The Scholastic Aptitude Test: sat

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The Scholastic Aptitude Test: SAT

  • Presenter:
  • Mrs. Gail Platt
  • Bethel High School
  • Counselor

The SAT Focuses on College Success™ Skills

    • Critical Reading
    • Mathematics
    • Writing
  • The SAT® tests students’ reasoning based on knowledge and skills developed through their course work.
  • It measures their ability to analyze and solve problems by applying what they have learned in school.

Time Specifications

  • 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Critical Reading: 70 minutes
  • Two 25-minute sections
  • 20-minute section
  • Math: 70 minutes
  • Two 25-minute sections
  • 20-minute section
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Two multiple-choice sections one 25-minute section and one 10-minute section one 25-minute essay
  • Variable Section: 25 minutes

Test Content and Question Types

Test Scores

  • Critical Reading: 200–800
  • Math: 200–800
  • Writing: 200–800
  • Will include 2 sub scores:
  • Essay 2–12 (1/3 of writing score)
  • Multiple-choice 20–80 (2/3 of writing score)

SAT Scores for 2004-2005

  • 233 students at Bethel High School took the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
  • The average scores for the SAT are as follows:
  • Bethel Virginia Nation
  • Verbal 456 516 508
  • Math 464 514 520

Critical Reading

  • Measures knowledge of genre (types of literature), cause and effect, comparative arguments, and the ability to recognize relationships among parts of a text
  • Long and short reading passages are taken from different fields:
    • Natural sciences
    • Humanities
    • Social science
    • Literary fiction
  • Short reading passages now replace the formerly used analogy section.

Math Section

  • Measures problem-solving skills
  • Emphasis on math reasoning: SAT math measures the ability to apply math content to real-life problems.
  • SAT is unique in having some “grid-in” questions requiring student-produced responses. Student generates his/her own response to the problem.

Calculator Policy

  • A scientific or graphing calculator is recommended for the current test.
  • Every question can be answered without a calculator, calculators are definitely encouraged.
  • Previously, a basic 4-function calculator was recommended, but now scientific is the base level recommendation.
  • Students should bring a calculator with which they are comfortable and familiar.

The Math Section

  • Expanded Number and Operations topics include:
  • Expanded Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability topics include:
    • Data interpretation, scatter plots, and matrices
    • Geometric probability

Scoring Procedures for the Essay

  • Essays are scored by trained high school English teachers and college professors with experience teaching writing.
  • Each essay is scored independently by two readers according to the holistic Scoring Guide in conjunction with sample essays selected for training.
  • Essays are scored on a scale of 1 to 6 by each reader (total score of 2 to 12).
  • Essays are scanned and distributed to readers via the Web.
  • Scoring and reader supervision take place online.


Time Specifications

  • English 45 minutes
  • Reading 35 minutes
  • Mathematics 60 minutes
  • Science 35 minutes

ACT Content Areas

  • The test measures academic achievement in the areas of:
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Reading
    • Science

Test Scores

  • Test sub-scores range from 1-36
  • The composite is the average of the test sub-scores.

ACT Scores for 2004-2005

  • 81 students at Bethel High School took the ACT.
  • The composite (average) for the ACT are as follows:
  • BHS: 17.6
  • Nation: 20.9

Calculator Policy

  • You may use a calculator on the math section, however it is not required.
  • All problems can be solved without a calculator.
  • To be certain your calculator is permitted visit
  • or call (800)-498-6481 for a recorded message.

Basics of Test Scoring

  • SAT: total of correct responses with a penalty for guessing.
  • ACT: total of correct responses without penalty for guessing.

How Students Can Prepare

  • Students should:
    • Challenge themselves throughout high school by taking rigorous courses, including at least 3 years of math
    • Read and write as much as possible—both in and outside of school.
    • Study Latin derivates (root words, suffixes, prefixes)
    • Study vocabulary: antonyms (words of opposite meaning), synonyms (words of similar meaning), and homonyms (words which sound similarly, but are spelled differently)
    • Comply with registration dates and fees.

How Students Can Prepare

    • Students should
    • Explore resources on the internet:
    • Familiarize themselves with the SAT and ACT so they know what to expect on test day
    • Familiarize themselves with the different types of questions on the tests, the directions for each type of question, and how the test is scored.
    • Take full length practice test in the SAT Preparation Booklet several times.
    • Take the PSAT in October. It provides good preparation for the SAT

Additional Materials

  • Handouts are available in the lobby area of the auditorium if you failed to pick them up as you entered.
    • Comparative features SAT/ACT 2004-05
    • ACT Assessment at a Glance
    • SAT Reasoning Skills
    • Testing cost, calendars, dates for 2005-06
    • Please complete the brief program evaluation form and leave it on the table in the lobby.


  • We have 10 available slots
  • Reserve for seniors first come first served
  • Reserve for juniors first come first served
  • Information sheet available in lobby
  • Additional class will be organized for the April SAT tentatively scheduled: 28 Feb, 7 & 9 March, 14 &16 March, Super Saturday 18 March, 21 &23 March
  • SAT 1 April 2006


  • The High School Code for Bethel High School is
  • C471-020

Thank you for joining us this evening.

    • We are here to assist you and point you in the right direction.
    • Good luck with all of your future endeavors.

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