The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are a suite of tools designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students. The SAT and SAT Subject Tests keep pace with what colleges are looking for today, measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century.

The SAT doesn’t test logic or abstract reasoning. It tests the skills you’re learning in school: reading, writing and math. Your knowledge and skills in these subjects are important for success in college and throughout your life.

  • The critical reading section includes reading passages and sentence completions.
  • The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage.
  • The mathematics section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability.

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's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools. You have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school and doesn't require you to recall specific facts from your classes.

More information about PSAT/NMSQT


When's the Best Time to Take the SAT?

The 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.

SAT & Subject Tests Dates

Test Date Regular Registration Deadline
2010-2011 School Year
October 9, 2010
September 10, 2010
September 24, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 8, 2010
October 22, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 5, 2009
November 19, 2009
January 22, 2011
December 23, 2010
January 7, 2011
March 12, 2011**
February 11, 2011
February 25, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 8, 2011
April 22, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 6, 2011
May 20, 2011
** On March 12, only the SAT is offered

Please visit the SAT website for more information about test dates, registration and fees.

SAT Preparation

The SAT is designed to help measure a student's ability to handle college level work. The seven sections of the test, comprised of a variety of verbal and math questions, gauge students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It's typically taken in the junior or senior year but many students take the SAT more than once since most colleges consider only the highest score. The length of the exam is three hours.

Be sure to practice with the various SAT Preps available on the web. Of course, CollegeBoard provides you with a few practice tests on the Practive Section of the website.

Another great website that provides students with practice exams is

Review the sample questions to help familiarize yourself with the SAT test.

SAT Structure

Section Time Scoring
Critical Reading
70 Minutes
70 Minutes
Writing Skills
60 Minutes
approx. 3 Hours

Visit SAT's website for SAT® Test to get test tips, free copy of practice test, and college planning advice.

SAT Fee Waiver Form

The College Board offers fee waivers for students who are unable to pay test fees themselves. Schools must identify eligible students from low-income families and request fee waivers on their behalf.

There is a limited quantity of fee waivers available for each test administration, so schools should request fee waivers early and estimate their needs carefully to ensure an equitable distribution of waivers. Fee waivers are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be available after June 15.

Read more to find out if you qualify at:

Check with your counselor early as funds are limited each year and won't be available once depleted. Visiting with your counselor is the only way to obtain a fee waiver.


Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

This test provides high school students with an understanding of expectations of the SAT. The length of the exam is two hours and is usually given in October. Students who take this test can qualify for the Ventures Scholars Program.

PSAT Structure

Section Time Number of Questions Scoring
Sentence Completions
C.R. Questions
Critical Reading
50 Minutes
48 Questions
50 Minutes
38 Questions
Writing Skills
30 Minutes
39 Questions
2 Hours 10 Minutes
125 Questions

Visit PSAT/NMSQT® to get test tips, and college planning advice.

Search using the PSAT/NMSQT High School Search to find Schools in your area giving the PSAT/NMSQT.

By taking the PSAT/NMSQT, you may qualify to enter the competitions for prestigious scholarships and participate in recognition programs.

Students that have taken the PSAT can register or be nominated for the Ventures Scholars Program.


© 2010 Ventures In Education, Inc.