SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test/ SAT-I) is a prerequisite Reasoning Test conducted for the admissions of undergraduate programs in United States. It is a 3 hour test that determines the proficiency of the students in verbal, mathematical and reasoning skills that are required to evaluate the skills needed to complete the academic successfully. The test is administered several times a year. Many universities also require SAT-II test score along with the SAT-I score for admission. Every year around 2 million students take SAT. Many colleges and universities finds SAT as a more credible test for predicting the student’s competence. The test scores are valid up to 5 years of the test date.
Test Modules in SAT
Typically, SAT reasoning test are categorized into three major sections, Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics, with a total of 10 sub-sections including a dummy section. These sections are discussed below:
SAT exam begins with Critical reading questions that determine various reading comprehension skills. It includes two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section with 48 reading comprehension questions and 19 sentence completion questions. The scores are scaled on a 200-800 point scale with the total time limit of 70 minutes. This module consists of the following subsections:
- Sentence Completion: It measures the vocabulary of the applicants and understanding the sentence structure i.e., how the different parts of a sentence fit logically together. Here each sentence has one or two blank space which has to be filled correctly with the given multiple choices
- Passage-based Reading: This section comprises of two types of passage reading, Vocabulary in Context and Literal Comprehension. It measures the reading abilities of the students and thinking carefully about different passages ranging from 100 to 850 words approximately. These passages will be extracted from a variety of fields like, humanities, social studies, natural sciences, and literary fiction
The writing section of SAT is based on the old SAT-II subject test in writing. The total time limit of writing section is 60 minutes. It includes multiple choice questions and a brief essay. The essay score accounts to be around 30% of the writing score and the multiple choice component accounts to be around 70%.
The multiple choice questions include, Error Identification, Sentence Improvement questions that tests for grammar knowledge and Paragraph Improvement questions that test for student’s understanding of logical organization of ideas.
The essay section is administered as the first part of the test, which has 25 minutes of time limit. They have to be written in response to the specified prompt, which are typically philosophical and are designed to be accessible to students despite of their educational and social backgrounds.
This section is also known as Quantitative Section determines important skills like, estimation and number sense using multiple choice questions and student response questions. Mathematics section includes topics like, exponential growth, absolute value, and functional notation. It consisting of three scored sections:
- A 25 minutes section – It contains 20 multiple choice (problem solving) questions to be completed in 25 minutes
- Another 25-minute section – It contains 8 multiple choice (problem solving) questions and 10 grid-in questions, within the time limit of 25 minutes
- A shorter section of 16 multiple choice (problem solving) questions to be completed in 20 minutes of time
In addition there will be a dummy section formally called as Variable or Equation section with the time limitation of 20 minutes. However this section does not count towards the individual score and they cannot be recognized in the test so as to not skipping those questions. They are only used for the future edition of SAT
Structure of SAT Test
|Sections||Mathematics Section||Critical Reading Section||Writing Section|
|Time||70 Minutes||70 Minutes||60 minutes|
|Sections||25-min. sections (2) &
20-min. section (1)
|25-min. sections (2) &
20-min. section (1)
|Multiple Choices – 35 min. &
Essays section – 25 min
|Content||– Number & operations;
– Algebra & Functions;
– Probability, &
– Data Analysis
|– Critical Reading
– Reading comprehension,
– Sentence completions, & paragraph-length
|Grammar, usage, and word choice|
The three parts of SAT are scored separately as reading score, a writing score, and a math score that range from 200 to 800 each. The average score of each section will be about 500. This average score is acceptable by almost all the colleges and universities. Yet few top colleges/universities expect for above average SAT scores of above 2100, which would puts in the 90 percentile.
SAT – SAT Subject Test
For those who wish to take undergraduate level education in USA, The College Board offers two tests.
- Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Reasoning and
- Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Subject Tests – in 20 different subjects
The Scholastic Aptitude Test SAT Subject Tests is the collective name for 20 multiple choice standardized tests given on individual subjects. A student typically chooses which tests to take depending upon college entrance requirements for the schools in which he or she is planning to apply.
Every test is now a one-hour timed test. A student may take up to three SAT Subject Tests on any given date. Most SAT subject tests are offered on the same dates as the regular SAT, except for the March administration. The language tests with listening are generally available only once a year, in November.
Each individual test is scored on a scale of 200 to 800.
Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Used in combination with other background information (your high school record, scores from other tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a dependable measure of your academic achievement and are a good predictor of future performance. Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.
Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas:
History & Social Studies
- U.S. History (formerly American History and Social Studies)
- World History
- Math Level 1
- Math Level 2
- Biology E/M
- Chinese with Listening
- French with Listening
- German with Listening
- Spanish with Listening
- Modern Hebrew
- Japanese with Listening
- Korean with Listening
All Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests. However, some of these tests have unique formats:
The Subject Test in Biology E/M contains a common core of 60 general-knowledge multiple-choice questions, followed by 20 multiple-choice questions that emphasize either ecological (Biology E) or molecular (Biology M) subject matter. After completing the core questions, test takers choose the section for which they feel most prepared.
The Subject Tests in Math (Level 1 and Level 2) have some questions that require the use of at least a scientific or graphing calculator. Mathematics Subject Tests are developed with the expectation that most students will use a graphing calculator. There are no plans to discontinue or change the content of the Subject Tests in Math Level 1 or Math Level 2.
The Subject Tests in Languages with Listening (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish) consist of a listening section and a reading section. Students taking these tests are required to bring an acceptable cassette player with earphones to the test center.
For more detailed information, including recommended preparation, anticipated skills, test format, sample questions, and more, visit the SAT Subject Test Learning Center.
Many colleges that don’t require Subject Test scores will still review them since they can give a fuller picture of your academic background.
- SAT Reasoning: $ 99 (47 28 24)
- SAT Subject Language Tests with listening: $ 94 (42 28 24)
- SAT Subject Tests (other): $ 83 (31 28 24)
SAT scores will be reported to four universities/colleges with the fees paid (as above). For any additional reporting, $ 10.00 is payable.
Please note that the test taker (student) must not be younger than 13 years, to take SAT.
How to register for SAT?
Registration for SAT has to be made online directly by registering with ‘College Board’, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, since there is no Indian representative. Please visit www.collegeboard.com