Basic Information on the SAT
The SAT is a paper-based standardized examination taken mostly by high school juniors and seniors who are about to apply to a junior college, college or university. It is administered by the College Board Corporation and is developed, scored and published by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The SAT has two types, SAT I (or SAT Reasoning Test) and SAT II (or SAT Subject Tests).
The SAT Reasoning Test is administered for about four hours and costs around 43 dollars, not including the late fees. After its introduction in 1901, the SAT scoring and name has been replaced a number of times. It was renamed as SAT Reasoning Test in 2005 with possible scores ranging from 600 to 2400. It has three major sections namely, Mathematics, Critical Reading and Writing. Each of this section receives a score scaling from 200-800. These three major sections are divided further into three subsections each making the SAT Reasoning Test a ten section examination, including the additional 25-minute experimental section.
Basically, SAT I evaluates the general knowledge of the examiner which he or she acquired over her education years. It is not a test of how much a student knows but generally evaluates the students ability to analyze information and test-taking skills.
On the other hand, SAT II or SAT Subject Test focuses on certain subjects like Physics, Chemistry, History and others. It evaluates a students knowledge on such particular subjects and scoring well on this test would very well mean that a student is academically competent. Also, having a high score in this exam could earn the student an advance placement in some schools.
Questions on the SAT are mostly multiple choices, all of which have five answer choices. In each section (of the same type), the questions are ordered generally by difficulty. However, an exception exists, some questions are organized chronologically, rather than by difficulty. Moreover, in one of the math sub-sections, ten of the questions are not multiple choices. Instead, these questions require the examiner to look for a number in a four column grid.
The questions are also equally weighted. A raw point is added for every correct answer meanwhile, one-fourth of a point is deducted for every incorrect answer. However, for incorrect answers in a math grid-in question, no deduction in the points is done. Final scores of the examiners are then derived from the raw score but the precise conversion chart differs among test administrations.
In the United States, SAT is offered seven times in one year. It is offered in the months of October, November, December, January, March (or April), May and June. During the months of November, December, May and June, the examination is usually offered on the first Saturday. Other countries also have the same exam dates as in the United States except for the first spring date like March or April, which is not offered.
Students who wish to take the SAT may either take the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Test. They can register online at the College Board website, by mail or by telephone. They should register at least 3 weeks before the test date. After they have taken the SAT, students receive their online score report within three weeks after the test administration or six weeks after for mailed, paper scores.