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College Board

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SAT and SAT Subject Tests

Objective assessments of college readiness

With record numbers of students applying for and attending college, higher education institutions have a growing need for a reliable, objective standard to assess college readiness.

  • The SAT—used by nearly every college in America—is the best independent, standardized assessment of a student's college readiness. High school grades are a useful indicator of how students perform in college, yet there is great variation in grading standards and course rigor within and across high schools.
  • The SAT Subject Tests also provide important additional information to admissions and enrollment officers. Students choose to take these tests to demonstrate their interest in and mastery of academic areas.
    Learn how the SAT Subject Tests™ can help colleges with admissions and enrollment.

What the SAT Program tests measure

The SAT measures critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing skills that students have developed over time, both in and out of school, and that they need to be successful in college. SAT scores are intended to supplement the secondary school record and help admissions officers put local data—such as course work, grades, and class rank—in a national perspective.

The SAT Subject Tests measure students' knowledge and skills in English, science, history, mathematics, and languages, as well as their ability to apply that knowledge.

The 20 tests are independent of any particular textbook or method of instruction, and many colleges use them for admission, course placement, and advising students about course selection.

The SAT is the most rigorously researched college admissions test in use today. Click here for research about the SAT's validity and reliability and other studies of interest.

Customized Entry Pages


Go to the SAT Downloads and Materials Ordering page to view and print the Educator Handbook for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests.

SAT-ACT Concordance Study

The College Board and the ACT have released a study of all the students in the high school graduating class of 2006 who took both the ACT and the SAT. Read more>>


  • SAT Program for Admission Staff
  • The College Board SAT Program
  • PO Box 025505
  • Miami, Florida 33102
  • Phone: 888-SAT-HELP
  • Phones are available between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
    Summer hours (from the end of June through August) are 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
    The College Board may be reached by completing this email inquiry form.

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