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The SAT is designed to assess your problem solving and critical thinking skills.  It is English and math based where your verbal and math skills are being tested.

The SAT is very challenging and most will prepare before taking it.  There are free and fee-based resources available.  

Quick rundown:
  1. Max score of 1600.   
  2. Guessing is okay.  There's no penalty for wrong answers so give it your best shot.  You have a 25% chance of a correct answer.  
  3. Limited choices.  The multiple choice answers include four options.  
  4. Timing is everything.  You have 3 hours to complete the test since there are fewer questions and options than on earlier versions.  
  5. Say what?  The SAT eliminated the obscure vocabulary that was included in its former version. 
  6. A picture's worth a thousand words.  The SAT has more graphs and charts which means you'll need to be able to grasp the relevant info presented in a variety of formats.  
  7. Show me the evidence.  In the reading section, the test provides you with a prompt and then asks which piece of evidence from the text best supports that prompt.
  8. Four score and seven years ago.  The reading section includes excerpts from familiar documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, as well as other important works by famous authors.
  9. Revamped essay section.  The essay no longer is integrated into your writing score. It’s now graded completely separately and, most importantly, is optional.

The College Board's web site provides a wealth of information about the SAT, including free and low-cost preparation materials.