The SAT used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test. The test itself takes three hours and measures both verbal and mathematical reasoning skills. The verbal section includes vocabulary, analogies, sentence completion, and reading comprehension. The mathematics section includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and other reasoning questions.
When you take the test, you are competing with everyone else in the country. For example, the points you are awarded are dependent upon how you answer the multiple-choice questions in both the mathematical and the verbal sections in comparison to other students who took the same exam. The scores on the SAT range from a 200 (lowest possible) to 800 (highest possible) with an average score being 500. Naturally, the higher you score on the exam, the more favorable you look to potential colleges.