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SAT vs GMAT: Find the Key Difference Between SAT and GMAT

Rohan Deshmukh

SAT vs GMAT, which study abroad aspirant should take what? It thrills me to share that as per the Bureau of Immigration, 1.33 lakhs of Indian students departed for higher education in the current year, following 4.44 lakhs in 2021 and 2.59 lakhs in 2020.

These ever-increasing stats trigger the big question — is the selection process of abroad countries like the UK, US, Germany, Canada, and others this simple? No. Students need to crack SAT for undergraduate courses and GMAT to pursue graduate management/business programs in most countries. 

Well, through this article, let’s comprehend SAT vs GMAT — two entrance exams with entirely unique purposes. 

Table of Content

  1. Difference Between SAT and GMAT — Covering Critical Parameters
  2. SAT vs GMAT: Eligibility Criteria
  3. Exam Pattern: SAT vs GMAT
  4. Difference Between SAT and GMAT Syllabus and Score Comparison
  5. SAT vs GMAT: Fee Structure
  6. SAT vs GMAT Difficulty: Which One to Choose? 
  7. Frequently Asked Questions on GMAT vs SAT

Difference Between SAT and GMAT — Covering Critical Parameters

Let’s go through the difference between SAT and GMAT, considering these critical pointers. 





Scholastic Assessment Test

Graduate Management Admission Test

Targeted Student

Aspirants of Undergraduate Degree

Aspirants of Postgraduate Business/Management Programs 

Accepted By

Undergraduate Programs across the world

Postgraduate Business Programs across the world

Test Sections

Evaluates the ability of Writing & Language, Critical Reading, and Mathematics

Evaluates the ability of Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing

Type of Test

Paper-Based Standardised Test

Computer-adaptive Standardised Test

Test Duration

3 hours (without a break)

3 hours and 7 minutes (without a break)





5 years

5 years

Attempt Restriction

In a Year: 7 attempts

Lifetime: Unlimited 

In a Year: 5 attempts 

Lifetime: 8 attempts 

Fee Amount



Suggested: Difference Between CAT and GMAT

SAT vs GMAT: Eligibility Criteria

GMAC and College Board do not mandate specific eligibility criteria for the GMAT and SAT exams, respectively. However, the college authorities in both cases have specific eligibility parameters. Let’s dive into them one by one! 

  • SAT Eligibility 

All undergraduate candidates must follow these pointers for taking SAT

  • Students must have successfully passed their high school to get eligible for taking SAT. 
  • There is no minimum or maximum age limit, but generally, students between 17-19 years include the maximum number of test-takers. 
  • If a candidate is 12 years or older, they can apply for SAT only through the mail. 
  • If a candidate is 13 years or older, they can create a College Board account for the application. 
  • If you are 21 years or older, you will have to provide an official government-issued photo ID 
  • Students with disabilities can book SAT accommodation services with approval from the College Board. 
  • GMAT Eligibility 

Adhere to the following instructions for filling a GMAT exam. 

  • Candidates must have a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognised university. However, the GMAT has not specified any minimum or maximum qualification limit for the aspirants. 
  • The candidate must be 18 years or above. The candidates with 13-17 years can also give the exam with written consent from their parents or guardian. 
  • There is no disparity based on sex, religion, educational qualification, background, family history, or income. 
  • A candidate can have a maximum of 5 GMAT attempts in a single year with a gap of at least 16 days and 8 attempts in total.
  • If a candidate gets a perfect 800 score in the GMAT examination, they will have to wait for 5 years to give the next attempt. 

With the SAT vs GMAT eligibility information, let’s browse through the…

Exam Pattern: SAT vs GMAT

There is a significant difference between the SAT and GMAT structure regarding the sections, questions, and time duration. Let’s check out how!

  • SAT Exam Pattern:

The SAT exam can be attempted in 4 hours and 5 minutes, including all the breaks and the optional essay test. The SAT sections are of two types evidence-based (including Reading/Writing and Language) and Mathematics. Additionally, there is an optional essay section as well. Let’s check the contained questions and time duration for each. 

Sections (in order)

No. of Questions

Time Duration


52 (MCQ)

65 minutes

Writing and Language

44 (MCQ)

35 minutes

Maths (no calculator)

20 (15 MCQ and 5 grid questions)

25 minutes

Maths (with calculator)

38 (30 MCQ and 8 grid questions)

55 minutes

Essay (optional)

1 prompt

50 minutes


154 questions

180 minutes (230 with essay)

  • GMAT Exam Pattern:

In the GMAT exam, the candidates can select among the 3 combinations of order for attempting the sections. Following is the information:


No. of Questions

Time Duration

Analytical Writing Assessment

1(Analysis of an argument and issue essay)

30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning

12 (non MCQ)

30 minutes

Quantitive Reasoning 

31 (MCQ)

62 minutes

Verbal Reasoning

36 (MCQ)

65 minutes


80 questions

187 minutes

Suggested: How to Prepare for the GMAT exam?

