The SAT Reasoning Test is developed and owned by the College Board. Many US colleges require an SAT score for admission as a freshman. It is administered and scored by the Educational Testing Service. The redesigned DIGITAL SAT test comes into effect with the March 2024 test, and the SAT Compass tutors are ready to teach you all you need to know to effectively prepare for the new test. The old pencil and paper test is no longer available.

The test takes 2 hours and 14 minutes to complete. There is a fee of $60 each time you take the test, although there is a system of fee waivers (information is available from College Board).

The redesigned DIGITAL SAT includes two section scores:

  1. Reading and Writing – 2 modules, each 27 multiple-choice questions in 32 minutes. 2 questions in each module are experimental and are not scored.
  2. Math – 2 modules, each 22 questions in 35 minutes. Most questions are mutliple-choice but some are “student-produced responses” (fill-ins). 2 questions in each module are experimental and are not scored.

These two scores will each be reported on a scale ranging from 200 to 800.

Here’s what College Board says about the SAT:

“ All of the learning you’ve done – from childhood to now – contributes to how you think, how your mind manages information. Even if you don’t recall the details of a history or science lesson, the process of learning information and previously learned information is the key to becoming a skilled thinker… It should be no surprise to discover that the best preparation for success in the SAT aligns with the learning you’ve done in your classes, and perhaps in your extracurricular interests as well.”

If it were only that simple – everyone would score 1600, which is a perfect SAT score. But ask around. How many people do you know who have a perfect score? Some people you know probably scored very highly on their SATs. But many others probably tell you they did well in one section, or maybe two, but found at least one section really challenging. Here’s a little more insight into why that happens.


Multiple choice questions are worth one point.  One point is given for each correct answer. There is no penalty for wrong answers. No points are lost for answers left blank.

Scores for each section are then equated and adjusted so that a score of 600 on one section equates to a score of 600 on the other section.

At this point you may feel that it all sounds pretty daunting. And it can be so – if you are not well prepared.

In addition to the content knowledge the SAT also tests the following:

  • how well you perform in formal test situations
  • how well you perform under specific time constraints
  • how well you perform under stress
  • how well you read each question and apply understanding to the answer choices
  • how well you apply your knowledge of reading, writing and math, to unfamiliar situations
  • how well you make a leap from one kind of knowledge to another at very short notice

So look back at that first explanation from College Board. That simple statement covers many skills and processes that can be practiced, and that students can learn alongside content knowledge in an SAT prep course. Contact The SAT Compass and you’ll find teachers who can help you with all these skills and processes. Then you can approach the SAT with confidence.