The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is an American-based standardized entrance exam used by colleges and universities in the US and worldwide. The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's ability and readiness to attend colleges and universities, and provides a means to compare student results. There are two types of SAT exams: SAT I and SAT II. The SAT I, also known as the reasoning test, examines a student's general knowledge in math, reading and writing; the latter is optional. The exam lasts three hours and the essay writing 50 minutes. The SAT II (subject test) assesses a student's knowledge in eight key subjects (biology, chemistry, physics, US history, world history, literature, math levels I and II) and 12 languages. SAT II exams take up one hour per subject. A key feature of the SAT is that students are permitted to retake the exams as many times as needed to obtain the desired results.
Students at the American School of Palestine are required to take the SAT I and six SAT II subject tests in order to receive their high school diploma. This qualifies them to obtain equivalency with the Tawjihi, the Palestinian General Secondary Education Certificate Examination, which is mandatory for enrollment in Palestinian and select Arab universities. Students have the choice between taking SAT II subject tests that lead to a scientific or literary stream Tawjihi equivalency. SAT test taking begins for students at the start of the eleventh grade. The School's University and College Guidance Counselor assists students in selecting subject and test date options. An annual seminar is held by school staff for parents and guardians to explain the SAT program and test-taking process.
College and university admissions officers review SAT I and II test scores alongside a student's high school grade point average, the level of course work, letters of recommendations from teachers, extracurricular activities and personal essay. While the significance given to a student's SAT scores varies from institution to institution, high SAT I and II tests scores are an indicator of acceptance at more colleges.
The SAT is run by the College Board and is administered in Palestine through the Amideast, both non-profit organizations. The American School of Palestine is the test center for SAT exams given in the Ramallah/Al-Bireh area. SAT I and II tests are given throughout the year and dates are set by the Amideast.