Difference Between SAT and GMAT Syllabus and Score Comparison

As both the SAT and GMAT exams have different purposes; therefore, the syllabus and the GMAT vs SAT score comparison is quite distinguished. Let’s explore! 

  • SAT Section Wise Syllabus and Score Pattern:

The SAT syllabus covers courses the students have already studied in their curriculum. The details are as follows: 



Score Range


5 passages with questions on Reading Comprehension, Sentence Completion, and Paragraph Length Critical Reading


Writing and Language

Questions on Expression of Idea, Standard English Conventions related to Career, History, Social Studies, and Science



Questions on Problem Solving, Data Analysis, Algebra, and Advanced Maths


Essay (optional)

In this section students need to evaluate an argument through analysis of evidence 

2-8 (Not included in SAT score)

Suggested: Best Strategies and Tips for SAT Preparation

  • GMAT Section Wise Syllabus and Score Pattern:

GMAT is an adaptive computer test that adjusts to your performance throughout the test, i.e. your performance in one answer will decide the difficulty of your next 3-5 questions. Let’s check out the topics in each section with scores. 



Score Pattern

Analytical Writing Assessment

Argument Essay, Issue Essay

0-6 (in 0.5-point increments)

Integrated Reasoning

Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Two-part Analysis, Multi-source Reasoning

1-8 (in 1-point increments)

Quantitive Reasoning 

Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency

6-51 (in 1-point increment)

Verbal Reasoning

Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction

6-51 (in 1-point increment)

Now that you know the SAT vs GMAT exam pattern, syllabus, and GMAT vs SAT score comparison, let’s differentiate GMAT vs SAT fee structure. 

SAT vs GMAT: Fee Structure

The fee structure of SAT and GMAT exams is quite distinct. Being a postgraduate assessment test, the GMAT is more expensive than SAT. How? Let’s get into the details:

  • SAT Fee Structure:

SAT Fee Type

Cost in USD


$60 + Regional fee, i.e, $109 for Indian Students

Additional Registration 

Test Centre Fee: $24

Change Test Centre: $25

Cancel Registration: $25

Cancel Registration Late: $35

Score Services 

Additional SAT Score Report: $12 each

Rush Reports: $31 each + Additional Fee

Archieved Scores: $31 +Additional Fees

SAT Question & Answer Service: $16

Student Answer Service: $16

Handscore verification: $55

  • GMAT Fee Structure:

GMAT Fee Type

Cost in USD


$250 for Indian students

Score Services

Enhanced Score Report: $30

Score Cancellation Fee: $25

Additional Score Report: $35

Rescoring for AWA Essay


Rescheduling Fee

60 days before appointment: $50

15-60 days before appointment: $100

14 days before appointment: $140

Cancellation Fee

60 days before appointment: $100

15-60 days before appointment: $75

14 days before appointment: $50

Now that we understand the massive difference between SAT and GMAT fee structure for international students in India, let’s move to the GMAT vs SAT difficulty. 

SAT vs GMAT Difficulty: Which One to Choose? 

So what is SAT vs GMAT difficulty? Which exam among the two is more challenging for a student? Or will SAT preparation be helpful for GMAT?

GMAT is more complex than the SAT exam. Being more tricky, it evaluates a test taker's problem solving, logical reasoning, and analytical skills. Whereas SAT is more straightforward. 

So how can one choose between SAT and GMAT? 

The following points can be considered while selecting among them. 

  • GMAT has more logic-oriented questions, whereas SAT questions are calculation based. 
  • The reading and comprehension passages in GMAT are quite heavy compared to straightforward ones given on the SAT. 
  • GMAT essay requires you to analyse an argument and present a critique, whereas, in SAT essay, general opinions can work well. 
  • GMAT multiple choice answers have options quite close to each other compared to SAT. 

Suggested: How Many Hours Should You Study for GMAT? 

By considering these pointers, one can decide which is the hard test between SAT and GMAT. We suggest you take a sample test for both SAT and GMAT, they will help you judge your knowledge and the areas for improvement.

However, the major question is whether you want to get enrolled in an undergraduate program or a postgraduate master’s program. If you are still confused, book a 15-minutes free session with Yocket counsellors

Frequently Asked Questions on GMAT vs SAT

Ques. Is it possible to score 700 or above on GMAT? 

Ans. Yes, one can score above 700 on GMAT with hard work, strategic planning, systematic studying, and learning the tips/tricks. 

Ques. Is GMAT math similar to SAT? 

Ans. The SAT maths section only includes the quantitative questions of the GMAT with topics like arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. Besides, there are more advanced topics on the GMAT maths test. 

Ques. Can SAT score predict GMAT? 

Ans. With equal preparation for both exams, your GMAT score should roughly translate to ½ of your SAT score + 50 points. 

Ques. What is a good baseline GMAT score? 

Ans. 650 is considered a good baseline GMAT score for test-takers. However, the actual good score is the one that helps you get admission to your desired college. 

Ques. When can one attempt the GMAT and SAT? 

Ans. GMAT can be attempted 5 times a year, whereas SAT can be attempted 7 times throughout the year.

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