colleges and scholarship organizations to find you. Learn why you should opt in to Student Search Service®.
    4. Decide whether to sign up for the SAT with Essay. See which colleges recommend or require it.
    5. Upload a photo that meets very specific photo requirements.
    6. Check out, and print your Admission Ticket.
  • International SAT Registration Test Fees

    International SAT Registration Test Fees

    See SAT registration fees and other charges for international test-takers in the table below.

    Test Fee
    SAT $45 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee of $38
    SAT with Essay $57 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee of $38

    Check Test Dates and Deadlines here.

  • SAT Practice Tests

    SAT Practice Tests

    Take a practice SAT on paper to simulate the test day experience. After you’ve finished, score your test using your phone and the free mobile app, Daily Practice for the New SAT, or print the resources that come with each test to score them by hand.

    Get free, personalized SAT practice from Khan Academy.

  • Resources

    Resources

    Simulate test day with an official practice test here. Then, score your test. The answers come with explanations so you can learn from your mistakes.

SAT Subject Tests

Registration

Online – Register the fast and easy way on College Board Online at sat.collegeboard.org/about-tests/sat-subject-tests.

SAT Test Score Validity

The SAT test score is valid for 5 years.

  • Purpose of the SAT Reasoning Test

    Purpose of the Subject Tests

    Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure students’ knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as their ability to apply that knowledge.

    Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects like English, history, mathematics, science, and language. The tests are independent of any particular textbook or method of instruction. The tests’ content evolves to reflect current trends in high school curricula, but the types of questions change little from year to year.

  • How Are the Scores Used?

    How Are the Scores Used?

    Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Used in combination with other background information (your high school record, scores from other tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a dependable measure of your academic achievement and are a good predictor of future performance.

    Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.

    Subject Test scores can help you demonstrate your achievements. Many colleges that don’t require Subject Tests will still look at your scores to learn more about your academic background.

  • Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas

    Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas:

    English
    Literature

    History and Social Studies
    U.S. History (formerly American History and Social Studies)
    World History

    Mathematics
    Math Level 1 (formerly Math IC)
    Math Level 2 (formerly Math IIC)

    Science
    Biology E/M
    Chemistry
    Physics

    Languages
    Chinese with Listening
    French
    French with Listening
    German
    German with Listening
    Spanish
    Spanish with Listening
    Modern Hebrew
    Italian
    Latin
    Japanese with Listening
    Korean with Listening

    All Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests. However, some of these tests have unique formats:

    • The Subject Test in Biology E/M contains a common core of 60 general-knowledge multiple-choice questions, followed by 20 multiple-choice questions that emphasize either ecological (Biology E) or molecular (Biology M) subject matter. After completing the core questions, test takers choose the section for which they feel most prepared.
    • The Subject Tests in Math (Level 1 and Level 2) have some questions that require the use of at least a scientific or graphing calculator. Mathematics Subject Tests are developed with the expectation that most students will use a graphing calculator. There are no plans to discontinue or change the content of the Subject Tests in Math Level 1 or Math Level 2.
    • The Subject Tests in Languages with Listening (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish) consist of a listening section and a reading section. Students taking these tests are required to bring an acceptable cassette player with earphones to the test center.
  • Which Subject Tests should you take?

    Which Subject Tests should you take?

    To find out which test(s) you should take, contact the colleges you are interested in attending to determine admissions requirements and deadlines. Most colleges require the SAT for admission and many other schools require both the SAT and Subject Tests for admission purposes or placement. Additionally, some colleges require specific Subject Tests while others allow you to choose which tests you take. It’s best to check directly with the college admissions offices.

    Many colleges that don’t require Subject Test scores will still review them since they can give a fuller picture of your academic background.

  • When should you take Subject Tests?

    When should you take Subject Tests?

    Most students take Subject Tests toward the end of their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year.

    Take tests such as World History, Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics as soon as possible after completing the course in the subject, while the material is still fresh in your mind. For foreign language tests, you’ll do better after at least two years of study.

  • Score Information

    Score Information

    Getting Your Scores

    SAT score reports are mailed about three weeks after the test. (Some scores may take longer to report.)

    Where Your Scores Go

    If you requested that your scores be sent to colleges or scholarship programs, a report will be sent to each of them within three weeks after the test date. If you listed your high school code number on the Registration Form, your high school will also receive a copy of your score report.

    Your Score Report

    Your score report displays all your scores. For your most recent scores, score ranges and percentiles are also given.

    Will Your Scores Change If You Take the Test Again?

    Subject Tests measure your knowledge of a particular subject. If you continue to study the subject and take the test again, your score should reflect your increased knowledge. If you take the test again without any additional preparation, your score may be higher or lower than it was on the previous test.

  • Want more advice and information?

    Want more advice and information?

    Go to sat.collegeboard.org/about-tests/sat-subject-tests.