The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1926, and its name and scoring have changed several times, being originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, then the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now simply the SAT. The SAT is owned and published by the College Board, a private, nonprofit organization in the United States. It is developed and administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service. The test is intended to assess a student’s readiness for college. It is designed to not be aligned to high school curriculum.The current SAT, introduced in 2016, takes 3 hours to finish plus 50 minutes for the SAT with essay, and as of 2014 costs US$52.50 (up to US$101.5 outside of the United States), excluding late fees. Possible scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: Mathematics and Critical reading and Writing. Taking the SAT or its competitor, the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many, but not all, universities in the United States. On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The exam reverted to the 1600-point scale, the essay was made optional, and students now have 3 hours to take the exam plus 50 additional minutes to complete the essay. SAT consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200–800. All scores are multiples of 10. Total scores are calculated by adding up scores of the three sections. Each major section is divided into three parts. There are 10 sub-sections, including an additional 25-minute experimental or “equating” section that may be in any of the three major sections. The experimental section is used to normalize questions for future administrations of the SAT and does not count toward the final score. The test contains 3 hours and 45 minutes of actual timed sections; most administrations (after accounting for orientation, distribution of materials, completion of biographical sections, and fifteen minutes of timed breaks) run for about four and a half hours. The questions range from easy, medium, and hard depending on the scoring from the experimental sections. Easier questions typically appear closer to the beginning of the section while harder questions are toward the end in certain sections. This is not true for every section (the Critical Reading section is in chronological order) but it is the rule of thumb mainly for math, grammar, and the 19 sentence-completions in the reading sections. The SAT is offered seven times a year in the United States; in October, November, December, January, March (or April, alternating), May, and June. The test is typically offered on the first Saturday of the month for the November, December, May, and June administrations. In other countries, the SAT is offered on the same dates as in the United States except for the first spring test date (i.e., March or April), which is not offered. Candidates wishing to take the test may register online at the College Board’s website, by mail, or by telephone, at least three weeks before the test date.
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