College Admissions 101: What You Need to Know About the SAT

November 20th, 2012 @   -  No Comments

As the school year moves along, high school students spend more and more time thinking and hearing about the SAT. This attention is a good thing, considering the important role that the SAT and other standardized tests have in the college admissions process. Many students and parents don’t realize that these standardized tests also play a huge role in determining the amount of financial aid that a student can qualify for—so there’s even more reason to take it seriously.

However, in many cases we have found that students hear so much about the SAT that it becomes “bigger and scarier” than it needs to be. So in an effort to help you put it in context, we’re going to spend some time today separating fact and fiction as we share the most important information that you need to know about the SAT.

First, let’s talk about what the SAT is. It’s a standardized test, published by a non-profit organization known as College Board, which many colleges and universities use during their admissions process.

Some believe that you “can’t study” for the SAT. And while it is true that you can’t simply memorize facts like you would for a history test, you can and should spend time preparing.

The SAT consists of three sections, each of which evaluates a different element of your education. The first is critical reading. Second is math. And third is the writing section. Each section of the test is worth 800 points—meaning that a perfect score would be 2400.

Well over 3 million students take the SAT each year—both in the United States and around the world. Each year, the SAT is offered 7 times. While the exact dates vary from year to year, current schedules are readily available online.

The SAT is a test—nothing more, nothing less. Granted, it’s an important test. But the fact that you can take it more than once means that, as long as you plan ahead, you don’t have to view it as “one shot” to get into a great school. Take your time preparing, and make sure you start early enough in your high school career that you can re-take the SAT if necessary. If you’d like to learn more about the SAT, or if you’d like help preparing, please get in touch with us today!

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