Updated on Nov 10, 2021
What is SAT Exam?
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (also known as ‘SAT’) is a reasoning test required by universities across the globe for admission in their undergraduate courses. It is scored out of 1600, 400 being the minimum marks, and is 3 hours long. SAT exams has an Evidence-Based Reading & Writing section and a Math section, each for 800 marks. The essay is optional and takes about 50 extra minutes. The order of the sections is: Reading-> Writing-> Math-> Essay (optional). All the questions here are Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), except some in the Math section. There is no negative marking in the test; it is recommended to attempt all the questions. Before you begin SAT exam preparation, one needs to understand the format of the exam. Here is a quick guide to understand What are SAT Exams:
All about SAT Reading Section:
A passage is given in this section, which may be an excerpt from a book, an article, or some extract. Infographics are used in some questions that test your analysing skills. You don’t need to fret about it since all the questions are related to the passage only. It’s not about how well you memorize facts and definitions, so you won’t need to use flashcards or insider tricks or spend all night cramming. This section tests your command of evidence, knowledge of words in context, and analysis in History/Social Studies and in Science by examining hypotheses and interpreting data. You can practice some sample Reading questions here.
What is SAT Writing Section all about:
Just like the previous section in the Scholastic Aptitude Test, a passage will be provided in this section. You will have to proofread and correct the mistakes as asked in the questions. Some questions will have infographics to aid the test takers. This section tests additional skills apart from those mentioned before, which include the Expression of Ideas (for fill-in-the-blanks questions) and sentence structure, usage, and punctuation.
You can practice some sample Writing questions here.
All about SAT Math Section:
All questions here are MCQs except some which ask test takers to come up with the answer (grid-ins). The section has two parts: Math Test-Calculator and Math Test-No Calculator. The No-Calculator part has quick and easy to solve questions. This section tests your fluency, conceptual understanding and applications, and calculator use with topics such as Heart of Algebra (linear equations and systems), Problem Solving and Data Analysis (quantitative literacy), and Passport to Advanced Math (complex equations). Geometry and Trigonometry are also some of the topics tested here. Fear not; the latter two produce basic level questions. There are about 22% grid-in questions which you would need to solve; there are no options provided here.
You can practice sample Math questions here.
What is SAT Essay and how to attend it:
The Essay section is optional as only some colleges require them. Check Your College Policies for information regarding the SAT Exam Essay requirement. The SAT Essay is completely different from any banal school essay in that you have to read a passage and throw light on how the author moulds an argument in support of something. You do not have to present your views let alone justify your side of the case. Each component on the essay is scored from 2-8. These components are Reading, Analysis, and Writing. The three scores are not added to sum up the Essay composite score.
You can practice sample Essay questions here.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test is a difficult one to crack but once done, the exam test scores are usually available 14 days after the test day. Make sure you know all the exam details. One needs to have a few days after the SAT exam results, the scores are sent to the college recipients that you select before the test. Up to 9 days, you can send your score reports to 4 recipients for free. After this, there is a fee charged for each of these recipients, unless you have a fee waiver. When it comes to the university applications, it is available on the CommonApp or on the University Website or if you are applying to UK University, you can use UCAS. Be sure to check individual university requirements and apply accordingly.
Before taking the SAT exams, research the colleges which do not require SAT score. If you do not need an SAT score to get into your dream college, why spend time preparing for SAT? We recommend you to double check with the colleges’ websites for the same as well. Additionally, a number of students prefer going for the ACT instead of SAT exam registration. For those who are done with the tests, you have completed just about 1/10th of your application. The following is a guide on What To Do After SAT/ACT.
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