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SAT vs GRE: Know the Difference Between SAT and GRE for Study Abroad

Yocket Editorial Team
SAT vs GRE: Know the Difference Between SAT and GRE for Study Abroad Image

When planning to go for higher education abroad, international students must hear the names of 2 tests: SAT and GRE. Many questions come to the minds of students. Are these tests necessary for admission into higher studies? What is the key difference between GRE and SAT? Well, to make it simple, let’s understand these exams. GRE refers to the (Graduate Record Examination); it is an exam for students planning to get admission to any master’s program. The test is generally taken through a computer-based or paper-based version. On the other hand, SAT refers to the (Scholastic Assessment Test) it is a standard test for all international students to take admission to various undergraduate programs in different colleges & universities.

Yocket GRE Prep

The GRE tests the development, throughout your undergraduate studies, of the college-level skills that the SAT primarily evaluates. Both the SAT vs GRE scores are valid for 5 years. And if you’re aiming to score good marks in GRE, You can practise for GRE exam through Yocket Prep easily. And, to know the major differences between these 2 exams, we have incorporated all the essential details for students in this article.

Table of Contents

Overview: What is GRE and SAT Difference?

The GRE test is conducted every 21 days, and a student can take the test 5 times a year, whereas SAT exam can be taken only 7 times a year in several months like March, May, June, August, October, November & December. The following other difference between GRE and SAT are:

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

It is a global level standardised test that can measure students’ reading and writing ability. This test evaluates students' skills in three aspects: writing, reading and mathematics.


The exam is scored out of 1600 marks which is 3 hours. The question papers are based on multiple-choice questions (MCQs) except in the Maths section with no negative marking in any question.

GRE is a graduate-level general test accepted by most universities for admission to graduate courses. The examination is structured in a way that can effectively assess the student's quantitative and verbal skills.


This entrance test was first developed and administered by Educational Testing Agency (ETS), a US private non-profit organisation. The exam has two modes: paper-based and online mode.

Top Universities for GRE General Test VS GRE Subject Test

GRE cutoff for top universities varies on the number of applications and their quality. There are various universities abroad accepting GRE general tests vs GRE subject tests. Some of the following universities are:

GRE General Test Accepting Universities

GRE Subject Test Accepting Universities

Yale University

University of Wisconsin – Madison


Pennsylvania State University

Stanford University

University of Virginia

Boston University

Ohio State University

California Institute of Technology

The University of Chicago

Princeton University

Rice University

Suggested:Tips to Improve GRE Quantitative Score

Comparison Between SAT vs GRE

Most colleges look for your GRE score to ensure that you can complete the graduate coursework. On the other hand, SAT is a global exam for admission to undergraduate courses abroad.

The following difference between SAT vs GRE will help you to know some crucial aspects related to both exams, along with highlighting the key differences between these GRE and SAT.




Total Students Appeared in 2021

Around 2 lakhs

Around 30 Lakhs


5 times

5 times

Scoring Range






Total Time

3 hours & 45 minutes

3 hours and

Total no. of questions

MCQs: 80;

Unscored research section: 20

154 questions

Exam Fee

213 USD

104 USD


GRE scores valid upto 5 years

5 years

Suggested: When to Start Preparing for GRE?

What is the Difference between SAT and GRE?

Although the GRE vs SAT are two different types of exams, their differences are never-ending. It is hard to distinguish between SAT or GRE, which is better, as it differs in different aspects. Here we have given a list of various aspects for comparing the two exams:

  • Eligibility Criteria for SAT vs GRE
  • Difference Between SAT and GRE Exam Pattern
  • Exam Duration for SAT vs GRE
  • Exam Fees for SAT vs GRE
  • Marking Scheme
  • GRE vs SAT Difficulty Level
  • Acceptance

Let's elaborate on each of them in detail

Eligibility Criteria for SAT vs GRE

For SAT, there are no precise eligibility criteria for the test. Generally, if you have completed your higher secondary education, you can apply for the exam. This exam is mainly taken by students who are 17 years or above and want to study undergraduate courses abroad.

Whereas for GRE, you don't need to meet some specific eligibility criteria. Students who have completed their bachelor's degree and want to seek admission to graduate programs can apply for the exam.

Suggested:GRE Preparation Apps

Difference Between SAT and GRE Exam Pattern

If you find the answer to a question, which is better, SAT vs GRE? You get an answer by looking at the exam pattern of both tests. Here we have discussed the exam pattern of GRE and SAT.

SAT exam paper contains three main sections, i.e., mathematics, evidence-based reading, and writing. It also includes an optional 50-word essay paper. Each of these sections has two sub-sections in which the number of questions is categorised as follows:


Sub Sections

Total Questions

Total Marks

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Reading Test

52 (65 minutes)


Writing and Language Test

44 (35 minutes)


Maths with Calculator

20 (25 minutes)


Maths without Calculator

38 (55 minutes)

Essay (Optional)


1 (50 minutes)


On the other hand, the GRE paper is divided into three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The exam is conducted in two different modes, i.e., Computer Based and Paper based. Let's look at their exam pattern:


Computer Based

Paper Based

Analytical Writing

1 section: two questions (60 minutes)

2 sections: two tasks (60 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

2 sections: 40 questions (60 minutes)

2 sections: 50 questions (70 minutes)

Quantitative Reasoning

2 sections: 40 questions (70 minutes)

2 sections: 50 questions (80 minutes)







Exam Duration for SAT vs GRE

The total time for solving the GRE general test is around 3 hours and 45 minutes. And the duration of GRE subject test is of 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Whereas to solve the SAT test, you get a total time of 3 hours. In addition, if you have opted for the Optional Essay paper, you will get an extra 50 minutes for solving.

