Scholastic Aptitude Test: What it's all About!

The first SAT test was administered in 1901 and since that time, names and the test have changed and evolved. Even recently, the former name: Scholastic aptitude test has been changed to the SAT reasoning test; however, most people still refer to it as the former. Yet, one thing time hasn't changed, is the important weight this standardized scholastic test plays in college admissions.

About the Test and Scoring

High school students around the country begin preparing for the SAT exam in advance, and sometimes take the test several times, to improve scores. Continuous new tests are published by College Board and exams are administered seven times each year at testing locations throughout the country. Does the test reflect a students' true scholastic aptitude? The question is worthy of debate. However, this SAT test is designed to evaluate pre-college students' ability in areas such as math and science, critical reading and writing. A perfect SAT score is 2400, and scoring in sections is broken down as follows:

  • Writing - 200 to 800 points
  • Math - 200 to 800 points
  • Critical reading - 200 to 800 points

For scoring purposes, if you score above 2,100 points, you'll be in the 90th percentile: a good score for getting accepted into one of the top colleges. What is an average score: around 1538.

How to Improve your SAT Score

There are a number of ways students can work to improve their SAT scores beginning with preparation. A lot of preparation classes are available to students both online (cost around $100 or less) or in a class. Though a class such as Princeton Review, Sylvan, or Kaplan can cost around $900, many past test takers swear by the programs after improving scores. Also, there are a number of very good SAT books and study guides to choose from which include: practice tests and questions, and strategies for around $20. Of course, there's no substitute for doing well in classes and being a reader helps. Tip: SAT diagnostic tests are an excellent way to evaluate test takers strengths and weaknesses. Take an SAT diagnostic test, either free, (call Kimberly Carr at Sylvan: (800)485 -1087 X 4169 for a full length free diagnostic exam) or see what the different SAT preparation programs offer.

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