• About the SAT
  • Registration Dates
  • SAT vs ACT
  • FAQs
What is the SAT?

The SAT is a college admission test that is recognized globally. It measures your knowledge of reading, writing and math and your SAT score helps determine which universities you can attend in the United States.

The College Board has recently launched a new SAT for the first time in 11 years! We encourage you to prep early with Kaplan if you are taking the first administration of the new SAT which will be in May 2016 (March 2016 US only). 

The (new) SAT is 3 hours long (or 3 hours and 50 minutes with the optional essay) and is divided into the following sections:

  New SAT (Class of 2017 and beyond)
Scoring
  • Score is based out of 1600 points - 800 for Math; 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. Optional essay will receive a separate score
  • Subscores and insight scores available.
  • No wrong answer penalty
Anatomy
  • 1 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing test; 65-minute Reading section, 35-minute Language and Writing section
  • 1 Math test; 55-minute section with calculator, 25-minute section without calculator
  • 4 answer choices for multiple choice questions
  • 1 essay test (optional but most universities will require it; 50 minutes in length)
Timing
  • 3 hours; 3 hours 50 minutes with optional essay
Pricing
  • $45 USD + Non U.S Regional Fee (without essay) / $57 USD + Non U.S Regional Fee (with optional essay)
Administration
  • Available digitally and in print
  • Questions focus on in-depth analysis of content
Essay
  • Students have 50 minutes to analyze a 650-750 word document and draft an essay
  • Tests reading, analysis and writing skills; requires students to analyze a source document and explain how the author builds an arguement
  • Optional, however most universities will require the essay. Please check with the university you want to attend.
Math
  • Concentrated focus on problem-solving and data analysis, "The Heart of Algebra,” “Passport to Advanced Math"
  • Real-world problem-solving accompanied by informational graphics
  • Calculator permitted for 37 questions, not permitted for 20 questions
  • Multiple choice and grid-in questions, 1 enhanced grid-in question
Reading and Writing
  • Reading and Writing combined into "Evidence-Based Reading and Writing"
  • Reading section does not contain Sentence Completions
  • Tests understanding on passages from U.S. and World Literature, History/Social Studies, and Sciences (500-850 words)
  • Writing and language: tests "Expression of Ideas" and "Standard English Conventions" through passages relating to Careers, History/Social Studies, Humanities and Science
  • Questions pull from extended prose (400-450 words)

 

How can I register for the SAT?

Register online at www.collegeboard.com or by calling +1-866-756-7346. (The registration form on the College Board site can be confusing for non-US residents. The Fulbright Commission has a step-by-step guide to registering for the SAT here)

How much does it cost to take the SAT?

$45.00 USD without essay/$57.00 USD with essay (+ Non U.S Regional Fee)

SAT 2016 Deadlines for International Registration

NEW SAT (Class of 2017 and beyond)

Test Date

Registration Deadline

Late Registration Deadline

 

November 5, 2016

October 7, 2016

October 18, 2016

 

December 3, 2016

November 3, 2016

November 15, 2016

 

January 21, 2017

December 21, 2016

January 3, 2017

 

May 6, 2017

April 7, 2017

April 18, 2017

 

June 3, 2017

May 9, 2017

May 16, 2017

 

First you will need to decide whether to take the SAT or ACT

Most U.S. Universities do not have a preference for which one you take - however you should check with the school itself. Below is a comparison of both the tests:

 

ACT

(New) SAT

Test Length

3 hours, 25 minutes
 

3 hours, 50 minutes (including optional 50 minute essay)
 

Test Sections

5 sections
 

3 sections
 

Science Content

Tests science reasoning (analysis, interpretation, problem solving)
 

Science not included
 

Math Content

25% of the overall score; entirely multiple choice

33% of overall score; trigonometry and fill-in questions
 

Essay
 

Last section - optional
 

Last section - optional
 

Scoring

5 scores of 1-36 per subject area
Composite score: 1-36
 

2 scores of 200-800 per section
Total: 1600  

Guessing

No penalty for wrong answers
 

No penalty for wrong answers
 

Score History

Students decide which score is sent
 

A student's entire score history is sent (depending on university requirements).
 

Test Fee

$36.50 (No Writing) + $33 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
$52.50 (Plus Writing) + $33 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
 

$43 or $54.50 with essay + $35 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
 
Register for the test (Please note students must register themselves for the test)

www.actstudent.org

www.collegeboard.com

Can't decide which test to take? Enroll in both of our Live Online Practice Tests & Score Review!

ACT Online Practice Test & Score Review

SAT Online Practice Test & Score Review

 

 

When should you take the exam?

We suggest students in the UK sit the SAT in the spring of Year 12/Lower sixth form and outside the UK in the spring of junior year. This allows time to re-sit the tests if needed. If this is not possible due to other exam commitments, you should aim to sit your first test by the October testing date. This will leave you the option to re-sit the test in November, December or January if you are not satisfied with your results.

Can you take the exam multiple times?

Yes. At least half of all students take the SAT twice to try to improve their score the second time around.

How does the scoring work?

The (new) SAT score is based out of 1600 points - 800 points for the Math section and 800 points for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. Optional essay will receive a separate score.

How do you register for the exam?

You can register at collegeboard.org

How much does it cost to take the exam?

$43 without essay or $54.50 with essay + Non-U.S Regional Fee.

Where can students take the exam?

The SAT can be taken in countries all over the world. To find your local SAT test center, please visit the college board site.

Does the (new) SAT have an essay section?

Yes. College Board will no longer require the essay section however many school districts and colleges will require students to complete the essay. Please check first with the colleges you will be applying to.

Will wrong answers lower SAT scores?

No, students will simply get points for the questions they answer correctly. Rights-only scoring encourages students to give the best answer they have to every problem, without risking a penalty for trying their best.

Do you have to take the SAT Subject Tests

If SAT Subject Tests form part of the application requirements of the universities you are applying to (and they do for most of the more competitive universities) then chances are you will need to take the Subject Tests. When in doubt, call the university in question and speak to someone in the admissions department. Please note that even if you are taking the ACT you still may be required to complete SAT Subject Tests.

You may sit either the Reasoning Test or up to three Subject Tests on one testing date. Therefore, students applying for the most competitive US universities will need to plan for two SAT testing dates to complete the Reasoning Test and Subject Tests in time.

Do I really need test prep?

Yes! One of the most effective ways to improve your score is with test preparation. Take a look at the typical test scores needed for your target college list and determine your test score goal. Knowing where you need to be and where you tested on the SAT/ACT practice tests will give you an understanding of how you need to perform to meet and exceed your score goal. It will help you determine how much test-prep is needed. Keep in mind that SAT/ACT test scores are one of the top three factors to getting into college, and can be the key difference between a rejection and an acceptance letter. Kaplan courses have a guarantee to ensure you get a higher score!

How long do I need for test prep?

First, decide which standardized tests you are taking and when. Allow a minimum of three months prep time prior to the test date. Do not wait until the last minute. No one ever wished they'd started later. Begin customizing a plan that works best for your schedule, lifestyle and study habits.