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What is a SAT Score?

Two years in a row. According to recent reports, the average SAT scores have declined yet again for this year. The only consolation is that the drop was not as dramatic as it was in 2006. Almost 1.5 million students took the test. The group is said to be the largest and most diverse group in SAT history to partake in the college entrance exams.

Established in 1901, the SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States and is recognized by most colleges in the country. Originally an acronym for Scholastic Aptitude Test, SAT was renamed in 1993 as SAT I: Reasoning Test. The former Achievement Tests were also renamed as SAT II: Subject Tests. Then eleven years later, the numerals "I" and "II" were dropped and the tests are now named the SAT Reasoning Test (or just SAT) and SAT Subject Tests.

The College Board Corporation administers the examinations while the Education Testing Service (ETC) handles all the development, publication and scoring of the tests. The exam itself measures the critical thinking skills of students by evaluating how well you analyze and solve problems. High school juniors and seniors are qualified to take the SATs.

Students taking the SAT exams have to tackle three major sections, namely: Mathematics, Critical Reading and Writing. The major sections are further subdivided into 10 sub-sections. Question vary from essay writing to multiple choice questions, and to student generated responses.

The whole examination needs to be finished in 3 hours and 45 minutes. It costs about $43 US to take the SAT. The SAT examinations have undergone a couple of changes in the past, the most recent of which was in 2005 when the test was renamed as "SAT Reasoning Test" and had 600 to 2400 combined possible scores from an exam result.

The 2007 SAT resulted to reading scores averaging 502, math scores averaging 515 which is lower by three points from last year and five points in 2005, and writing scores averaging 494 from 497 last year.

SAT is offered seven times in a year in the United States. The examination months are October, November, December, January, March or April, May, and June with the first Saturday of the month often delegated as exam day for those who will take their exams in November, December, May, and June.

The number of students taking the SAT have steadily increased in the past years. The College Board corporation was quick to issue a statement saying the increasing number of SAT takers is an indicator that more and more high school students are recognizing the importance of college education.

However, the same changes that aimed to analyze the critical thinking skills of students are being criticized for lack of consistency. Colleges and universities have already removed the SAT test scores as a major requirement for their college applications.