The SAT, described in this entry, is one of two major tests designed to help colleges make admittance decisions. The other is the ACT. Although scores from either test are acceptable to college admission offices, there are regional patterns, with the SAT more commonly taken by students on the East and West coasts and the ACT by students in the middle of the country. In the 2006–2007 school year, the SAT Reasoning Test was administered to approximately 1.5 million students.

Purpose and Uses

The purpose of the SAT as stated by its sponsoring organization, the College Board, is to help “college admissions officers make fair and informed admissions decisions.” The College Board stresses that the SAT should not be used by itself, but as one part of ...

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