The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized exam that is designed to help a college or university determine if an individual has the basic reading, writing, and math skills that he or she needs to complete a series of college level courses. The exam, which is designed and administered by the College Board, is split into three main sections, and each section tests a different area of knowledge. These three sections include a mathematics section, a critical reading section, and a writing section. The mathematics section requires an individual to answer 10 grid-in questions (the grid-in questions are basically fill-in the blank questions, but you have to fill-in a blank and color in circles on an answer key) and 44 multiple-choice questions that cover topics related to algebra, arithmetic, geometry, probability, and statistics. The critical reading section requires an individual to answer 19 multiple-choice questions in which he or she must choose the vocabulary word that correctly completes the sentence, as well as 48 multiple-choice questions that require a test taker to read and analyze a passage. The writing section is comprised of 6 multiple-choice questions that require a test taker to identify the option that best corrects a paragraph, 18 multiple-choice questions in which he or she must identify the error in a sentence, 25 multiple-choice questions in which he or she must identify the option that best corrects a sentence, and an essay.
In most cases, you will be required to take the SAT Reasoning Test before you apply to an accounting school because most undergraduate programs (both in and outside the accounting field) require you to submit your scores from the SAT Reasoning Test. It is important to note, however, that the SAT Reasoning test is not the only exam that you may be required to take, as some colleges and universities prefer the ACT or other similar examinations over the SAT Reasoning Test. For the most part, universities will allow you to choose whether you take the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT, but there are some universities that prefer applicants to take one test or the other. It is also important to note that the SAT Reasoning Test is relatively difficult even though it is designed to test an individual’s basic knowledge; in fact, the average exam-taker will choose the correct answer only around 50 to 60% of the time.
The SAT Reasoning Test is scored on a scale, and you will receive a score on a scale of 200-800 for each section of the exam. The writing section is scored on a scale of 200-800, but the multiple-choice questions for the writing section are scored on a scale of 20–80, and the essay for the writing section is scored on a scale of 2–12; both scores can are factored into the 200-800 score. The SAT score that an individual must achieve to get into a particular school varies considerably from school to school, but the average SAT score for a student entering an accounting program is typically between 590 to 770 on the mathematics section, 540 to 730 on the critical reading section, and 560 to 710 on the writing section of the SATs.