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Of the many tests that high schoolers take, the SAT is one of them. This test will be essential for your college application. If you have any questions regarding the SAT, they will be addressed in the following article.
SAT is a test that is used by most colleges to decide on admissions. They use the data collected from it to compare the applicants. Make note that they will not just be reviewing your SAT score. They will also be checking your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letter of recommendation from teacher/mentor, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. The importance of the SAT score in a college application varies from college to college, in general, the higher you score, the more options of colleges are available to you.
In the United States, the SAT occurs 7 times a year: March, May, June, August, October, November, and December. You may take the test any time starting from the freshmen year though, the majority of the students take it the first time in the spring of the junior year. That way, they will have more time to prepare as opposed to taking it in the freshmen year and have the opportunity to retake the test in the fall of senior year if they choose to. To register online for the test you can go to the College Board website. If you need to do a paper registration you can ask your school counselor for a copy of the Student Registration Booklet for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. In the booklet, there is also a form you can also use if you want to register by mail.
When registering, first check the SAT dates for the school year. There is a registration deadline for each SAT date and an additional fee for late registration. It’s best to sign up as soon as you know when you want to take the test or else there might not be any open spots in the testing center near you. You should also keep in mind your schedule when registering so it doesn’t clash with other plans, such as another test you have, and be able to allow yourself to breathe.

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The SAT location is usually high school, college, and universities in various cities throughout the US. Typically internationally the test is also administered through school. Not all testing centers offer the test for every date so make sure that the testing center you choose includes the date you want. You can use the college board to find SAT testing centers (Find SAT Test Centers | College Board). Students that live more than 75 miles from the closest testing center are permitted to request the college board to try and open a new testing site closer to them. This 2 accommodation is available outside of the US however not in India or Pakistan. For the people taking the test outside of the US, this accommodation is only available from November to March and is not available for the people that register for the test late, in the US or abroad.
The SAT is a 3 hours long test. It examines the student’s college readiness by testing their mathematical, critical reading, and writing skills. There will be a total of 154 multiple-choice questions. There are 3 sections in total. The reading section consists of 52 multiple choice questions with 5 varying passages related to the question. The question can ask you anything from why the author decided to include a certain detail, finding the main idea to pinpointing information on a graph. The writing and language portion of the test has 44 multiple choice questions and will ask questions relating to grammar, editing skills, and vocabulary in context, basically what a word means in the context of the sentence. Essentially this portion of the test asks you to become an editor to find mistakes and revise them. Finally, there is the math proportion of the test that will contain 58 multiple-choice questions. It will be broken up into 2 sections. 20 multiple with no calculator allowed and 38 multiple questions with calculator allowed. You will be tested on algebra 1 and 2, geometry, some trigonometry, arithmetic, probability, and data analysis. The 20 questions that don’t allow the use of a calculator will have 15 multiple choice questions with 5 grid-in questions while the 38 multiple choice questions that allow a calculator will have 30 multiple choice questions with 8 grid-in questions.
Generally speaking, any SAT score above the 50th percentile is a decent score since that means you score higher than at least half of the test takers, but this won’t do for the selective colleges. Typically, it is better to aim for the 75th percentile since the standard of a good score can increase depending on the pool of applicants. The average score for math is 528 and the average score for EBRW (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) is 523. The average SAT composite score is 1051. Your SAT score will range from 400 – 1600 and both the math and EBRW section will use a scale of 200 – 800. For the math and EBRW section, it is best to aim for at least a 600 that way you will get above average for both sections and add up to a score of 1200. To raise the chance of getting admitted try to aim for the SAT score that is around the typical admitted applicant. For example, let’s say that the average first-year admitted got 1300, you should also try to get at least 1300. The 50% range is between the 25th and 75th percentile. Your goal is to get around the 75th percentile. Many of the colleges post the SAT stats on their website so you can either look there or look for a first-year class profile. The exact score to aim for depends on the school you are trying to get into. The more competitive school usually prefers scores in the 1400 – 1500 + range.
The more competitive the school is, the higher the SAT score needs to be to usually get accepted. Some examples of competitive schools are Havard, Stanford, and Yale. The average composite score for Stanford SAT is 1505. The 25th percentile SAT score is 1440 and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1550, meaning if you get 1440 you are put below average if you are basing off of the Stanford SAT score, and you are put above average if you got 1550. The SAT Math score from 25th percentile to 75th percentile is 740 – 800 and the SAT EBRW score from 25th percentile to the 75th percentile is 700 – 770. There isn’t an absolute SAT requirement for Stanford, but they want to see at least 1440 to have a chance of being considered. Next is Yale, which has an SAT Math range of 740 – 790 and SAT EBRW of 720 – 770. Harvard SAT range is from 1460 – 1570 with SAT EBRW range of 25th percentile of 710 and SAT Math 25th percentile of 750. The SAT composite 25th is 1460. Typically Harvard prefers the applicants to be in the top 2 percent of SAT takers. They consistently take the SAT composite score down to 1460 and it is estimated that some students could be accepted into Harvard with a score as low as 1400.
The SAT score is based on a 1600 point scale. Each section will have an individual score which will be based on a scale of 200 – 800. The total SAT score will be the sum of those section scores.


To summarize, the SAT is a vital part of the college application which decides the college you will be enrolled in. Each college will have different standards on how high one must score to get admitted. You will be tested on your knowledge of math, reading, and writing skills. Overall the more competitive a school is, the higher you have to score. Lastly, to whoever is reading this, good luck, and hope this article will be of use to you.


SAT Math 25th to 75th SAT EBRW 25th to 75th
750 – 800 710 – 770
740 – 790 720 – 770
740 – 800 700 – 770
730 – 800 710 – 770
720 – 800 680 – 760
Columbia University
740 – 800 710 – 760
University of Pennsylvania
740 – 800 700 – 760
Duke University
740 – 800 710 – 770
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
780 – 800 720 -770
New York University
690 – 790 660 – 740


  • You can opt in to the College Board Student Search Service. It is free. If you opt in you have to answer questions, such as GPA. Colleges and scholarships can then use this to search for students (and send information about their program).
  • There are waivers for the fee for low income 11th and 12th graders.


When Should You Take the SAT or ACT? | The Princeton Review 

How To Register for the SAT | The Princeton Review 

SAT Sections | The Princeton Review 

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What Yale Looks For | Yale College Undergraduate Admissions 

Harvard University – Admission Requirements, SAT, ACT, GPA and chance of acceptance (collegesimply.com) 

What Is a Good SAT Score? | BestColleges 

What is the SAT? | The Princeton Review 

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