SAT: Frequently Asked Questions

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Got a question about the SAT exam? See below for answers to the most common queries we receive. Can't find what you're looking for? Contact us

When should you take the exam?

We suggest students in the UK sit the SAT in the autumn/winter of Year 12 and outside the UK in the spring of junior year. This allows time to re-sit the tests if needed.

Can you take the exam multiple times?

Yes. At least half of all students take the SAT twice to try to improve their score the second time around.

How does the scoring work?

The SAT score is based out of 1600 points - 800 points for the Math section and 800 points for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The optional essay will receive a separate score.

How do you register for the exam?

You can register at collegeboard.org

How much does it cost to take the exam?

$46 without essay or $60 with essay + Non-U.S Regional Fee.

Where can students take the exam?

The SAT can be taken in countries all over the world. To find your local SAT test center, please visit the college board site.

Does the SAT have an essay section?

Yes. College Board will no longer require the essay section however many school districts and colleges will require students to complete the essay. Please check first with the universities you will be applying to.

Will wrong answers lower SAT scores?

No, students will simply get points for the questions they answer correctly. Rights-only scoring encourages students to give the best answer they have to every problem.

Do you have to take the SAT Subject Tests

Ivies and other top universities usually request SAT Subject Tests as part of the application process. When in doubt, call the university in question and speak to someone in the admissions department. Please note that even if you are taking the ACT you'll still likely be required to complete SAT Subject Tests.

You may sit either the Reasoning Test or up to three Subject Tests on one testing date. Therefore, students applying for the most competitive US universities will need to plan for two SAT testing dates to complete the Reasoning Test and Subject Tests in time.

Do I really need test prep?

ABSOLUTELY! Especially if you have not been taught in the US or don't have the same experience of taking standardized tests as US educated students. The good news is that at Kaplan we're especially gifted at helping international students prepare for these exams.

Test scores are one of the top three factors to getting into an American university, and often a key different between a rejection or acceptance letter.

How long do I need for test prep?

First, decide which standardized tests you are taking and when. Allow a minimum of three months prep time prior to the test date. Do not wait until the last minute. No one ever wished they'd started later. Begin customizing a plan that works best for your schedule, lifestyle and study habits.