SAT Preparation

  • SAT is the Scholastic Assessment Test.
  • Students can get admission in colleges in US, Canada, UK, Australia and Singapore via the SAT.
  • SAT is an entrance exam that tests the level of preparedness of the student to take admission in college.
  • SAT provides the students a level playing field to compete on and the colleges a platform to adjudicate the students on the same level.
  • SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper based test.
  • SAT is administered by the College Board.
  • Other factors that are considered besides the SAT score when a student applies to colleges are the student's high school GPA, the classes the student took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admission interviews, and personal essays.
  • The duration of the SAT is 3 hours.
    • In case, the student decides to write the essay, he/she is given 50 minutes, in addition to the 3 hours for answering the multiple choice questions.
    • The student should keep in mind that in some colleges it is necessary to appear for the essay. So, it is advisable to check the criteria on the desired college's website.
    • The score of the essay and that of the multiple choice questions are recorded separately.
  • The sections in the SAT are as follows:
    • Mathematics
    • Evidence based reasoning and writing
    • Essay (optional)

Number of questions and time allotted for them in the SAT:

Reading - 52 MCQs in 65 minutes.

The Reading section focuses on reading comprehension and understanding vocabulary in context. Each of the 52 questions in this section will be based on a passage. The reading comprehension aims at testing the student's ability to find concrete evidence within the passage to support the author's claims or answers to specific questions. The student will be given five passages in total:

  • 1 passage on U.S. or world literature
  • 2 passages on history/social studies
  • 2 passages on science (which may include graphs and/or charts)

Writing and Language - 44 MCQs in 35 minutes.

The writing and language section measures your ability to identify and correct grammatical errors and stylistic weaknesses within passages. In other words, the Writing section is all about your proofreading and editing skills. The passages in the writing section covers a wide array of topics, including careers, history/social studies, science, and the humanities. Unlike Reading passages, however, all Writing-section passages are nonfiction, taking the form of narratives, arguments, and explanatory texts.

Mathematics - 58 multiple-choice questions in 80 minutes

According to this table, the longest section (in terms of both time and number of questions) is the Math section. This is because the Math section is composed of two subsections: a No Calculator section (which always comes first) and a Calculator section. While the No Calculator section is fairly brief at only 25 minutes and 20 questions long, the Calculator section lasts for 55 minutes and contains a total of 38 questions.

  • Each section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale. The total SAT score is the sum of the scores in each section.
  • The highest possible score that a student can score in an SAT is 1600.
  • The 2018-19 test dates for SAT are:
    • September 7, 2018
    • October 19, 2018
    • November 16, 2018
    • December 14, 2018
    • March 2014, 2019
    • May 17, 2019
    • July 10, 2019
  • The student can register for the SAT on the website of the College Board
  • SAT v/s ACT: Which one to appear for?
    • The students are often confused if they should appear for ACT or SAT because a few colleges prefer the ACT score over the SAT scores; though most of the colleges accept either of the two scores.
    • Certain changes were made in the SAT in the year 2016, which have made it easier for the students to prepare for both the ACT and the SAT together and achieve competitive scores.
    • Both the ACT and SAT check the students' ability to solve problems under the given time constraint and the ability to pick the right kind of questions.

FAQs about SAT

Q1. How much does SAT cost?

A1. The fee for SAT varies depending on whether the student writes or does not write he essay.

  • With the essay- $106
  • Without the essay- $94

Q2. How to register for SAT?

A2. The student should follow the following steps to register for SAT:

  • Sign in to the College Board account.
  • Provide the details
  • Decide whether or not you wish to write the essay.
  • Upload documents which meet the specified dimensions and size.
  • Checkout and, print the admission ticket.

Q3. Can I reschedule the SAT?

A3. Yes, you can reschedule your SAT exam. A fee for the change in the date will be applicable.

Q4. What is the eligibility for SAT?

A4. The College Board does not have any specific eligibility criteria that the student has to meet but, mostly it is the high school students who take the SAT for undergraduate level courses.