What is SAT? And why is it important?
Fatma Elhadad Date : 26 Apr 23

You must have heard of the SAT especially if you have started high school and ask What is SAT? And why is it important?

The SAT exam is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States and many other countries. It is designed to assess students' readiness for college and measure their academic skills and knowledge in reading, writing, and math. 

This page will cover everything you need to know about the SAT, such as What is the SAT? And What does SAT stand for? Benefits of SAT exam, Why is the SAT going digital? and SAT practice test. 

What is the SAT? And What does SAT stand for?

The SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test or scholastic aptitude test which is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States and other countries like Turkey. It is designed to assess a student's readiness for college and is typically taken by high school students during their junior or senior year. 

The SAT measures many skills which are essential for success in college such as

  • Mathematical skills 
  • Reading and writing skills 

The SAT consists of several sections:

  •  Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This section includes reading comprehension questions and grammar and writing exercises.

  • Math 

The math section tests algebra, geometry, and other mathematical concepts.

  • Optional Essay 

While the essay section is optional, some colleges may require or recommend it.

The SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600 which is divided into separate scores as the following:

  • The score of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is (200-800)
  • The Math section score is (200-800). 
  • The optional essay score  is (2-8).

Many colleges and universities in Turkey use SAT scores as part of their admissions process, along with other factors such as 

  • high school grades
  • letters of recommendation
  • extracurricular activities.

Some schools may also require or recommend SAT Subject Tests, which are subject-specific tests that measure a student's knowledge in specific areas like Math, Science, Literature, etc.

Preparing for the SAT typically involves 

  • Studying the content covered on the test
  • Practicing with sample questions
  • Taking practice tests to familiarize oneself with the format and timing of the exam. 

There are also resources available, such as study guides, online practice materials, and test prep courses, to help students prepare for the SAT.

The exam last for 3 hours and 50 minutes as it includes 5 sections

  • Reading section
  • Writing section
  • Mathematic section with calculator
  • Mathematic section without calculator 

All questions are multiple choice questions which are divided as the following:

  • Evidence-based reading and writing exams consist of 52 standard multiple-choice reading questions.
  • Writing section has 44 multiple choice questions.
  • Math section has 45 multiple choice questions. 
  • Math section questions cover many topics such as:

the heart of algebra

  • Geometry
  • Problem-solving methods
  • data analysis
  • advanced mathematics

What is the SAT And What does SAT stand for

SAT exam is for what purpose?

If you ask What is SAT? And why is it important?The SAT plays a significant role in the college admissions process for many students in Turkey as performing well on the exam can enhance one's chances of gaining admission to their desired colleges and universities. 

Colleges and universities use SAT scores as one of the factors in their admissions process to evaluate applicants' academic abilities and potential for success in college. 

The SAT can also be used for scholarship opportunities and to demonstrate academic proficiency to colleges and universities.

Benefits of SAT exam

To know What is SAT? And why is it important?You need to know that the SAT is an important tool for students seeking admission to colleges and Universities . 

While it is just one of many factors considered in the admissions process, performing well on the SAT can open doors to higher education opportunities and potentially lead to scholarship awards.

The SAT is considered important for several reasons:

College Admissions

  • The SAT is used by many colleges and universities in many countries like the United States and Turkey as part of their admissions process. 
  • A student's SAT scores, along with other factors help admissions officers evaluate a student's readiness for college. 
  • A strong SAT score can enhance a student's chances of gaining admission to their desired colleges and universities.

Standardized Comparison The SAT provides a standardized way to compare students from different schools and backgrounds. 

Since high school curricula and grading systems can vary widely, the SAT offers a common measure of academic readiness that colleges can use to evaluate all applicants on an equal footing.

Scholarship Opportunities

Many colleges and universities use SAT scores to award scholarships and financial aid to students. 

A high SAT score can make a student eligible for merit-based scholarships, which can help offset the cost of college tuition.

Placement Testing 

In addition to college admissions, some colleges and universities use SAT scores for course placement purposes. For example, a student's SAT Math score may determine whether they need to take remedial math courses in college.


Taking the SAT can also help students assess their academic strengths and weaknesses. By identifying areas where they need improvement, students can focus their efforts on studying and preparing for college-level work.

Career planning

You should know well What is SAT? And why is it important? as the SAT exam can be an important factor in determining which subjects a student may choose to study so help in career planning. 

A strong performance on the SAT can open up opportunities for admission to competitive colleges and universities, which may have specific subject requirements or preferences. 

