Frequently Asked Questions About the SAT

The SAT Test is a crucial point in the NCAA eligibility process. Through productive study strategies and tutoring sessions, CKM prepares its clients for the challenges of balancing status as a student and as an NCAA hockey player.

1. How important is the SAT and how is it used?

Most colleges view the SAT as a crucial part of the admissions process. Your score will be used by schools to determine whether they feel you would succeed as a part of their organization. Doing well on the SAT can significantly increase your chances of acceptance at the school of your choice.

2. How many times should I take the SAT?

You can take the SAT as many times as you like. Some schools will average your scores, while others will simply accept your highest score. We recommend you contact schools directly to find out their particular policies.

3. Can I cancel my score?

Yes, you can. To do so, you must contact ETS within 5 days of taking the SAT.

4. Where can I get the registration forms?

Most high schools can provide you with the necessary SAT forms. Or you can visit College Board for more information.

5. Is the new SAT harder than the old one?

The new SAT is not necessarily harder, but it is different. The Quantitative Comparison portion of the SAT Math category and the Analogies section of the SAT Critical Reading category have been eliminated. A new SAT Writing category has been designed to better assess the Writing and Language Arts skills learned in today’s classroom.

6. How much time do I have to complete the SAT?

The SAT is a 3 hour and 45 minute exam.

7. Can I bring something to eat or drink during the test?

Due to security reasons, food and drink cannot be consumed within the room while the test is being administered, but it is highly advised that you bring some form of snack. During scheduled breaks, you will be allowed to eat snacks outside of the testing room. Eating something small will help you to focus and perform to the best of your abilities.

8. What do SAT scores look like?

The SAT Exam total score is a total of your scores in the three main categories: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. Each category is graded on a scale of 200 to 800. This means that you can get a possible score of 2400.

Your SAT Math and SAT Critical Reading scores are the equivalent of the SAT Math and SAT Verbal scores on the old version of the SAT. Colleges will compare the two for consistency in the admissions process. However, the SAT Writing score is completely new and does not have an equivalent with the old version.

9. What will I be asked to write about in the essay?

You will be asked to adopt a point of view and support that view with evidence and personal examples. You can answer the question well in many different ways, and you won’t need any prior knowledge of the subject to be able to answer successfully. You can visit Strategies for Success on the SAT Essay to learn more about ways to do your best on the SAT essay.

10. Will colleges see my essay? How will they use the new writing score?

The only way that a college will be able to access your essay is if you have provided them with an official score report.

Depending upon the college, your writing score may be used for admissions decisions, as well as to determine your placement in an English Composition or similar course. Given the newness of this category, however, some schools may use your SAT Writing score purely for research and not for admission or placement purposes.

11. What do the initials “SAT” mean?

At one time, the SAT was an acronym for the Scholastic Aptitude Test. In 1994, however, the test was renamed the SAT I: Reasoning Test. The names of the Achievement Tests were also changed to the SAT II: Subject Tests. In 2004, the names were again changed, and the roman numerals “I” and “II” were dropped. Today, the tests are known as the SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests. SAT is a recognized and easy way of referring to the SAT Reasoning Test.

12. Is it true that you get a 200 on the SAT just for signing your name?

In theory, if you were to sign your name and not complete any of the questions, you would receive a score of 200. This is because scores below 200 are not reported. However, if an SAT exam is received with no answers, it is considered an automatic request for cancellation and no scores will be reported.

13. Are some SAT tests more difficult than others?

Each version of the SAT is developed using the same testing specifications. Even in the event that a particular test was slightly harder, a statistical process called “equating” is used to ensure that an SAT score on one date taken at one place is the same as a score for a test taken on another date or in another place.

14. Are all SAT questions multiple-choice?

Most of the SAT is multiple-choice, except for the SAT Writing essay and ten student-produced SAT Math responses, which require you to fill in your own answers using a designated section of the answer sheet.

