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Everything You Need To Know About SAT - Introduction To SAT

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If you plan to go to college in countries like the USA or Canada, you are most likely to go through the SAT entrance exam. The globally recognised college admission test is administered by the College Board, which measures the preparedness of a high school student and provides the colleges with this shared data to compare it with other applicants. 

Many colleges worldwide require the SAT score to evaluate their potential candidate. This central component of your college application helps colleges determine whom to accept. The SAT measures how well the students can analyse and solve problems typically learned in school and is held relevant in college. In this blog, we shall go through the meaning of SAT, the exam pattern and its relevance for your college admission. 

What is the SAT? 

The SAT is a standardized college entrance exam that many colleges in the US, Australia, and Canada evaluate for high schoolers' college applications. The primary contents of the exam hold an equivalent knowledge studied in school that is relevant for college. Introduced in 1926, SAT is an acronym for “Scholastic Assessment Test” structured for evaluating an individual’s mathematical and language skills. And like any other exam, SAT requires prior preparation and practice that suffices the test pattern and time management. SAT Classes will prepare you with SAT Mathematics and English proficiency tests. 

What is the SAT Exam?

The SAT exam aims to assess the student’s ability to speak accurate English and solve Mathematical problems. With sections like Reading, Writing and Mathematics, SAT tests cover the high school portions and assess each individual’s capability to join a college. SAT also includes an optional essay section of general knowledge where the author’s perspective is analyzed. 

The SAT exam pattern includes:

  • SAT Reading: The critical reading section includes passage reading and the completion of sentences. It evaluates one’s capacity to read complex sentences within five passages. One passage will be a classic or contemporary work of USA literature, another passage of a USA founding document or world history, and another passage retrieved from Social Science, Economics, etc. The remaining two passages will be on Earth Science, Biology, Physics, or Chemistry. 
  • SAT Writing and Language: The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions based on four passages identifying errors and improving grammar usage. You will get 11 questions for every four passages. Unlike the reading section, all the writing passages will be an argument based, explanatory, or nonfiction narrative. It can include subjects like Careers, Social Studies, Humanities, and Science. 
  • SAT Math: The mathematics section includes topics like algebra, arithmetic operations, probability, and statistics. Those students who want to pursue Maths, Science, Technology, or Engineering must be well-versed in the mathematics section. 

SAT Exam Duration 

The duration of the SAT exam is relatively long compared to other standardised tests. If the exam is without the optional essay section, its duration is 3 hours. If the SAT is with the essay section, it is 3 hours and 50 minutes long. 

SAT Exam Pattern Section Duration
English Reading 65 minutes
Writing and Language 35 minutes
Mathematics 80 minutes
Essay (Optional) 50 minutes

The English Reading section contains 52 questions, Writing and Language comprises 44 questions, the Mathematics section with 58 questions and the optional Essay section includes one essay question. 

Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800 points. Apart from the optional essay section, the total score comes to a round of 2400 points. The essay is scored separately. The highest possible SAT score without the essay is 1600. An average SAT score is considered to be between 1050 and 1060.

Which countries accept SAT scores?

The following countries and many more accept SAT scores:

  • USA
  • United Kingdom 
  • Australia 
  • Germany 
  • Singapore 
  • Canada 
  • Malaysia 
  • India 

Colleges worldwide assess their potential students using the SAT scores along with their GPA, extracurricular achievements, essays, and other standardised tests. A total of 85 countries accept the SAT scores for undergraduate and postgraduate programs across different disciplines. The USA comes on top of the list, with over 4000 colleges taking SAT scores. The list is followed by the UK, with 125 institutions accepting SAT scores and other achievements. 

What is the New SAT Exam?

The New SAT was found in 2016, making significant changes to the exam pattern and structure. Even though the basic eligibility and maxim are the same, many other things like the section names, duration and valuation have made some drastic changes. Many students will find these changes attractive and easygoing. 

The New SAT format is much more predictable with a more accessible structure. The old system contained - Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, whereas the New SAT structure comprises two sections - Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Mathematics. The essay section is optional towards the end of the test, and you can attempt to write if you want to improve your score. 

Structure of the New SAT Exam Pattern

SAT Section Allotted Duration Allotted Questions
Reading 65 minutes 52 questions
Writing and Language 35 minutes 44 questions
Math with no Calculator 25 minutes 20 questions
Math with Calculator 55 minutes 38 questions
Essay (Optional) 50 minutes 1 question

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) section evaluates your English language utilising its reading and writing sections. EBRW scores between 200-800 points. The difference between the old SAT and the New SAT exam structure is the division of the mathematical section and the evaluation of EBRW.

The Mathematics section (calculator and no calculator) is specifically divided into four parts:

  • Heart of Algebra 
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis (mainly part of the calculator section) 
  • Passport to Advanced Math
  • Additional Topics in Mathematics

The New SAT evaluation has changed from 600-2400 to 400-1600. Each section (Math and EBRW) is evaluated with a point scale of 200-800. Cross-Tests and Subscores will break down some details to show how you have worked on questions like analysis in science, command in evidence, and words in context skills. The subscores hold importance as valuable feedback for your performance. The highest score achievable is 1600, the total score. 

In Conclusion 

From this brief description of SAT, its structure, and evaluation pattern, we now know why SATs are widely accepted worldwide for college applications. Familiarising yourself with the New SAT will help brace you for the examination and display a successful performance. Simply analyzing the exam structure and preparing for each section will improve your chances of getting admitted to your dream college. Utilise the SAT preparation classes well where you can get your hands on conceptual learning, intensive practice, and comprehensive content analysis on Mathematics, Reading, Writing and Language Tests. 

article1Blessy Babu

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Blessy Babu is an English Language Associate with over seven years of experience teaching various language courses such as IELTS, OET, TOEFL, PTE, SAT, GRE & GMAT. She attained her Master’s Degree in English Literature along with a second Masters's in Counseling and Psychology. Besides, these master's degrees she gained an advanced diploma in creative writing, which perfectly enhances her writing skills. She has authored a book that contains multiple essay writing models to help learners boost their essay writing skills and styles.

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