Read more about: Differences between YöS and SAT exams


After discussing What is SAT? And why is it important?, you may get confused due to SAT vs ACT as SAT and ACT are both standardized tests used for college admissions in the United States, but there are some key differences between the two:




The SAT has a total score range of 400-1600, with separate scores for 

  • the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section (200-800).
  •  the Math section (200-800).

The ACT has a total score range of 1-36, with separate scores for each of the four sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science) that are averaged to get the composite score.





3 hours 50 minutes optional essay. 

2 hours and 55 minutes + 40 minutes optional essay. 


The SAT focuses more on 

  • Reasoning
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving skills. 

The ACT is more curriculum-based and includes sections on 

  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science.

Optional Sections

The SAT includes an optional essay section. 

The ACT includes an optional writing section.

Math Content and science section 

The SAT math section includes a broader range of topics, including algebra, geometry, and some trigonometry. 

The SAT does not have a specific science section.

The ACT math section covers a narrower range of topics and includes more advanced algebra and trigonometry questions.

The ACT includes a separate science section that tests students' ability to interpret and analyze scientific data. 

The choice between taking the SAT or ACT depends on your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. It's a good idea to take practice tests for both exams to see which one you perform better on and feel more comfortable with.

Some colleges may require or recommend taking these optional sections, so it's important to check the requirements of the schools before your application. 

Why is the SAT going digital?

The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT exam, has announced plans to transition the SAT from a paper-and-pencil format to a digital format due to several reasons such as:

1. Accessibility

Moving the SAT to a digital format can make the test more accessible to students around the world. 

Digital testing allows for greater flexibility in scheduling exams and can accommodate students with disabilities who may require special accommodations.

2. Security

Digital testing can enhance test security by reducing the risk of cheating and test tampering. 

The College Board can implement advanced security measures, such as biometric identification and encryption, to protect the integrity of the exam.

3. Instant scoring 

Digital testing allows for faster scoring and results reporting. Students may receive their scores more quickly, enabling them to make informed decisions about college admissions and scholarship opportunities.

4. Personalization

The digital format of the SAT can provide a more personalized testing experience for students. Adaptive testing technology can tailor the difficulty level of questions based on a student's performance, providing a more accurate assessment of their skills and abilities.

5. Alignment with technology

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into education and daily life, transitioning the SAT to a digital format can better prepare students for college and career readiness in a digital age.

The shift to digital testing is intended to modernize the SAT exam and improve the testing experience for students while maintaining the validity and reliability of the assessment.

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Why is the SAT going digital

SAT practice test 

If you're looking forWhat is SAT? And why is it important?, you should know that SAT practice tests help you to prepare for the exam. There are several resources available online. 

Here are some options where you can find SAT practice tests:

1. Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy

The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free, personalized SAT practice resources, including:

  • Full-length practice tests
  • Practice questions
  • Study materials. 

You can access these resources at the Official SAT Practice website on Khan Academy.

2. College Board Website 

The College Board offers official SAT practice tests on their website. 

It has eight official practice tests on its website.

You can find sample questions, practice tests, and other study resources to help you prepare for the exam.

3. The Princeton Review 

The Princeton Review offers free SAT practice tests on their website. 

You can take full-length practice tests, review detailed explanations of answers, and track your progress to identify areas for improvement.

4. Kaplan Test Prep 

Kaplan Test Prep also provides free SAT practice tests and study materials on their website. 

Whatever you want, daily SAT practice questions or private SAT tutoring, Kaplan test prep provides both. 

You can access practice questions, full-length tests, and study plans to help you prepare for the exam.

5. PrepScholar 

PrepScholar offers a variety of SAT prep resources, including practice tests, study guides, and tips for improving your score. You can access their free resources on their website.


Mometrix provides practice SAT tests in various areas. 

Test-takers can improve their overall SAT skills through 2 ways

  • a short general practice test including 15 representative questions.
  •  Section-based tests focused on SAT Math, writing and Reading. 

It's recommended to check out Mometrix's SAT study guide and online course options for more practice. 

These are just a few options where you can find SAT practice tests online. It's important to practice regularly and familiarize yourself with the format and content of the exam to improve your performance on test day. Good luck with your SAT preparation!

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At the end of this article, we hope we cover all topics you need to know about What is SAT? And why is it important?. You can connect with the stadyfans team for more information and help. Good luck. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of an SAT test?

SAT is an important standardized test which measures some students skills such as their knowledge of reading, writing and math skills.

What is the hardest part of the SAT?

Math section is the hardest part of the SAT test. 


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