15. What is the difference between the SAT and the Subject Tests?

The SAT is designed to measure the critical thinking skills necessary to do well in college. It determines how well you analyze and solve problems. This is why SAT scores are used in college admissions, they determine the likelihood of your success in college. The Subject Tests focus on specific subjects, are primarily multiple-choice, and only take an hour to complete. Subject Tests are used to determine knowledge and skills in a particular area.

16. How many times can you take the SAT?

You can take the SAT as many times as you like. Your Score Report will show your current test results, as well as prior scores for up to six SAT and six Subject Tests.

17. What test should I take first, the SAT or the Subject Tests?

Usually, students take the SAT in the spring of their junior in high school and, if they choose, again in the fall of their senior year. Students that choose to take the Subject Tests often take them at the end of their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year. Since Subject Tests are directly related to specific subjects, it is a good idea to take a Subject Test as soon after completing its related high school course as possible. Doing this ensures that the material will still be fresh in your mind. For the SAT, however, you are more likely to do better after completing at least two years of high school.

18. Which tests should I take?

Contact the colleges you are interested in attending to find out their specific admissions requirements and deadlines. Most colleges require the SAT for admission, and many others require both the SAT and some Subject Tests for use in admissions and placement. By contacting the school directly, you can ensure that you take the correct exams.

19. What do my SAT scores tell college admission staff about me?

Your SAT score serves as an excellent tool to compare you to other students who took the test. The SAT is the best independent, standardized measure of your college preparedness. Because it is standardized, it provides an objective scale for comparison. Your high school grades are a good indicator also, but because of differences in the school systems throughout the country, there is a lot of variation in grading standards and course difficulty.

Also keep in mind that the SAT score is only one of many factors that colleges consider when making admissions decisions. Other factors, like your high school record, writing ability, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and interviews influence how you will be received by the school of your choice. Do not despair if your SAT score is not what you had hoped.

20. Can the SAT really show how well I ’ll do in my first year of college?

There is no way to accurately predict 100% of the time how well any given person will do in their first year of college. That is because a student’s success depends on many factors, including your own desire to excel.

However, the SAT does provide schools with another tool to estimate how students will do at their particular school. By looking at the SAT scores, high school GPAs and GPAs of its current freshman class, admissions staff may notice certain trends. For instance, a college may discover that students who scored between 850 and 1000 and had a B average in high school will be able to perform well at their school. By having this additional information, it makes it easier for colleges to make difficult admissions decisions.

21. Why does the SAT have the kinds of questions that it does?

The questions on the SAT were not developed to test only the knowledge you’ve accumulated during your years in school. Rather, the questions have been developed to also give an indication of your critical thinking skills, or your ability to reason your way through a problem. This means that you have to be able to demonstrate your ability to make assumptions, interpretations, and inferences based on the information that you are given.

22. Why don’t the questions on the SAT ask about the things I’m learning in my high school courses?

The SAT Reasoning Test was not developed to test your knowledge alone, but also to measure your critical thinking skills, which are essential to your success in college. Critical thinking is a skill that you develop over years of schooling, as well as in your own outside study and experiences. The SAT is designed to allow you to demonstrate this skill, regardless of what information you’ve received through your formal education.

23. Who comes up with questions on the SAT or Subject Tests?

Committees are formed to develop the course and are comprised of educators and subject-matter experts who determine the types of questions that are asked, as well as topics that should be covered. Test developers then write the questions, which are then submitted to another committee made up of high school and college teachers and administrators. This committee then reviews the questions and makes suggestions for improving them.

24. Why can’t I have more time to take the SAT?

A lot of effort has been made to ensure that students have enough time to attempt every question on the SAT. However, no matter the time allotted, some students would still be unable to complete the exam.

The amount of time allotted on the SAT follows recommendations made by studies that have found that the time limits are reasonable if all students taking the exam are able to answer 75% of the questions in each section and 80% are able to reach the last question.