Reading passages on this test range in content from topic arguments to nonfiction narratives in a variety of subjects.
The skills being evaluated include: increasing the clarity of argument; improving word choice; improving analysis of topics in social studies and science; changing sentence or word structure to increase organizational quality and impact of writing; and, fixing or improving sentence structure, word usage, and punctuation.
Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing.
Although taking the SAT, or its competitor the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many colleges and universities in the United States, The College Board states that the SAT is intended to measure literacy, numeracy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college.
When high school GPA and the SAT II were combined, they explained 22.2% of the variance in college freshman GPA. federalism, local control, and the prevalence of private, distance, and home schooled students.
When SAT I was added to the combination of high school GPA and SAT II, it added a .1 percentage point increase in explaining the variance in college freshman GPA for a total of 22.3%. SAT (and ACT) scores are intended to supplement the secondary school record and help admission officers put local data—such as course work, grades, and class rank—in a national perspective.The College Board also states that use of the SAT in combination with high school grade point average (GPA) provides a better indicator of success in college than high school grades alone, as measured by college freshman GPA.Various studies conducted over the lifetime of the SAT show a statistically significant increase in correlation of high school grades and college freshman grades when the SAT is factored in.It found that independently high school GPA could explain 15.4% of the variance in college freshman GPA, SAT I (the SAT Math and Verbal sections) could explain 13.3% of the variance in college freshman GPA, and SAT II (also known as the SAT subject tests—in the UC's case specifically Writing, Mathematics IC or IIC, plus a third subject test of the student's choice) could explain 16% of the variance in college freshman GPA.When high school GPA and the SAT I were combined, they explained 20.8% of the variance in college freshman GPA.The total time for the scored portion of the SAT is three hours (or three hours and fifty minutes if the optional essay section is taken).Some test takers who are not taking the essay may also have a fifth section, which is used, at least in part, for the pretesting of questions that may appear on future administrations of the SAT.Historically, the SAT was more widely used by students living in coastal states and the ACT was more widely used by students in the Midwest and South; in recent years, however, an increasing number of students on the East and West coasts have been taking the ACT.Since 2007, all four-year colleges and universities in the United States that require a test as part of an application for admission will accept either the SAT or ACT, and over 950 four-year colleges and universities do not require any standardized test scores at all for admission.The mathematics portion of the SAT is divided into two sections: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator.In total, the SAT math test is 80 minutes long and includes 58 questions: 45 multiple choice questions and 13 grid-in questions.