College Board’s SAT Overview

Formed in 1900 as College Entrance Examination Board, College Board is an American non-profit private corporation which provides students aspiring to join college access to higher education. It develops and administers standardized tests whose scores determine the capabilities of a student and also highlights if he is ready to succeed in college. Standardized tests developed by College Board are an important aspect of getting admission into a reputed college. Educational Testing Service administers the SAT tests on behalf of the College Board. With over 6000 educational institutions being a part of membership association, the College Board is dedicated to providing efficient yet competitive tests to evaluate students based on various academic skills.

It’s headquarters in situated in New York City and since October 2012 David Coleman has been residing as the President of the College Board. It provides number of services to students, teachers, parents and also various universities ranging from various study materials to providing financial aid, recruitment services and so on and so forth. Being a non-profit corporation it is funded by grants provided by various foundations.

There are various programs and tests offered by the College Board helping millions of students every year to gain higher education by getting admission into reputed universities. SAT is a standardized test provided by the board for a nominal fee for getting admissions into colleges in United States. Not all colleges but fair number of colleges require you to give SAT exam for securing an admission in their colleges. SAT tests score coupled with High School GPA is a better indicator if a particular student is ready for college rather than just using the High School GPA.

SAT was initially introduced in 1926 with exam duration of 3 hours 45 minutes and is offered seven times annually. It is offered in the months of October, November, December, January, March, May and June. A student of high school usually in junior or either senior year gives this test. No official eligibility criteria are required as such for giving the exam. SAT is a fee based standardized test, you have to pay certain amount of nominal fees for giving this exam. Depending on the country you are from the fees might vary between US$ 52.5 to US$ 94.5 excluding late fees. You can register for SAT through various modes like registering online at the College Board’s official website, through mail and telephone prior to three weeks before the date of the test.

Speed and accuracy are the two driving factors here that for determining a collection of scores.
The SAT includes three sections, testing you from three different bases like mathematics, writing and reading. Every section has a score of 800 marks each bringing the overall total to 2400 marks.
However, recently there have been changes in the SAT tests which would be effective from 2016.

Critical Reading section of the current SAT is made up of two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section with different types of questions. It includes questions of different varieties like sentence completion, reading comprehension passages and answering given questions based on the passages provided and sentence structure where a student would select two or more words for completing the given sentence. It tests your vocabulary, grammar, reading ability, how well you understand author’s argument and fluency in English language. Reading cautiously the given passage would help you find all the answers of the questions specified as all the answers are present in the context of the passages provided. However, in the New SAT 2016, sentence completion has been removed from the exam pattern also your vocabulary would be tested on basis of minimal words which are usually used in academic writing.

Widely known as Qualitative Section or Calculation Section, a mathematics section consists of two 25 minutes sections and one 20 minute section. One 25 minute and 20 minute section is purely multiple choice questions whereas the other 25 minute section contains grid in questions and also multiple choice questions. There are variety of topics included covering various concepts from algebra to calculus to geometry to statistics. Recently the portion has been revised and a focused approach has been adopted. The main areas covered in the New SAT test of 2016 are algebra, functions and ratios. Calculators can be used entirely for the maths section only in the current SAT test however; the New SAT test has a no-calculator based section where you are not allowed to use the calculator for solving the particular sums. Only scientific, four-function, graphing and Computer Algebra System (CAS) are allowed.

Writing section is an important section appraising a student’s grammar and writing skills. It includes various multiple choice questions. The types of questions asked include identifying the error present or improving a sentence or a paragraph in your own words using correct grammar. The essay section is the first section of the test and its duration is 25 minutes. It may include ideas that you are supposed to expand in your words or direct topics may be given to you for writing a quality essay. It is mandatory but it has been made optional and separate score for essays are provided according to the changes brought forward in the new SAT 2016.

The types of questions usually asked in the SAT tests are multiple choice questions except the essays and grid-in math questions. You are given five choices currently to choose from which has now changed to four options only. Every question carries equal marks. You get a whole point for the right answer and are penalised by one quarter point being deducted from your score. A wrong answer will not cost you a one quarter point under the new SAT test of 2016 as penalising for wrong answers has been abolished.

1,672,395 high school graduates have taken the test in the class of 2014. SAT was a substitute for individual tests that were used by every university; SAT is a standardized test whose scores are accepted in almost all the colleges. SAT has undergone numerous changes ever since it was introduced. The recent most change was announced on 5th March, 2014 which would be effective from 2016. It has included some great changes including the portion the students have studied and will continue to study in their college too.

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