The SAT, also known as the SAT Reasoning Test, is used in the application process to colleges and universities in the United States. The test measures critical thinking skills as well as the ability to analyze and solve problems, and is often thought of as a measure of future college success. The SAT is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at various locations across the country, and it is developed, published, and scored by the College Board.
The SAT is given seven times a year in the United States. Specific test dates and test locations can be found online on the College Board’s website. There are two ways to register for the SAT, online or by mail. Online registration is completed on the website of the College Board. In order to register by mail, one needs a copy of the SAT Registration Booklet. This booklet can be obtained from a high school counselor, and it contains the registration form and envelope, as well as registration instructions. All fees must be paid when registering, whether online or by mail, and fee information can be found online or in the SAT Registration Booklet.
The SAT consists of four sections; critical reading, mathematics, writing, and a variable or equating section. The essay part of the writing section is always first on the test, and a multiple choice part of the writing section is always last on the test. The other sections can vary in their test placement. The critical reading section of the SAT consists of two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section. All of the test items in this section are multiple choice questions that pertain to vocabulary and either short reading or long reading passages. These questions test reading comprehension, sentence completion, sentence level reading, and paragraph length critical reading. The mathematics section of the SAT consists of two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section. The test questions in this section are either multiple choice or student produced response (grid-in) questions. Subjects tested in this section include number and operations, algebra and functions, geometry, statistics, probability, and data analysis.
The writing section of the SAT contains a 25 minute and a ten minute multiple choice section and a 25 minute essay section. The multiple choice questions test grammar, usage, and word choice through improving sentences, paragraphs, and the identification of sentence errors. The essay question deals with the development of a point of view on an issue. The variable or equating section of the SAT is an unscored section of the test, and it is used to aid in the development of future SAT questions and to compare the difficulty levels of different test versions. The variable section can be either a critical reading, mathematics, or writing section, and test takers are given 25 minutes to complete the section.
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