College Entrance Examination:The SAT

I greatly dislike exams; I am not great at them. Multiple choice exams are my enemies. However, for those whose grades at school are not the best but they are amazing at multiple choice exams, there is good news! You have to take a college entrance exam, either the SAT or ACT. But today I will write about the SAT, which apparently has been redesigned. Nevertheless, the testing topics are still the same. You will be tested on your critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing skills.

The SAT is an important standardized test in applying to college. If you are not satisfied with your scores, you can retake it however times you want or need. Although beware you might have to pay the fees out of your own pocket, without any fee waivers. Also, if exams are not your forte, there are amazing colleges that are SAT optional. You do not have to submit your SATs if you think you did not do that well. As you can figure out I did not do that great… but I went to a great SAT optional liberal arts college. Probably the best decision I have ever made.

Anyways let’s get to the SAT.

  • Before you take the SAT, you should learn more about it and find ways to prepare. Sign up with College Board. They offer students access to free and low-cost resources. Check it out to get you started!
  • When registering for the test you will need to check out dates and deadlines. Here is a schedule of the exams coming up, with the date of the new implemented SAT.

Exam date                   Exam type                               deadline to register

January 23, 2016         SAT & Subject Tests              December 28, 2015

March 5, 2016             SAT only                                 February 5, 2016

Redesigned SAT starts

May 7, 2016                SAT & Subject Tests              April 8, 2016

June 4, 2016                SAT & Subject Tests              May 5, 2016

  • Every time you take this exam you have to pay a fee but if you do not have the economic resources, do not worry there is help. Those exams are not cheap, I remember going to my college office and asking for fee waivers to help me subdue the cost.
    • Fees for the SAT are $43 and for the SAT with Essay is $54.50. There are fee waivers to cover for these expenses so do not forget to ask for one at your school.
    • For the SAT subject there is a basic fee of $26.00 and an $18.00 fee for additional subject tests taken.
    • The SAT gives you four freebies when you send your scores to colleges. If you send your score to more than four, you will have to pay $11.25 per extra score. However, there are fee waivers for this too!
  • Find the closest test center to you by using the student code search. You just select a test date and the state you live in to view a list of centers. Do not leave it to the last minute because spaces fill up fast.

New Test /Current test

  • Reading Time Allotted: 65 mins/ 50mins
  • Number of Questions/Tasks: 52/67
  • Writing and Language Time Allotted: 35 mins/60mins
  • Number of Questions/Tasks: 44/49
  • Essay (optional) Time Allotted: 50 mins/25mins
  • Number of Questions/Tasks: 1/1
  • Mathematics Time Allotted: 80 mins/70mins
  • Number of Questions/Tasks: 57/54
  • Total Test Time: 180 mins (without essay)/ 230 mins (with essay)
  • Total Number of Questions/Tasks: 153/ 154 (with essay)/171

Note: The total score with the redesigned test will be out of 1600 now instead of 2400.

The testing time is around 3 hours and 45 mins.

Good luck! When are you going to take the test? Or have you taken it already?


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