Over two million students take the SAT each year. The SAT and the ACT are the two primary college admissions tests administered in the United States. Most colleges accept test results from either test for incoming freshmen.
In 1926, a total of 976 students in 76 locations participated in the first SAT test. A majority of these students also applied to attend Columbia University. In 2014, participants take the test with dreams of attending one of thousands of colleges.
Most students take the SAT for the first time during the second semester of their junior year. Often, the student takes the test a second time during the first semester of his senior year with hopes of improving his score through repetition. College admissions officers use the results of the SAT test and high school grades as indicators of the likelihood of a student's success in college. Many scholarship providers also look at SAT scores when determining the distribution of their funding.
As college admissions grow more competitive, a growing number of students are taking both the SAT and the ACT. The slight differences in how these tests are administered give some an advantage for a better score. Students begin by taking the pre-tests for both of the admissions tests. They then decide where to spend the bulk of their time in preparing to receive the highest score. Once both tests are complete and the student is ready to apply for admission, he decides which score to include.