Top SAT FAQs

  • 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.