The 411 on the SAT

    By Gwen Teckel | Small Business

    More than 1.66 million high school students in the class of 2012 took the SAT, a record-setting number. The SAT, an abbreviation for the ”Scholastic Assessment Test,” is an inveterate part of the college application process and the most commonly used exam for college admissions.

    The exam assesses students’ reading, writing and math abilities. There are also SAT Subject Tests in a range of disciplines from literature to physics to Korean language. Subject Tests may or may not be required by schools, but some such as the California Institute of Technology — whose first-year students have some of the highest SAT scores in the country — require Subject Tests in math and science. Other colleges allow students  to submit a Subject Test in an area of their choosing to showcase particular strengths.

    The SAT is among the numerous factors colleges and universities use when selecting applicants. There is a move toward making standardized tests optional rather than required at certain colleges, but even these schools typically consider test scores when applicants submit them. Each institution has its own admissions policy, so it’s best to check with admissions counselors about specific requirements.

    Check out the visual below for an overview of the exam and how a cross-section of colleges are using scores.


    SAT, College Board

    The SAT Report on College & Career Readiness, College Board, 2012

    2012 College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile Report, College Board, 2012

    For a complete list of sources, please view the Infographic

    The 411 on the SAT image 411 SAT2The 411 on the SAT
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