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 analyze and solve problems in math, critical reading, and writing. 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.

Exam Structure :

The SAT exam structure continues to focus on testing the reasoning skills of the candidate. The blueprint has also emphasized on putting the vocabulary of the candidate to test on a wider ground, which earlier, was tested in some limited contexts. The grounds of testing the comprehension and analytical skills of the students appearing for SAT are:

Section No. of questions Time Allotted
Evidence based (reading) 52 65
Writing and language 44 35
Math 58 80
Essay (OPTIONAL) 1 50
Section Component Time Allotted (min.) Number of Questions/Tasks
1 Reading 65 52
2 Writing and Language 35 44
3 Math (No Calculator) 25 20 (5 Grid-in)
4 Math (Calculator) 55 38 (8 Grid-in)
5 Essay (optional) 50 1
Total 180 (230 with Essay) 154 (155 with Essay)

The essay is an optional aspect that a student may attempt in case his/her desired university takes its score into consideration. A time duration of 50 minutes is given to the student to attempt the essay and its score is given separately. Many universities in the U.S.A. do not take the essay score.

SAT Subject Tests:

SAT subject test is taken to provide an evidence of language proficiency as per the choice of student. Some colleges allow students to choose which tests to take while others specify the Subject test as part of their entrance requirements. The students can take the subject test in more than one language as well.

SAT Scores

The SAT scoring pattern is beneficial for the candidates as they will not be penalized for any incorrect answer or guessing. The students will also have a chance to analyze their areas of weakness as the changed SAT score report will be an intensive one. According to the new SAT exam structure, the solution sets will be scored as follows.

Section Scaling Range (400-1600)
Math 200-800
Evidence based reading 200-800
Writing and language 200-800
Essay (Optional) Scaled separately between 2 and 8 points
Frequency/year Months of exam Time Duration Sections Maximum Score/ section
7 times October to June 3 Hours + 50 minutes (optional) Math, Evidence based reading, Writing and language, Essay(writing) 800
What major changes were made in the new SAT and are they beneficial?

The basis of testing vocabulary skills and the subjects of mathematics has been changed in the new SAT. The changes are meant to make the test more accessible to all test takers.

  • In India, the SAT is offered in the months of January, May, June, October, November and December.
  • After taking the SAT, students may cancel their score up until the Wednesday after they have taken the exam.
  • The best time to take the SAT is in class 11, or at the beginning of class 12, with at least six to eight months before the final exams commence. SAT scores are valid for five years.
  • The essay question asks students to analyze a 650-700 word document and explain how the author builds an argument. Students need not have previous knowledge of any particular subject to successfully answer the essay question as the test focuses on the reading, writing, and analysis skills of the test-takers.
  • Each college has its own way of using test scores and evaluating applicants. The SAT score reports sent to colleges include score ranges and percentiles that provide some context for how well a student has performed in the test.

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