1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Taking the SAT

The Basics

By

Three Students Taking a Test
Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images
About the SAT

If you plan on attending college in the U.S., you need to take the SAT. The SAT is designed to measure a student’s math reasoning and skills. Every test contains three verbal sections, three math sections, and one equating section that may be either verbal or math.

SAT Questions

Some questions on the test are multiple choice and some are not.

The math portion consists of three sections and covers estimations and probabilities, along with all aspects of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. One section has thirty-five questions, each with five answers to choose from. Another section has fifteen questions, each with four answers to choose from. There is also a math section that contains ten questions and no multiple choice answers.

The verbal portion of the SAT contains three sections, which measure your reading and reasoning skills. One section contains forty critical reading passages, one section contains nineteen analogy questions, and one section contains nineteen sentence completion questions.

The equating section of the SAT does not account for any part of your score. This section was devised to compare the old SAT test to the new and to test new types of questions.

SAT Time Limit

The SAT is a timed test. You only have three hours to complete all seven sections. The following list will tell you how long you have to complete each portion:

Math: 75 minutes
Verbal: 75 minutes
Equating: 30 minutes

SAT Scoring

SAT scores range from 200 to 800 points in each section of the SAT. A perfect score is 1600 points. Approximately 1,000,000 students take the SAT each year. On average, only 20 of them get a perfect score.

SAT Test Dates

Test dates are offered in October, November, December, January, April, May, and June. You must be registered to take the SAT. To learn more about registering for the SAT, click here.To register online, go to http://www.collegeboard.com.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.