About the Test

The SAT is one of the most commonly used college entrance exam in the United States. It is composed of two separate sections: the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section. The essay is optional and graded separately. There are four tests on each exam: a Reading test, a Writing and Language test, a Math test on which students cannot use a calculator, and a Math test on which students can use a calculator. The maximum score for the SAT is 1600 points, with 800 of those points coming from the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and 800 points from the Math section. The essay is scored out of 8 points in three areas: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. (You get zero if you write an off-topic essay.)



The math section consists of expanded math topics, such as algebra, advanced algebra, data analysis, and problem solving. Students cannot use calculators on the 25-minute math section, but students are permitted to use calculators on the 55-minute math section.

Most questions are multiple-choice questions, but there are some “grid-in” questions.

Critical Reading
This section consists of both long passages that test a student’s reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. There is one 65-minute reading section. All questions are multiple-choice.


Writing and Language Test

The Writing and Language Test focuses on a student’s knowledge of proper English grammar, punctuation, and language use. There is one 35-minute section.



The essay is optional but may be required for international students and for top universities. Students will be given a text and will be required to analyze the author’s argument, considering the author’s use of rhetorical devices, evidence, and reasoning. Students will be given 50 minutes to write this essay. Two scorers will each give the student a score of 1-4 in three different areas: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. The scores for the essay will be reported separately and not factored into a student’s overall score.


Timing & Scoring

Total time: 3 hours and 50 minutes, with extra time for breaks

Points: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing – 800 points; Math – 800 points

Total: 1600 points maximum, with a maximum essay score of 8/8/8



Register for the test online at When registering, you must use the same name (and same spelling of the name) that appears on the identification document that you will bring to the test center. If the name you register under does not match your identification document, you will not be permitted to take the test. You will be asked to create a username and password when you register. It is very important that you do not forget your username and password as you will need them to get your scores or to reschedule a test. For details on test fees, log on to:


Rescheduling or Canceling

You can reschedule or cancel a test online at There is a fee if you are registered for a test and want to change the test center, test date, or which test you registered to take. To make changes, call +1-212-713-7789 no later than the Wednesday that is two and a half weeks before the test date to speak with a customer service representative. For details on rescheduling fees, log on to:


On Test day

Bring an acceptable Photo ID and your SAT Admission ticket. Bring two No. 2 pencils and a good eraser—a pencil is required for the multiple choice questions and the essay. Mechanical pencils are not allowed. Pens are not allowed. Bring a calculator with fresh batteries (preferably a TI-84 or TI-89). Bring snacks. You will get a short break at the end of each hour of testing time. You can eat or drink any snacks you have brought with you during these breaks. A healthy snack will go a long way toward keeping you alert during the entire test. Eat a hearty and protein-rich breakfast in the morning. You’ll be at the test center for several hours and don’t want to get hungry. Make sure you feel calm, clear-headed, and confident. Plan to arrive at the test center by 7:30 a.m. (7:00 a.m. if Waitlist Status testing). Testing starts at about 8:00 a.m.


During the test

No speaking to other test takers

No destruction of test center equipment

No eating or drinking

Using the telephone is not permitted.

It is very important that you fill in the entire circle darkly and completely. If you change your response, erase it as completely as possible. Incomplete marks or erasures may affect your score. It is very important that you follow these instructions when filling out your answer sheet.


After the Test

When the test is officially over, you will be able to access all your belongings.


Score reporting

To view and send your scores on the web, click the “View and Send Score” button and sign in to visit your “SAT Registration and Scores” page. You must have a username and password to use this feature.


Customer Support Centers for SAT Test Takers

College Board SAT Program

P.O. Box 025505

Miami, FL 33102

International Phone: +1-212-713-7789