What Is The SAT And When Should You Take It?

what is the sat test and when should you take it?

This test takes over three hours! | Source: Shutterstock

The SAT test is super important. It can basically determine a ton of stuff about your future–like where (or if!) you go to college, how much financial aid you might be able to get, and even what kinds of jobs might be available to you later on.

But what is the SAT anyway? Well, the SAT is the standardized test that most colleges use to measure how much you know and how you think through problems. It’s split up into three different sections: Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Writing. The total score for each section is 800, so the highest score you can get is 2400. Admissions officers at colleges and universities look at your SAT score (alongside your essay and grades, of course!) to decide whether or not you should go to their school. Kind of big stuff, I know!

I can remember being way stressed out about this test (I’m not a great test taker!), and that I got even more stressed when a teacher suggested I take a special class for it. All I could think of was, “OMG, what is the SAT prep going to be like, and is he only suggesting it because he thinks I’m stupid?!” Looking back, I don’t think he thought I was stupid at all–he just wanted to see me do my absolute best. I wish I’d thanked him more, because that class I took (along with studying flash cards every night for months) helped me get a high score in every section–and had a lot to do with me getting into my top colleges. So, if there’s a class offered at your school or you can get some SAT prep books from your library, do it!

But when should you take the SAT test? Most kids take the SAT in their junior year, and many take it again during the first half of their senior year since most students who take the test twice improve their score. As of today, you can still be put on the wait list for November 3rd SAT test, but it’ll cost you $93 instead of the $50 for normal registration. If you haven’t started studying yet, or if that price seems a bit too steep, you might be better off registering for the December 1st SAT test date, but hurry up, because normal registration ends November 1st.

Have you already taken the SAT? Are you taking it on November 3 or December 1? Tell us how you’re studying (or how stressed you are) in the comments!

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  • Z

    Now I really wonder why I’m taking the SATs in 8th grade…

  • dimples2196

    Got a 1810 as a junior now. I plan to take the test again two more times.

  • Lake

    I got my scores today and got a 1510. It’s average, especially for my first taking it (I’m a senior though!), but I’m going to take it again in December to improve because I know I can do better.