It found that independently high school GPA could explain 15.4% of the variance in college freshman GPA, SAT I (the SAT Math and Verbal sections) could explain 13.3% of the variance in college freshman GPA, and SAT II (also known as the SAT subject tests—in the UC's case specifically Writing, Mathematics IC or IIC, plus a third subject test of the student's choice) could explain 16% of the variance in college freshman GPA.
When high school GPA and the SAT I were combined, they explained 20.8% of the variance in college freshman GPA.
In addition to the two section scores, three "test" scores on a scale of 10 to 40 are reported, one for each of Reading, Writing and Language, and Math.
The essay, if taken, is scored separately from the two section scores.
They state that the SAT assesses how well the test-takers analyze and solve problems—skills they learned in school that they will need in college.
However, the test is administered under a tight time limit (speeded) to help produce a range of scores.
There are five passages (up to two of which may be a pair of smaller passages) on the Reading Test and 10-11 questions per passage or passage pair. founding document or a related text; one passage about economics, psychology, sociology, or another social science; and, two science passages.
SAT Reading passages draw from three main fields: history, social studies, and science. Answers to all of the questions are based only on the content stated in or implied by the passage or passage pair.
Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing.
Although taking the SAT, or its competitor the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many colleges and universities in the United States, The College Board states that the SAT is intended to measure literacy, numeracy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college.