About The SAT Test

About The SAT Test


Created by The College Board, the SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities not just in the United States, but also by many colleges in Singapore, Canada etc. to make admissions decisions for undergraduate courses.  Students should also note that these colleges also factor the high school GPA, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, interviews and personal essays while making admissions decisions. While the weightage placed SAT scores varies from school to school – it cannot be emphasised enough that the SAT is of considerable importance for international applicants. The SAT is offered every year in October, November, December, January, May and June in India. The test fee is $91 and students need a valid passport as a proof of identity to take the test. More information can be found at www.collegeboard.com

SAT preparation is an important activity since you need good SAT scores to get admission to prestigious colleges in the US. SAT scores 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).


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?

SAT consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. The duration of the entire test is hours and 45 minutes, and consists of 10 separately timed sections:

Math - Three sub sections that include questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability

Writing – Three sub sections that include a short essay, and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors, and improving grammar and usage in sentences and short paragraphs.

Critical Reading – Three sub sections that include questions based on short and long reading passages and sentence completions.

One variable (unscored) section tests either Critical reading, Math, or Writing. Students will not be informed about which section is the unscored one. The purpose of the unscored section is to gather relevant data, and test questions for future test administrations.

What is the scoring pattern for the SAT

•               The total score is 2400 with 800 points for Critical reading, Math and Writing. The Final score is

•               The Essay is scored on a scale of 0 – 12, and counts for approximately 30% of the overall Writing Score

•               All questions are worth the same point – 1 point

•               Each incorrect answer carries a penalty of -.25 points

•               There is no penalty for leaving a question unanswered.

 Is there a penalty on the SAT

Yes, each incorrect answer carries a penalty of -.25 points. There is no penalty for leaving a question unanswered.

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 with new Score Choice option!

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. The unscored section is a 25 minute section and can be either critical reading, writing or math.

What is the test order?

The SAT starts with the 25-minute essay, and ends with the 10-minute multiple-choice The remaining six 25 and 20 minute sections can appear in any order. 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 an 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.

 Do I have the option to take another test?

 ACT or American College Test is a college-entrance achievement test that was started in 1959 as an alternative 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.

What’s the difference between the
SAT and ACT?




No science section

Has a science reasoning section

No trigonometry  tested

Trigonometry is included in Math section

Vocabulary very  important

Vocabulary less important

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.