SAT & PSAT/NMSQT
The SAT is made up of two sections (a total of four tests) with an optional fourth section. It is scored on a scale of 400 -1600. Each section is scored from 200 - 800, and then the composite score is the section scores added together. For a detailed layout, including timing, refer to the chart under PSAT.
The SAT is offered seven times per year, and costs $68 with the essay section, and $52 without the essay. To register for the test, students should visit the following website: https://account.collegeboard.org/login/login?idp=ECL&appId=115&affiliateId=aru&bannerId=satreg-rr&DURL=https%3A//nsat.collegeboard.org/satweb/login.jsp.
Historically, most VPHS students take the ACT rather than the SAT. Both tests are accepted by all colleges and universities, however, because of the extensive ACT preparation offered, students tend to prefer the ACT. If students are looking at especially elite schools, it is recommended that they take both tests.
The PSAT has roughly the same layout as the actual SAT, just with a few less questions and little less time. However, it is scored differently. The section scores range from 160 - 760, and the composite scores range from 320 - 1520.
The PSAT has a combination purpose: first, it serves as practice for the SAT, and second, it is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). The National Merit Scholarship Corporation uses student scores from the PSAT to determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship. Based on scores, first students are named ‘commended’ students. This pool is narrowed down to ‘semifinalists’, further narrowed to ‘finalists’, and finally narrowed to ‘scholars’. These ‘scholars’ (about 8,000 per year) are awarded the National Merit Scholarship.
VPHS currently offers the PSAT as an optional test for Sophomores and Juniors.
Number of Questions
Documents from the following disciplines: literature, historical documents, social sciences, and natural sciences
Math with calculator
58 multiple-choice and 3-5 grid-in questions
Algebra I and II, Geometry, and some Trigonometry
Math without calculator
Writing & Language
Grammar, vocabulary in context, and editing skills
Read an essay and explain how the author builds a persuasive argument