The Purpose of the SAT

Let's Practice: The Purpose of the SAT

The SAT is the most widely used college admission exam in the United States, although the ACT is equally used in some regions (we’ll get to that shortly). The SAT tests your math, critical reading, and writing skills, all of which contribute to your final score. Nearly every college and university you could possibly apply to in the United States will accept (or even require) your SAT score as part of your application. Your score will also help colleges to decide whether or not you are qualified for admission, and help you to decide which college is the best choice for you.

Your SAT score proves to colleges and universities that you are qualified for admission. Like any standardized test, it doesn’t measure most of your qualities at all – maybe even your greatest qualities. But it does provide college admissions officers with an additional tool beyond your GPA and transcript to understand where you stand academically in relation to the rest of their students. It is difficult to compare GPAs from different high schools, since schools differ so much; SAT scores provide a standard basis of comparison.

SAT scores can be useful to you, too, because you can research the average SAT scores of colleges. For example, suppose a college has an average SAT score that is approximately equal to your SAT score. That fact suggests that 1) you have good, fighting chances of being admitted to that college and that 2) you will be comfortable in the classroom at that college. You’ll want to consider many other factors also in choosing a college – just as admissions officers consider many other factors when they look at your application – but SAT scores help you make an informed decision.

Many people consider preparing for the SAT a miserable experience. But the test represents a great opportunity: doing your best can improve your college prospects instantly. Every year, some people who had tough high school experiences and who were uncertain about college find that everything changes for the better thanks to their SAT scores. Furthermore, there’s no way around it: when you get better at something, it’s more fun. So while SAT questions may not be enjoyable, getting better at them can be, just maybe. Either way, this site is here to provide you with abundant practice. Let’s get started!

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