First administered in 1926, the SAT was created to democratize access to higher education for all students and to ensure that all students had a chance to go to college. Today, the SAT serves as both a measure of students’ college readiness and as a valid and reliable predictor of college outcomes.
When used in combination with high school GPA, SAT scores are shown to be the best predictor of a student’s likelihood to succeed in college. The SAT is among the most rigorously researched and designed tests in the world. It provides colleges and universities with valuable information about college readiness.
The SAT is part of the SAT Suite of Assessments and is taken by roughly two million high school graduates a year. It is accepted or required at nearly all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Developed with input from high school teachers, college faculty, and enrollment professionals, the SAT covers core content areas deemed essential for success in college—reading, writing and language, and mathematics.Important:
Higher Education Resources
Find SAT case studies, professional development tools, and research at the bottom of this page.
Understand the Validity of the SAT
As part of the SAT Suite of Assessments, the SAT provides valid, reliable data for colleges and universities seeking students who will enroll and succeed at their institution. Learn more about Test Validity and Design or sign up to take part in the National Validity Study.
Leverage Rich Data
The College Board has produced a set of concordance tables to help you and your staff understand the SAT scores you are receiving from students. We also have detailed the SAT’s score structure so you can get insight into discrete skill sets and overall student readiness.
Scoring and ConcordanceImportant:
Updated Concordance Tables
Use the SAT on Your Campus
A high school GPA is inflating at an unprecedented rate. The SAT allows you to make informed, strategic admission decisions, that are reliable year-over-year, helping to create a student body that’s better prepared for college and more diverse.
The SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10, parts of the SAT Suite of Assessments, offer colleges a detailed profile of student skills and strengths to inform strategic recruiting efforts and admission decisions.Important:
SAT Percentile Ranks by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
Review percentiles (.pdf/263 KB) for both the total SAT scores and for section scores across the full group of test takers, and for specific student populations.
Rich, Reliable Data
Extensive research on high school GPA (HSGPA) has shown significant grade inflation over the past 18 years. More and more students are reporting A grades and fewer and fewer report C’s. During this period, the SAT has remained relatively constant and provides important data that’s reliable year-over-year.
Put a bit differently, using the SAT alongside HSGPA in college admission modeling significantly reduces the error in predicting first year college GPA. This is particularly important for the significant number of students—over one-third—for whom there is a mismatch between SAT performance and HSGPA. This is what researchers call discrepant performance and using both HSGPA and SAT scores for admission decisions provides the most accurate prediction of student performance. In fact, the reduction of error is nearly 10 times less than using HSGPA alone. Download a presentation about this research.
Mattern, K.D., Shaw, E.J., & Kobrin, J.L. 2010. A Case for Not Going SAT-Optional: Students with Discrepant SAT and HSGPA Performance. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, Colo.
Recruiting Power with College Board Search
Users of College Board Search services benefit from the tight content alignment—and common score scale—of the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10. Learn more about College Board Search.
Diverse and Ready for College
The SAT Suite helps increase access to and readiness for college.
Join with the College Board to offer application fee waivers to seniors who use fee waivers to take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests. Find out how to sign up and diversify your student body.
To complement our work with National Merit Scholarship Corporation and further remove barriers to college and career success for students across the country, we have partnered with multiple scholarship providers.
School Day Testing
Districts and states that take part in the SAT School Day program increase the number of students who take the SAT, which increases the potential for richer, more diverse campuses.