SAT Overview

SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. It is a standardized test with a pre-defined syllabus that is designed to test critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to analyse and solve problems in maths, critical reading, and writing. The SAT is one way to demonstrate a student's competitiveness and their likelihood to succeed in a course, and is one of the several factors that many universities and colleges consider when making their admission decisions alongside high school grades.

SAT is classified into two parts. The first is the SAT that tests knowledge of the subjects taught every day in high school classrooms which are reading, writing and maths. The second is the SAT Practice Test that examines a student's proficiency in a particular subject matter. This test is usually taken by students who are applying for a specialized field of study such as English Literature, World History, Mathematics, Biology or Chemistry.

Preparation is the key to get a good score in SAT. Investing time and effort in preparing for the exam is a critical element in the test taking strategy. Prolific offers quality SAT coaching that ensures students get the best possible preparation.

Test Format

The following sections will compose the SAT test.


Sections

Questions

Time

Reading

52 questions

65 minutes

Writing and Language

44 questions

35 minutes

Math (2 sections)

Section 1

20 questions

25 minutes (No calculator allowed)

Section 2

38 questions

55 minutes (Calculator allowed)

Optional Essay (1 Topic )

1 Topic only

50 minutes

What's on the SAT

Reading

  • 52 multiple–choice questions
  • 65 minutes
  • Passages or pairs of passages (literature, historical documents, social sciences, and natural sciences)
  • Learn more about the  SAT Reading Test

Math

  • 58 multiple–choice questions and 1 set of “extended-thinking” grid-in questions )
  • 80 minutes
  • Algebra I and II, geometry, and some trigonometry
  • Learn more about the SAT Math test

Writing & Language

  • 44 multiple–choice questions
  • 35 minutes
  • Grammar, vocabulary in context, and editing skills
  • Learn more about the SAT Writing test

Essay (Optional*)

  • 1 essay
  • 50 minutes
  • Read a passage and explain how the author builds a persuasive argument
  • Learn more about the SAT Essay

*we recommend taking the SAT essay because some schools require it.

Brief on Each Section

  • The reading section of the test measures your ability to understand what you read and to recognize basic conversations of standard written English.
  • The Math section of SAT exam measures your ability to reason mathematical approaches, solve Math problems and interpret graphical data.
  • The writing section of the test measures your knowledge of grammar and conversations of standard and written expressions.
  • Essay- The optional essay sections measures your ability to think critically and communicate complex ideas through writing.

SAT Scoring Methodology

Talking about relevant SAT information, two sections of SAT (Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) will be scored on a scale that ranges from 200-800 points giving a possible total of 1600. Sub scores and insight scores will also be reported along with an optional essay (scored separately).

Questions that a student does not answer do not count either for or against their score. Neither are points taken away for wrong answers on the math questions where the answers has to be entered into a grid. The raw score for each section is then converted into a scaled score. This is where the score of 200–800 points comes from, which is done through a statistical process called 'equating'.

Exam Fees

The cost to take the SAT for Indian students is US$ 92.

The cost to take the SAT with Essay for Indian students is US$ 103.50.

FAQs

Q. Why is the SAT important for college admissions?

A. Colleges and Universities use different criterion during the admission process, the SAT being one of them. The test score is an important parameter that institutions evaluate while processing your application for admission, in order to understand you better.

Q. What is the set duration for the SAT?

A. The SAT consists of 2 main sections:

A 50-minute essay (optional)

One 80-minute Mathematics section

One 44 Minute Writing & Language section

A 65-minute Critical Reading section

Total test time: 3 hours and 50 minutes.

Q. How is the SAT scored?

A. SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800 scale for each of Maths, Critical Reading and Writing.

Q. How many times should I take the SAT?

A. Preparation is the key. Most students may take the SAT once or twice. We recommend that you prepare well before appearing for the exam as there is no evidence that taking the SAT multiple times significantly improves your score.

Q. How many times is the SAT conducted every year?

A. 6 times (Jan, May, June, Oct, Nov, Dec). The test is generally conducted on the first Saturday of the month (except in the month of January, when it is taken on the last Saturday).

Miscellaneous details

Score Validity: 5 years

Test Fee with Essay: $103.50

Test Fee without Essay: $92.50

Score reporting time: 17 days.

Nature of Test: Paper based test

Test Repetition Policy: No Restriction.

Rescheduling fee: $26

Registration Mode:  Mail/ Online/ Telephone/ Fax

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