About the SAT

SAT Prep classes

The SAT is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is accepted by every college in the U.S. Students are not required to submit scores for both tests when applying to colleges, although some students may want to. The test is offered seven times a year by the College Board, a private testing company. In addition to the seven nationwide test dates, some school districts administer the test on their high school campuses during a regular school day. Students should contact their counselor for more information about “on campus” test dates. Students may take the SAT as many times as they would like and can either have their scores automatically sent to colleges of their choice or submit only the scores they wish to have considered (see College Board’s website for more information about the Score Choice feature). Students must sign up for the SAT themselves online. Neither test prep companies nor school counselors can register students for the test.

There are three main sections on the test: Reading, Writing & Language, and Math (both with and without a calculator). The fourth section, the Essay, is optional, but required by some colleges. There are 800 possible points on the Math section. The Reading and Writing & Language sections are combined for a possible total of 800 points. The composite score (the main score colleges look at) is the sum of these two scores. If students opt to take the essay, it will be scored separately. (You can read about essay scoring here.) The SAT is three hours long. The optional essay comes at the end of the test and is an additional 50 minutes.


The SAT offers some special accommodations for students with disabilities. For information, please visit the College Board’s website or talk to your school counselor. Applications for accommodations must be submitted 4-6 weeks before the test date.

For more questions about the SAT, please visit our FAQ page!