The College Board Testing Programs
Introduction & Overview
N. Lund/Oxford Tutorials

The College Board is a not-for-profit, membership organization which was first formed in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB).  The College Board collaborates with colleges and universities and manages a variety of standardized tests.  Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,400 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®). The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns.


College Board Tests



SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), a multiple-choice exam, consisting of math and verbal components. Invented by Carl C. Brigham, the SAT was first administered experimentally to high school students in 1926. In 1934, Harvard University began using the exam as a means of selecting scholarship students. Following World War II, the SAT expanded, becoming part of the admissions process at universities and colleges throughout the country. Despite criticisms that it is biased against women, students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds, the SAT continued to thrive in the twenty-first century and was administered to more than two million students each year. In June 2002, significant changes to the exam were approved, including making the math section more difficult, the addition of an essay section, and an increase in the total possible score from 1600 to 2400.  The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is administered by the College Board and is developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  SAT Subject Tests measure student performance in specific areas, such as mathematics, science, and history.

SAT II (SAT Subject Tests)  SAT Subject Tests scores can help you demonstrate your achievements. Many colleges that do not require Subject Tests will look at your Subject Tests scores to learn more about your academic background.  Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge.  Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects like English, history, mathematics, science, and language. The tests are independent of any particular textbook or method of instruction. The tests' content evolves to reflect current trends in high school curricula, but the types of questions change little from year to year.  Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Used in combination with other background information (your high school record, scores from other tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a dependable measure of your academic achievement and are a good predictor of future performance.  Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.  Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas: English, History, Science, Mathematics and Languages.

The specific SAT exams at this time are, as follows:

U.S. History (formerly American History and Social Studies)
World History
Mathematics Level 1 (formerly Mathematics IC)
Mathematics Level 2 (formerly Mathematics IIC)
Biology E/M
Chinese with Listening
French with Listening
German with Listening
Spanish with Listening
Modern Hebrew
Japanese with Listening
Korean with Listening

All Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests. However, some of these tests have unique formats:


The Subject Test in Biology E/M contains a common core of 60 general-knowledge multiple-choice questions, followed by 20 multiple-choice questions that emphasize either ecological (Biology E) or molecular (Biology M) subject matter. Before testing begins, you must choose which test you will take, either the ecological or molecular. Students are not allowed to take both tests in one sitting. If you do, your scores may be canceled.   The Subject Tests in Mathematics (Level 1 and Level 2) have some questions that require the use of at least a scientific or graphing calculator. Mathematics Subject Tests are developed with the expectation that most students will use a graphing calculator.   The Subject Tests in Languages with Listening (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish) consist of a listening section and a reading section. Students taking these tests are required to bring an acceptable CD player with earphones to the test center.   For more detailed information, including recommended preparation, anticipated skills, test format, sample questions, and more, visit the Subject Tests Preparation Center.


The registration deadlines and designated test dates for 2008-09 SAT:

Sept. 9, 2008    registration for  Oct. 4,   2008 test
Sept. 26, 2008  registration for  Nov. 1,   2008 test
Nov. 5, 2008     registration for  Dec. 6,   2008 test
Dec. 26, 2008   registration for  Jan. 24,  2009 test
Feb. 10, 2009   registration for  Mar. 14,  2009 test
Mar. 31, 2009   registration for  May 2,    2009 test
May 5, 2009     registration for   Jun. 6,    2009 test

The College Board SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is not to be confused with the Stanford Achievement Test Series, usually referred to simply as the "SAT 9" or "SAT 10" (where the number reflects the series being used), is one of the leading standardized achievement tests utilized by school districts in the United States for assessing children from kindergarten through high school; it is used to measure academic knowledge of elementary and secondary school students. The test is available in 13 levels that roughly correspond to the year in school. Each level of the test is broken into subtests or strands covering various subjects such as reading comprehension, mathematical problem solving, and science.  The tests include three types of questions: multiple choice, short answer, and extended response. Besides requiring a written answer of five or six sentences, the extended response may also require the student to graph, illustrate or show work. Such answers are usually included within the areas of science or mathematics.



PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. It also functions as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship programs.



The College Level Examination Program provides students of any age with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. There are 2,900 colleges that grant credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams.


The Advanced Placement Program (AP) is a way for students to take college-level courses and to earn college credit while still in high school.  The AP Program was established by the College Board in 1955.  The College Board has stated that it is “committed to providing access to AP Exams for homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP courses” (“Welcome to the AP Program,”, 2008).  The College Board does not require students to take an AP course prior to taking an AP exam.  These exams are intended primarily for students in the third or fourth year of high school who plan on continuing their educations at a post-secondary level.  With 37 courses and exams across 22 subject areas, the AP attempts to offer something for everyone. The only requirements are a strong curiosity about the subject you plan to study and the willingness to work hard.

SAT Reasoning Test- $43, AP Tests- $84, SAT Subject Tests- $20; additional tests- $8.  Other costs may include late registration, rescoring, and various answering services that are available. SAT grade reports cost $9.50 per college for 3-5 week delivery ($26.50 extra for 2 day delivery), and AP grade reports cost $15. The College Board's College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS), a college financial aid application meant to help students pay for college, also requires a fee. For the 2008-09 school year, the price is $25 for the first report sent, and an additional $16 for each additional college.


Students can register to take the exams and find testing dates and local test centers at: