test_pencilThe SAT and other College Board tests are offered several times a year.  Most students take the SAT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year.  For more information on the SAT exam, click here.

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).  It is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT.  To enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC, students typically take the PSAT in the 11th grade.  NMSC scholarship programs allow you to gain access to college and career planning tools.  


SAT Format

The Reading Test consists of six reading passages--4 single passages and 1 paired set—of approximately 500 to 750 words in length per passage. The passages are excerpts taken from narratives, foundation documents, scientific articles, and social science essays, and two of those passages also include graphs/charts that the students must analyze and interpret in light of the passages’ information. In total, the students must answer 52 questions based on those passages and complete this section in 65 minutes

The Writing & Language Test’s aim is to determine whether students can demonstrate college and career readiness proficiency in revising and editing a range of texts in a variety of sat pic 1 content areas, both academic and career-related. The test consists of four passages excerpted from articles on subjects ranging from art trends to educational matters to media issues to historical events; in two instances, graphs or charts which the students must interpret and analyze are also included. As they read, the students are required to edit and revise the passages using their knowledge not only of rhetorical organizational and developmental practices but also of the conventions of standard written English grammar, usage, and punctuation.  Each passage has 11 questions, for a total of 44 questions that the students are expected to complete in 35 minutes.
The Essay. This segment of the SAT is optional based on post-secondary institutions’ admissions policies; students are expected to know the universities’ policies and act accordingly. This essay is an evidence-based paper, not an opinion piece. Students are presented with an excerpt from a source text and are directed to analyze the author’s argument and explain how the author builds that argument to persuade his/her audience.  Students are also directed to use evidence, such as facts or examples, to support any claims; to discuss the author’s reasoning in the developments of his/her claims; and to evaluate persuasive elements such as word choice or appeals to emotions that add power to the argument. This evidence-based essay tests students’ critical reading abilities, their analytical skills, and their writing proficiency. The papers are scored by two judges, each of whom gives a grade in three areas: Evidence-Based Reading: Handling the Source Text with a score range of 1-4; Evidence-Based Analysis: Understanding the Logic of an Argument with a score range of 1-4; Evidence-Based Writing with a score range of 1-4. Hence, a perfect score would be 24.  This section takes 50 minutes and is administered at the very end of the test.