SAT & PSAT/NMSQT

  • SAT

    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.

     

    PSAT/NMSQT

    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. 

    Test

    Timing

    Number of Questions

    Content

    Reading

    65 minutes

    52

    Documents from the following disciplines: literature, historical documents, social sciences, and natural sciences

    Math with calculator

    45 minutes

    58 multiple-choice and 3-5 grid-in questions

    Algebra I and II, Geometry, and some Trigonometry

    Math without calculator

    25 minutes

    Writing & Language

    35 minutes

    44

    Grammar, vocabulary in context, and editing skills

    Essay (optional)

    50 minutes

    1

    Read an essay and explain how the author builds a persuasive argument