SAT (pronounced as “es-ei-ti” and not as a word) is a standardised test designed to predict how likely it is for an American college or university candidate to do well academically. Your SAT scores help college admissions officers get a sense of you as a potential student and help them decide whether they would like to have you in their school.
The test is owned by the College Board and is developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service. Introduced in 1926, the exam is taken by about 2 million students a year. There are test dates 6 times a year. The exam is taken on a single day and takes 3 hours (+50 minutes if the optional essay section is completed). The new SAT emphasizes higher-level logical and reasoning skills. The Reading and Writing questions are entirely passage-based and test a deep understanding of how the passage is logically constructed. The Math section presents problems to be solved with or without the use of a calculator.
The exam has undergone many revisions over the years. The current redesigned test format has been in existence since 2016 and it includes two main components: 1) Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 2) Math. Part 3) Essay is optional, but it is part of the entry requirements of some universities. If you opt out of it, however, you will probably be asked to do a 20-minute experimental section, which will not count towards your score. It is used for analysis and test development so that future editions of the test are comparable to scores on previous editions and so that the test maintains its fairness and validity.
Writing and Language
Math (calculators allowed)
Math (calculators not allowed)
1 writing task
The Essay part is now very different from previous formats. In the current format, the essay prompt asks the candidates to read a passage written by an author who is taking a stance on an issue. Their job after that is to analyze how the author builds the argument, to cite evidence from the passage, and to ignore their personal stance on the subject.
On each of the two parts of the exam you can get a result between 200 and 800 points, giving you a maximum total score of 1600 points on the exam. The essay is scored separately on a scale of 2 to 8 points on the basis of three criteria: reading, analysis and writing. The SAT score is valid for a period of 5 years.
- Group preparation course or individual tutorials
- Preparation for the language part (without the mathematics)
- Practical strategies and tips for exam success
- Preparation for writing the essay-analysis
- Practice tests simulating the real exam (mock tests)
- Working on a computer; interactive activities