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SAT


The SATs are standardized tests, formerly called the Scholastic Aptitude Tests and Scholastic Assessment Tests, frequently used by colleges and universities in the United States to aid in the selection of incoming freshmen. The SAT is administered by the private, non-profit College Board, and is developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Unlike many other countries' education systems, there are substantial differences in quality among U.S. secondary schools, both in regards to high schools in separate states and between high schools in the same state (see Education in the United States). The variability results largely from the American principle of federalism, whereby local jurisdictions have most of the control over school systems, and the tax system in the U.S., in which school districts are funded locally as well. Wealthier jurisdictions enjoy higher tax revenue, and as a result their public schools are better funded.


These differences make it difficult for universities to compare prospective students in an effort to identify and admit the most deserving and promising candidates. In the absence of centralized secondary education school exit exams (such as the French Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate, or British A-levels), there is a need in the U.S. for some sort of standardized tests. U.S. universities use tests such as the SAT and the ACT as a way of assessing students coming from schools using different class ranking or grading systems.

 


The tests are generally taken by high school students or graduates wishing to progress to higher education, though they are available to anyone. Test results of applicants are provided to colleges and universities identified by the student. Although admission criteria to these universities also includes GPA, teacher recommendations, and participation in extracurricular activities, some colleges have a threshold score that automatically qualifies or disqualifies a candidate for admission. Scores on the SAT are also sometimes used as a criterion for the awarding of many academic scholarships



Internationally, there is little widespread interest or knowledge of the SAT, because other countries usually have their own standardized tests. However, the SATs are available worldwide to interested students.



Graduates of schools outside of the United States seeking admission to U.S. colleges/universities are often expected to provide SAT (or ACT) scores. These students are often not informed of the availability of these tests, and most teachers outside of the U.S. (especially those in non-English speaking countries) are also not aware of this requirement. Usually, interested students must obtain information about the test on their own. Because the SAT has been well established for many years, some universities outside of the U.S. may also consider SAT scores in their admissions process as well, although they are rarely required.

Sections

#

Timing

Question Types

Scoring

Verbal

3

Two 30 minute sections and one 15-minute section

40 Critical Reading
19 Analogies
19 Sentence Completions

200-800

Math

3

Two 30-minute sections and one 15-minute section

35 Regular Math
15 Quantitative Comparisons
10 Grid-Ins

200-800

Experimental

1

One 30-minute section

Math or Verbal

Not Scored

Total

7

3 hours

138 scored questions

400-1400


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