SAT vs GRE: Exam Fees

The application fee for the graduate record examination test is 228 USD (18,769.84 INR), and the cost to apply for GRE Subject test is 150 USD (12,348.58 INR) for Indian applicants.

On the other hand, the SAT application fees also vary based on region. The total costs you have to spend to apply for the SAT is around 104 USD (8,086 INR).

Aside from that, if you want to reschedule or change the centre, you must pay extra costs for the exam.

Latest Update for GRE Candidates: The GRE General Test fee will increase by $15 USD and will therefore cost $228 USD for test takers in India from November 1, 2022

Marking Scheme

The GRE vs SAT difficulty can be calculated based on their marking scheme. Here we have discussed the scoring range of both GRE and SAT tests.

The GRE scores are divided into three sections: GRE analytical Writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. The exam's Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning section is calculated on a scale of 130 to 170. The mean score for Verbal Reasoning is 151, whereas, for Quantitative, it is 153. The last Analytical Writing ranges between 0 to 6 in half-point increments with a mean score of 4.0.

SAT test syllabus contains three sections. The first writing section has an essay question along with some multiple-choice questions whereas the reading section has reading comprehension, paragraph length and sentence completion questions. The scoring range of reading and writing is between 200 to 800. And the SAT mathematics section has three types of questions, i.e., Algebra and Functions, Geometry Statistics, Probability and Data Analysis, whose scores range between 200 to 800.

                                   Also Read About GRE

GRE 3 Month Study Plan

GRE Test Centers

GRE Exam 2022

GRE Score Chart

GRE Subject vs the GRE General Test

GRE Grammar Preparation

GRE vs SAT Difficulty Level

The GRE is considered harder than SAT because of the GRE vs SAT difficulty level. This is because of some challenging reading passages and vocabulary. The vocabulary of the test has ambiguous words that are not used in everyday language.

The mathematics section, too, has a higher level of reasoning in GRE compared to SAT, which gives you only formulas. You need a solid understanding of mathematical skills to solve GRE maths questions.


Nowadays, around half a million students appear in the exams to get admission to graduate programs. The GRE test scores are accepted by several institutions worldwide for admission to graduate courses. Over 1,200 business schools also accept GRE scores for master's courses like MBA.

SAT is mostly for students who want to take admission to undergraduate courses. Universities mostly use it to evaluate your admission profile. Generally, a score between 1,375 and 1525 is considered better for admission to top study-abroad universities.

Suggested: What are GRE Scholarships?

Preparing for GRE Exam? Solve this 30 minutes free diagnostic test to get a section-wise analysis.

How to choose the Right Test Between SAT vs GRE?

Another big question that comes to mind is SAT or GRE which is better. The SAT is mainly chosen by students looking to get an undergraduate degree, whereas the GRE is for graduate students.

The GRE expects you to have a fair vocabulary knowledge and some basic mathematics concepts. Whereas in SAT, the questions are comparatively easier to attempt. Hence, if you are good on the test papers and have scored highly on the SAT, you might have a lesser chance to do the same in GRE as it is comparatively difficult for undergraduate students. The best way is to attempt a mock test of both exams and select the one in which you are more comfortable.

Suggested:GRE Test Day Tips

The difference between SAT and GRE is more than their similarities. Most importantly, the two end goals are also different as the SAT is taken for bachelor’s courses, while GRE test scores are an entrance test for master's degree. Additionally, the other parameters, such as sections, scoring range, frequency, mode etc., also vary for both tests. However, if you're planning to apply for a master's program and need to practise for good GRE scores, try out our GRE Prep+ at just 99/- INR for 6 months and avail of premium features.

Frequently Asked Questions About SAT vs GRE

Ques. Is GRE harder than SAT?

Ans. The GRE test is typically considered more difficult than the SAT because, even though the mathematics asked in GRE exam is lower level than the maths tested in SAT, the GRE exam has some more challenging mathematical questions that are trickier and requires a higher level of knowledge.

Ques. Does GRE correlate with SAT?

Ans. Since there might be a correlation between SAT and GRE, but you cannot directly convert the SAT scores to GRE scores. If you got a higher score in SAT, you are not guaranteed to get a higher GRE score and vice versa.

Ques. What is the difference between GRE and SAT?

Ans. The GRE is a global level standardised test required for masters level admission whereas SAT is a standardised aptitude test for admission to undergraduate courses worldwide.

Ques. How many times can I apply for GRE and SAT in a year?

Ans. The number of attempts on both GRE and SAT is five times in a year.

Ques. Is GRE difficult to crack?

Ans. The GRE verbal reasoning has two sections i.e. reading comprehension and vocabulary. It is advisable for you to learn some new words regularly as without practice it is almost difficult for you to qualify the verbal reasoning section.

Ques. What is the validity of GRE and SAT scores?

Ans. The GMAT test scores are valid for 5 years and SAT test scores are also five years.

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