Overview: The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT for short, is one of the two nationally accepted college entrance exams in the U.S. As the name suggests, the SAT is in APTITUDE test. Basically, this means that the test measures your ability to learn or develop understanding, or, in-other-words, your talent for learning. An aptitude test doesn't focus on measuring what has been taught, but instead on the ability to figure things out.
Test Dates and Cost: The SAT is given in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June and is typically given on Saturdays. The current cost to take the SAT is $52.50, but fee waivers are available to students who qualify.
Test Format and Scoring: The SAT has 3 sections: Reading, Math, and Writing and a student can earn as many as 800 points in each section. For each correct answer a student is awarded 1-point and for incorrect answers, students lose 1/4 of a point. Answers left blank are not counted as incorrect on the SAT. A student's raw score (the number correct or incorrect) is converted to the final scale score; the best possible score on the SAT is a 2400. Although Writing is an official section of the test, many colleges focus only on the Reading and Math sections and a large number of schools allow students to "super-score," which means that they will take the highest Math score and highest Reading score, even if they are from two different test dates.
Who Should Take the SAT? All college-bound students should take the SAT just to see how they do, but the SAT may be a better test for a student who has a strong background in Math and Reading and is able to apply their knowledge to new situations. Additionally, since the SAT has dedicated vocabulary questions, students who are avid readers, or just have a large vocabulary, may have an advantage.