The SAT: An Indispensable Tool for Advancing in Higher Education. SAT, which stands for Scholastic Assessment Test, is a widely recognized college entrance exam administered by the College Board. This standardized assessment represents an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate your academic strength and preparedness for the challenges of college life.

The SAT’s primary purpose is to help colleges assess your potential as a student. It provides a standardized measure for comparing applicants from all walks of life, making sure everyone gets a fair and equal chance. Moreover, here’s the key insight: achieving scores above the average threshold can significantly broaden your options among various esteemed colleges and universities, thereby heightening the likelihood of acceptance and even presenting opportunities to secure financial aid. Truly a win-win situation!

It’s your chance to shine, impress colleges, and secure a brighter future. Let’s go through the SAT guide so that we can help you ace the test and unlock the doors to your dreams!

When and Where Should I Take SAT?

Getting ready for the SAT is essential for college-bound students, and the College Board website holds the key to your test date and location. To set yourself up for success, it’s recommended to start preparing at least three months before the big day. Early preparation gives you the chance to experiment with various study techniques and become familiar with the test’s content.

Moreover, you’ll be glad to know that it’s offered seven times a year at various test centers across the United States and abroad. With over 500 locations across 160 countries, you have a wide array of options to choose from. How convenient is that?

When selecting a test date and location, the SAT’s official website allows you to easily check available dates and centers. But, before you pick one, consider your schedule and responsibilities to ensure you can fully focus on your preparation. Give yourself enough time to study without feeling rushed. Keep in mind that popular test centers fill up quickly, so early registration guarantees your desired location.

Recommended SAT Score

When it comes to SAT scores, it’s important to know your destination—meaning the college you want to attend. According to CollegeBoard, on average, a score of 1050 is generally acceptable for many colleges. But if you aim higher and reach 1350, you’d be among the top 10% of test takers! Imagine the doors that’ll open for you, making your college application stand out in the crowd.

Achieving an impressive score may appear challenging at first, yet rest assured that with resolute determination and diligent effort, you can overcome the SAT and elevate your application to new heights. Set your sights high and aspire for a score of 1350 or higher. This will give you a competitive edge and increase your chances of being accepted to your dream school.

Cost of Taking SAT and Score Service Fee

  • The SAT registration fee is $60, plus a $43 regional fee for students taking the test outside the United States.
  • There are some additional registration fees for certain services or conditions:
Service Fee Details
Test center fee $24 View a list of test centers that are known to charge a test center fee
*applied only for tests outside the United States
Change test center $25 For changing your test center only. If you want to change the test date, you must cancel and register for a new test
Cancel Fee $25 For canceling your registration
Late cancel fee $35 For canceling your registration after the change deadline, by Thursday 11:58 p.m ET before the test day
Late registration $30 For registering after the regular deadline but before the late registration deadline
*applied only for the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands Only
  • The first four score reports are free if you order them within nine days after the test date. However, there are some additional fees for other score-related services.
Service Fee Details
Additional score reports $14 per report Additional reports or reports ordered after the initial nine-day window following the test date.
Rush reports within 1 – 4 business days $31
Get scores by phone $15 per call Available at the same time as online scores. You must pay by credit card at the time of the call.
Archived scores $31
Verification services – SAT Question and Answer Service $16 Includes information about your answers, the correct answers and additional scoring instructions, and the type and difficulty of test questions.
Verification services – Hand Score Verification $55 If your score is very different from what you expected, you can attempt to rescore your test by using hand score verification.

You can check the availability on the College Board website

General Overview of SAT Test Sections

1. The Reading Test

The SAT Reading Test is a challenging but rewarding experience. You will have 65 minutes to answer 52 multiple-choice questions after reading a total of five passages. The passages encompass a variety of topics, including literature, historical speeches, social sciences, and scientific discoveries. This gives you the opportunity to learn about new and exciting subjects while also honing your critical reading skills.

Stay focused and you’ll do great. With the right skills and preparation, you can ace the SAT Reading Test and show off your reading skills to colleges. Therefore, it’s encouraged to retrieve your books and commence reading today.

2. The Writing and Language Test

After the Reading Test, it’s your chance to show off your language skills because it’s time for the SAT Writing and Language Test. You’ll have 35 minutes to tackle 44 multiple-choice questions. The passages cover grammar, vocabulary, and editing skills, and demand your utmost focus and precision.

Approach this test with a determined mindset, as each question carries weight. It’s an opportunity to showcase your language finesse and attention to detail. No need to fret; with preparation and dedication, success is within reach.

3. The Math Test

The Math Test is the last and most challenging section of the SAT. It’s 70 minutes long and has 58 multiple-choice questions. The first 25 minutes are for a no-calculator section with 20 questions, and the last 55 minutes are for a calculator-allowed section with 38 questions. The no-calculator section tests basic maths skills of Algebra I, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The calculator-allowed section tests more advanced maths skills, like Algebra II, Geometry, and Trigonometry.

To do well on the Math Test, you’ll need to review your maths concepts from Algebra I and II, Geometry, and some Trigonometry. You’ll also need to practice answering SAT Math Test questions. It’s important to use a calculator when you can, but don’t rely on it too much. And be sure to read the questions carefully and answer them correctly.

With a little preparation, you can ace the Math Test and show colleges that you have the maths skills they’re looking for.

Tips on How to Prepare for the Test

Tip 1. Create a Study Plan

Preparing for the SAT requires a well-organized study plan to stay focused and make the most of your preparation time. Start by assessing your current strengths and weaknesses in each section of the test. Once you identify the areas that need improvement, allocate more time to these challenging topics. Set specific goals for each study session and create a timeline leading up to the test day.

Break down your study plan into smaller, manageable tasks, and make sure to include regular practice tests. Consistency is key—spreading out your preparation over several weeks or months is more effective than cramming in a few days. A study plan will not only keep you disciplined but also allow you to track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed, ensuring a comprehensive and structured approach to SAT preparation.

Tip 2. Take Practice Tests

Practice tests are invaluable when preparing for the SAT. They help you familiarize yourself with the test format, question types, and time constraints. Official SAT practice tests, available from the College Board, closely resemble the real exam, making them the best resource for practice.

Regularly taking practice tests under timed conditions will build your test-taking stamina and enhance your ability to manage time effectively. After each practice test, thoroughly review your answers, both correct and incorrect, to understand the reasoning behind each choice. This review process allows you to identify patterns in mistakes and reinforces your understanding of the material.

Practice tests also provide a benchmark to track your progress. As you improve over time, your confidence will grow, boosting your performance and readiness for the actual SAT.

Tip 3. Review Content and Strategies

Devote time to reviewing key concepts in Math, such as algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. For the Reading section, practice analyzing passages and answering questions efficiently. In the Writing & Language section, focus on grammar rules, sentence structure, and effective editing techniques.

Additionally, learn and employ test-taking strategies. Techniques like eliminating obviously incorrect answer choices and using educated guesses can prove invaluable when you encounter challenging questions.

By combining content review with effective strategies, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the SAT with confidence and achieve your best possible score. Consistent practice, thorough review, and a strategic approach will be your keys to success on test day.


We hope this article has been helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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