About The SAT Test

About The SAT Test

SAT is a standardized test for admission to colleges in the United States. It is created and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and College Board in the USA. Many colleges view the SAT score as an important criterion for admission, along with academic GPA, recommendations and participation in extracurricular activities.

More than 80 years ago the College Board created the first standardized college entrance test to help colleges and universities identify students who could succeed at their institutions and to connect students with educational opportunities beyond high school. Today, the SAT is the benchmark standardized assessment of the critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing skills students have developed over time and that they need to be successful in college. Each year, more than two million students take the SAT. Nearly every college in America uses the test as a common and objective scale for evaluating a student's college readiness.

The SAT preparation is an important activity since you need good SAT scores to get admission to prestigious colleges in the US. SAT scores [SAT Scoring] are also used to grant scholarships and financial aids, which are often sought by students from India. A thorough preparation for SAT courses through recognized SAT training courses and SAT test preparation programs ensure that your dream of studying abroad is just about to be a reality.

The College Board’s SAT Program consists of the SAT Reasoning Test TM (SAT) and SAT Subject Tests TM (SAT-II).


Some SAT Test Facts

Why should I take the SAT Test?

Used with GPAs and high school transcripts, SAT scores allow colleges to fairly compare applicants. Also, taking the SAT gives students access to scholarship opportunities

When is it offered?
The SAT is administered 7 times a year in the US and 6 times a year in India. In India, SAT is offered in January, May, June, October, November and December. In case you are not sure when to take the SAT, you can always ask us.

How long is it?
3 hours, 45 minutes

What is the structure of the test?

The test takes three hours and 45 minutes and consists of 10 separately timed sections:


  • Three sections test critical reading - includes reading passages and sentence completions.
  • Three sections test mathematics - includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability.
  • Three sections test writing - includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage.
  • One variable (unscored) section tests either critical reading, mathematics, or writing
The total score is 2400 and each section of Critical reading, mathematics and writing is scored between 200 - 800.

How many times can I take the SAT? Are my scores reported?
You can take the SAT as many times as you want. Most universities will combine the best writing, reading and math scores of all your attempts to evaluate your performance on the SAT. This is valid though only if you report your scores from more than one attempt!

You can choose which attempt’s scores to report!

What is the unscored section?
This section does not count in your final score, but is used as a research based section to try out new questions for future SAT Tests, and to ensure that scores on new SAT editions are comparable to earlier scores of the test. It is always a 25 minute section but can be anyone of the multiple choice sections of critical reading, writing or math.

What is the test order?
 The 25-minute essay will always be the first section of the SAT, and the 10-minute multiple-choice writing section will always bring up the rear or the final section. The remaining six 25-minute sections can appear in any order, as can the two 20-minute sections. It is quite likely that examinees sitting next to each other in the same exam may be answering test books with altogether different sections.

What is the ideal score?
The total score on the SAT is 2400. There is no ideal score, since getting into a college does not depend merely on SAT scores; your GPA and other components of the application package such as extra curricular activities and recommendations are also important. However, in order to get into good universities you do need a competitive score and most universities put up their average and minimum SAT scores on their website at the beginning of an application cycle. Please remember that you will need to check the university’s website to check the minimum SAT score for that academic year.  Most universities consider a score of 1800 to be competitive.

How long is my test score valid?
Your SAT score is valid for 5 years.

Can I cancel my scores?
Yes. If you finish the test and think you want to cancel your scores, you should ask the test supervisor for a “Request to Cancel Test Scores” form. You can submit the completed form immediately at the testing center, or you can think about it for a day or two before mailing it to ETS. However, ETS must receive your request form no later than the Wednesday after the test.

Can I use calculator during the test?
Yes. Calculator use is allowed, but not required.

I have heard about ACT too. How are the two tests different?
ACT or American College Test is a college-entrance achievement test that was started in 1959 as an adversary to the College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT. Both ACT and SAT are standardized tests taken to gauge your aptitude. To decide which test you want to appear, you need to know the basic differences between the two.

The ACT has only four sections compared to 10 sections in the SAT. SAT has three Critical Reading sections, three Math sections, three Writing, and one Experimental section. The ACT has English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning sections. It too has an Experimental section, which is added to the test on certain dates. Unlike SAT, the Experimental section here is not masked as a regular section and is considered purely experimental. The table below highlights the basic differences.



No science section

Has a science reasoning section

No trigonometry section

Trigonometry is included in Math section

Vocabulary important

Vocabulary less important

No grammar test

There is a test on English grammar

Some non-multiple choice questions

All multiple choice questions

Score deducted for guessing

No guessing penalty

Math comprises 50% of score

Math comprises 25% of score

Question move from easy to hard

Easy and tough questions mixed throughout the sections

SAT scoring assessment

ACT scoring assessment

200-800 per section, added together  for a combined score. 2400 is the  highest SAT score possible, and 600 is the lowest

1-36 for each subject, averaged for a  composite score. 36 is the highest  possible composite score.

All your SAT scores reported to  colleges

Will report scores only from the test  dates chose