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The SAT and the New SAT

If you’re wondering what the letters S-A-T stand for, they do not stand for anything! 

This wasn’t always the case: when College Board introduced the SAT in 1926, the exam was called the Scholastic Aptitude Test.  Since then, it has been through changes both in name and content. In 1990, it was renamed the Scholastic Assessment Test.  Soon, the College Board settled for SAT as an empty acronym and changed the name of the test to SAT I: Reasoning Test. Finally, the Roman numeral was dropped. Now the test is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, popularly called   the ‘SAT’.

The changes make for a fascinating story; one that is rooted in the history of the exam. The exam was originally devised as a sort of an ‘intelligence test’. It was supposed to measure ‘aptitude’, which was considered an innate quality almost akin to a person’s height or hair color. The test makers asserted that students could not ‘prepare’ for the SAT.  Test-takers and The Princeton Review (TPR) did not agree! If test results were important, they were going to prepare for the test and do as well as they could. It soon became clear that smart work and diligent preparation helped get great SAT scores.

 

WHY SAT?

According to College Board, ‘more than 2 million students in 175 countries and territories take the SAT every year’. 

Most colleges in the USA require an undergrad applicant to submit either the SAT or the ACT score. In many other countries, several colleges either accept or require SAT scores for undergraduate admissions. While admissions committees do consider other factors: including grades, transcripts, essays, extra-curricular activities, and contribution to the community, the SAT score is a critical criterion to get into a competitive undergrad school.

 

The New SAT

In 2016 we got big changes in the SAT. The content and the test structure of the New SAT are very different from those for the SAT administered till January 2016. So at least for a while, we can expect everybody to call the test the ‘New SAT’.

A quick overview of the New SAT structure:

Section Test   Duration Number of Question
Evidence-based Reading and Writing Reading   65 Minutes 52
Writing and Language   35 Minutes 44
Math Math Calculator not allowed 25 Minutes 20
Calculator allowed 55 Minutes 38
    Total 230 Minutes 154
Essay   Optional 50 Minutes 1 Task

Click here to know more about the New SAT

For the old SAT vs the New SAT comparison Click here

 

Taking the New SAT

In India, the New SAT will be offered on 6 days in January, May, June, October, November and December.  You can take either the SAT or 3 SAT Subject tests in one test administration. March/ April administration doesn’t take place in India.

Find a free New SAT practice test near you Click here

Want to decide whether to take the ACT or the New SAT?

To try our free Manya - The Princeton Review StartUp Test. Click here

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