Test Development

College Board develops SAT test content based on research and collaboration with higher education professionals.

Creating Test Content

Test Development Committees, which are made up of experienced educators and subject-matter experts, decide on test specifications (types of questions, topics, and areas to cover). Then, test developers write the questions.

Reviewing Test Content

Committees of high school and college instructors review every question to ensure that each one meets these criteria:

  • It measures important knowledge, skills, and understanding.
  • It's fair to all students.
  • It's written in a way that models what students are learning in the best high school classrooms.

Twelve or more professional test developers and educators review every SAT question.

Key Development Steps

After SAT questions are written to specification, they go through development steps including these:

  • Review of questions for content
  • Review of questions for fairness
  • Pretest of questions with students
  • Analysis of tryout results
  • Assembly and review of draft version of test
  • Outside faculty review
  • Policy committee review
  • Statistical analysis after test administration