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SAT Prep Guide

Everything you need to know to understand the test, master the problems, and improve your score.

SAT Prep Guide

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Subscribe to Peterson's to get this and all of our test prep including:


What is the SAT?

The SAT is an exam to gauge a student’s academic college readiness. Most colleges and universities require the SAT or other standardized tests as part of the application process to benchmark students. Isn’t that what grades are for, you ask? Yes, however, high school curriculum varies from state to state, and that doesn’t even include independent and parochial schools which are exempt from federal and state standards.

What's on the SAT?

The SAT is comprised of two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading. It also offers an optional Essay section. Some colleges require an ACT essay, so make sure check with the colleges you’re applying to.

What does my SAT score mean?

You’ve heard of the elusive 1600, a perfect score. That 1600 is comprised of your Math and Reading section scores (up to 800). The optional essay is scored separately.

Should I prep for the SAT? How much?

The SAT is 3 hours long, almost 4 hours if you take the essay section. With anything of that magnitude, a little practice is in order. Plus, a higher score makes you a more competitive applicant for both colleges and scholarships. While everyone is different, Peterson’s recommends at least six weeks of preparation for test day, longer if you are looking for a substantial score increase.

How do I register for the SAT?

SAT registration deadlines fall approximately five weeks before each test date. Register online on the College Board website. The College Board may require SAT registration by mail under special circumstances.
Why Petersons?

Peterson's - Improving Scores Since 1966

Why Peterson’s? Peterson’s is the world’s leading educational services company dedicated to furthering education after high school and beyond. From culinary school to medical school—and everything in-between–Peterson’s helps you discover, prepare for, and fund your education. Every year over 500,000 students use Peterson’s books, practice tests, and learning tools to ace their exams. We are also exceptionally proud to be the official test prep provider of the DSST which provides college credit by exam for our men and women in uniform across the globe.


Don’t take our word for it—listen to what our customers have to say about our products:
"It walks students through important content in preparation of the exam. I've bought multiple copies for the teenagers in my life who are taking the exam in the near future."


"This is the best SAT prep book ever! If you need a good SAT prep book that would guide you to reaching a high score, definitely choose this book!"




With digital and print prep guides for over 150 exams and tests, there’s nowhere you can’t go with Peterson’s by your side. Trusted since 1966 by institutions far and wide.

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