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What is the SAT?

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge.  It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math -- subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms.  Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.

Taking the SAT is the first step in finding the right college for you -- the place where you can further develop your skills and pursue your passions.  But SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions.  High school grades are also very important.  In fact, the combination of high school grades and SAT scores is the best predictor of your academic success in college.


What does the SAT test?

The SAT doesn't test logic or abstract reasoning.  It tests the skills you're learning in school: reading, writing, and math.  Your knowledge and skills in these subjects are important for success in college and throughout your life.

  • The critical reading section includes reading passages and sentence completions.

  • The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage.

  • The mathematics section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability.

How can I do my best on the SAT?

The best way to get ready for the SAT is to take challenging courses, study hard, and read and write in and outside of the classroom.

Studies suggest that cramming and short-term prep can't substitute for hard work in school, but it's certainly a good idea for you to become familiar and comfortable with the test format and question types.  That's why the best SAT practice is the PSAT/NMSQT, which covers the same subjects under timed conditions.  Remember, a little practice goes a long way.


Is the SAT the most important factor in college admission?

The SAT is just one factor among many that colleges use to get to know you better.  It's best to keep the test in perspective and understand that it's only part of a comprehensive admission process that also recognizes other factors, like extracurricular activities and personal recommendations.

Every college and university uses a different combination of criteria for admission.  Feel free to reach out to the schools you're interested in to understand their unique admission policies.


Which SAT questions make it onto the exam?

Every SAT question goes through a very careful review process before making it into your exam booklet.  Each question that you see has been:

  • Reviewed by a team of experts, including math and English teachers, to make sure that it reflects what most college-bound students are learning in school.

  • Thoroughly tested to make sure that it is fair for students of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

  • Questions that don't make it through these steps will never show up on an actual exam.

How much does it cost to take the SAT?

SAT Reasoning Fees

Test Fee
SAT $46
SAT with Essay $60


SAT Subject Test Fees

Item Fee
Registration Fee

(This covers one test date, on which you can take one, two, or three Subject Tests)

Each SAT Subject Test

(Except Language Tests with Listening)

$21 additional per test
Language Tests with Listening

(Only available in November)

$26 additional per test


Additional Fees

Item More Information Fee
Register by phone Available only if you've registered previously. $15
Change fee For changing your test center or test date or changing between the SAT and SAT Subject Tests or vice versa. Does not apply to changing between the SAT and the SAT with Essay, but you pay the difference between the tests if adding the essay. $29
Late registration fee For registering after the regular deadline but before the late registration deadline. $29
Waitlist fee Charged only if you are admitted to the test center on test day. $49



What is a fee waiver?

Fee waivers cover more than just the testing fees. When you register for the SAT or SAT Subject Tests, the fee waiver will cover: 1) the registration fee, 2) four additional score reports, 3) Question-and-Answer Service or Student Answer Service, 4) up to four Request for Waiver of College Application Fee Forms, 5) coverage of the non-us regional fee, and 6) up to eight CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE fee waivers.


The College Board offers assistance to students for whom payment of SAT and SAT Subject Tests fees may be a barrier to testing and applying for college.


Refer to The SAT and SAT Subject Tests Fee Waiver Service Student Brochure 2017-2018 by visiting CollegeReadiness


Am I eligible for a fee waiver?

Students who submit a lunch ticket application and qualify for the FREE or REDUCED lunch program also qualify for two SAT fee waivers in 11th grade and 12th grade. If you think your family may qualify for SAT fee waivers, please see your counselor to determine if you are eligible to receive fee waivers. There is a limited amount. First come, first serve.

Take a look at the document listed below for SAT test dates.


2017-18 SAT Administration Dates & Deadlines
SAT Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Deadline for Changes
August 26, 2017 July 28, 2017

August 8, 2017 (for mailed registrations)

August 15, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)

August 15, 2017
October 7, 2017 September 8, 2017

September 19, 2017 (for mailed registrations)

September 27, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)

September 27, 2017
November 4, 2017 October 5, 2017

October 17, 2017 (for mailed registrations)

October 25, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)

October 25, 2017
December 2, 2017 November 2, 2017

November 14, 2017 (for mailed registrations)

November 21, 2017 (for registrations made online or by phone)

November 21, 2017
March 10, 2018 February 9, 2018

February 20, 2018 (for mailed registrations)

February 28, 2018 (for registrations made online or by phone)

February 28, 2018
May 5, 2018 April 6, 2018

April 17, 2018 (for mailed registrations)

April 25, 2018 (for registrations made online or by phone)

April 25, 2018
June 2, 2018 May 3, 2018

May 15, 2018 (for mailed registrations)

May 23, 2018 (for registrations made online or by phone)

May 23, 2018


Register online for the SAT by visiting CollegeReadiness