The SAT ( Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Introduced in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT, Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now, simply the SAT.
- Paper-based standardized test
Developer / administrator
- College Board, Educational Testing Service.
Knowledge / skills tested
- Writing, critical reading, mathematics.
- Admission to undergraduate programs of universities or colleges.
- 3 to 4 hours
Score / grade range
- 200–800 (in 10-point increments) on each of two sections (total 400–1600).
- Essay scored on scale of 2–8, in 1-point increments.
- Seven times annually
Countries / regions
Annual number of test takers
- Over 1.71 million high school graduates in the class of 2017
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria
- No official prerequisite. Intended for high school students. Fluency in English assumed.
- US$52.50 to US$101.50, depending on country.
Scores / grades used by
- Most universities and colleges offering undergraduate programs in the U.S.
The SAT is owned, developed, and published by the College Board, a private, non-profit organization in the United States. It is administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service, which until recently developed the SAT as well. The test is intended to assess students’ readiness for college.
The SAT was originally designed to not be aligned with high school curricula, but several adjustments were made for the version of the SAT introduced in 2016, and College Board president, David Coleman, has said that he also wanted to make the test reflect more closely what students learned in high school.
On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The current SAT, introduced in 2016, takes three hours to finish, plus 50 minutes for the SAT with essay, and as of 2017 costs US$45 (US$57 with the optional essay), excluding late fees, with additional processing fees if the SAT is taken outside the United States.
Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing. Taking the SAT, or its competitor, the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many, but not all, colleges and universities in the United States. Starting with the 2015–16 school year, the College Board also announced it would team up with Khan Academy, a free, online education site to provide SAT prep, free of charge.