Scholarships, financial assistance, and college acceptance depend on a student’s high school academic achievements and college readiness. As a result, more than 3900 colleges and universities depend on the SAT exams to determine whether a student possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful.

Challenging academic courses provide high school students with the core knowledge they need to be successful on the SAT exams. However, the student who also becomes familiar with the test’s format, scoring, and directions will be prepared on exam day. Students should be aware that some colleges also require subject area test scores.

The three hour and 45 minute exam consists of a critical reading component, a writing component, and a math component. To prepare for SAT tests, a student should review sample question and response evaluations; practice taking sample tests; and pursue expanding vocabulary skills. In addition, in order for a student’s responses to adequately reflect his or her knowledge, the student must take extra care to read carefully each prompt. Often, a misunderstanding of the prompt occurs because of a scanned reading rather than a close reading. After the student understands the question, the student should look for key words in the choices that provide signals for incorrect answers. In the critical reading component, one response will reflect a contrary idea or concept, another response may present a correct concept but one that does not address the question, and another response may address a similar concept but not the one presented in the reading. In most cases, a student’s vocabulary knowledge plays a key role in helping a student make an educated guess or chose the correct answer.


A student’s command of language provides the basis for the writing evaluation. The ability to manipulate language in order to convey the theme of the prompt in a scholarly and captivating manner will enable a student to earn the highest possible score. Therefore, a refresher on the rules of grammar, syntax, and organization will provide a student with the tools for both the multiple choice section and the essay section of the writing component.

Numbers and operation, algebra and functions, geometry and measurement, data analysis, statistics and probability constitute the math section of the SAT exam. The review of these topics prior to the testing date would also enable a student to respond accurately to the questions and prompts.