The SAT is the scholastic aptitude test. When diving into the world of college you will start hearing things about the SAT and the ACT. These two tests have many differences but overall are testing you on college readiness. It is important to do the research and see which colleges you are interested in require what test.
It is a good idea to take both just in case because you never know what you may need it for or how it can help you. If you do very well on one and average on the other this can actually help you depending on what the school requires.
Practice SAT and ACT is also usually offered at both high schools so this can give you a great look into what each test is actually like to take. This can also help you gauge what you might actually get on these tests which can help you determine what colleges you should apply for and what colleges you will most likely be able to get into. If you are an Ohio resident looking to go to a university out of state, you should really consider taking the SAT.
Don’t underestimate the power of these tests. Your GPA, involvement, and essays are huge factors when it dimes to applications, but your test scores can simply be cut off points for the college or university. This means that some colleges won’t accept you because of your test scores regardless of your other information.
Now, most colleges only require low scores to actually get in, but higher academic schools and scholarships definitely require higher scores on these tests. Here is some information on what exactly the SAT is when you need to use it and some tips and tricks about the test as well.
What is the SAT: Overview
It is most commonly used as a college readiness assessment at many universities just as the ACT is. It is very important to research or contact the individual universities you are applying for in order to see if you will need to complete this test in order to receive your acceptance.
This test is completed on paper and is only a source of undergraduate college admission. It is not used for any type of graduate admission or beyond. This test is a total of three hours or if you decide to take the test with writing it will be a total of three hours and fifty minutes.
This test is graded on a scale of 200-800 on each section meaning the entirety is graded on a scale of 400-1600. On this scale 400 is the lowest score that you can receive and 1600 is the highest score that you can receive. Receiving a score between 1500 and 1600 would put you in the ninety-ninth percentile meaning that you are in the top possible percentile of everyone who took the SAT.
A score of 993 would put you in the fiftieth percentile and a score of 813 would put you in the twentieth percentile. These percentiles are based on the SAT scores from the previous year, but they tend to stay similar give or take a few points.
There are three different sections to the SAT which are reading, math, and writing. Every question on this test except for a few math problems with a grid set up are going to multiple-choice with four answer options.
What is the SAT: Math
The math sections take up the third and fourth sections of the overall SAT. The math that is covered on this test includes algebra, problem-solving and data analysis, expressions, and polynomials (advanced math), and a few additional topics.
There are nineteen questions over algebra, seventeen over problem-solving and data analysis, sixteen over expressions and polynomials (advanced math) and six over additional topics.
There are two math sections where one is with your calculator and the other is not. The no calculator aspect of the test is made up of fifteen multiple-choice questions with five grid-in questions. You will have twenty-five minutes to complete this section.
The calculator section is made up of thirty multiple-choice questions with eight grid-in questions. You will have fifty-five minutes to complete this section. This means that the entirety of the math portion of the test is eight minutes. And fifty-five questions.
This means that you are expected to be able to solve these math problems at a very quick pace. Make sure when you are preparing and studying you remember that you will need to work on solving math problems quickly.
If you get really stuck on one problem your best option is to move on and save it for the end. You would rather not have time to figure out one or two problems than not finish the last ten questions because you were taking too long on a question that you were simply just stuck on. Be smart and pace yourself.
What is the SAT: Reading
For the reading section of the SAT, you are given a total of sixty-five minutes to answer fifty-two questions. All of these questions will be multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. There will be a total of five passages for you to read and answer questions about. There will be four single passages and one set of passages that will actually be paired.
Normally each passage is about 500-700 words so make sure that you are prepared and focused enough to make it through all the passages while still giving your full focus and trying your best. There will be one passage about the U.S. and world Literature with ten questions, two passages about History/Social Studies with ten to eleven questions each, and two passages about science with ten to eleven questions each.
Of the types of passages above, any that say they have two passages can also have one passage and one paired passage it changes year to year. The main focus of the questions in this section is information and ideas, rhetoric, summarizing, and synthesis.
What is the SAT: Writing and Language
This section of the SAT has forty-four multiple-choice questions to be answered over a time span of thirty-five minutes. All of these multiple-choice questions have four answer choices as well. Each passage has a total of eleven questions and there will be a total of four passages.
These passages will usually range from about 400 to 500 words so be prepared and focused enough to also get through all of these passages successfully while still at your best. These passages will be about nonfiction, science, history, humanities, and careers.
There will also be data and graphs that go along with certain passages. You will be asked questions over these graphs and data as well. A lot of questions in this section will ask you to choose the best alternative for an underlined portion of a passage. This is testing you on grammar, spelling, organization, development, usage, and style.
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You are basically acting like you are proofreading and when a question comes up you want to pick what would be the best possible answer and what fit h rules of the English language. There are usually a lot of questions concerning who and whom as well so make sure to go over the differences and when those two words are used.
How Many Times Can You Take the SAT?
Technically you are able to take the SAT as many times as you want. No matter how many times you take it you will still have to pay the fee each time though. However, only the last six scores will be able o be viewed by colleges on the college board website.
Because of this most teachers and professionals recommend that to look your best for the colleges you are applying to, you should not take the test more than four times. This does not mean that you have to take it four times, honestly, this doesn’t mean you have to take it more than once. Once you are happy with your score, you do not need to take it again. Try your best each time you take it and attempt not to take it more than four times.
Overall the SAT is a major part of the college and scholarship application process. It can seem overwhelming and scary, but if you start thinking about it as an underclassman in high school and work hard to prepare yourself, you should do just fine.
Don’t stress yourself to about it too much though because there are many other aspects to your application. This score is only super important if you are looking into very academically competitive schools or you are in need of receiving a lot of scholarships.
Focus on your weakest subject the most so that it doesn’t bring your overall score down in the end. This is a very important tip to remember because it can really help you in the long run. All that you can do in the end is to try your best.
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