SAT is a paper based standardized test that a high school student wising to enroll in the colleges of English speaking countries, especially the US, has to undergo. It checks the student’s readiness to attend the college by measuring his literacy, numeracy and writing skills. Developed by the College Board, it is conducted seven times a year and it has its centers across the world.
There are four sections of this test: Reading, Writing, Math (without calculator) and Math (with calculator). There is a fifth optional section too. It is to write an essay which is optional depending on the university you are applying to. Some need SAT with essay, the others don’t. The total time required to complete the test is 3 hours or 3 hours 50 minutes (including the optional essay).
It’s score is valid for 5 years however, the recent exam scores are preferred.
There five sections of SAT are:
Reading Test: 65 minutes, 52 questions
All reading questions are multiple choice questions. While attempting reading section, the test taker needs to read the passage and comprehend the informational graphics such as tables and charts. Then he is expected to use the information to answer the questions which either ask to locate a piece of information or an idea stated directly. Here understanding what the author has implied is very important. The reading passages always include text based on classic or contemporary work from the US or around the world.
This is followed by a 10 minute break.
Writing and language section: 35 minutes, 44 questions
This section of SAT accesses your ability to analyze the sentences and paragraphs in terms of their semantic coherence and grammatical accuracy. To ace this section, you need to know the rules of grammar thoroughly. All the questions, based on reading passages, are to be revised to improve the expression of ideas or edited to correct the sentence structure.
Score: (200-800) combined with Reading
Mathematics: 25 minutes (no calculator), 20 questions
Mathematics: 55 minutes (with calculator), 38 questions
The Math section of SAT is divided into two parts: Math (with calculator) and Math (without calculator). The duration of the test is 80 minutes. There are 15 multiple choice questions and 5 grid-In questions in Math – No calculator test and it lasts for 25 minutes. Similarly, there are 30 multiple choice questions and 8 grid-in questions in the Math test- calculator section. The test score is reported on a scale of 200-800.
Essay – Optional
Though the essay is optional as only some colleges require it, this part of SAT determines the student’s reading, analysis and writing skills. This section requires students to evaluate an argument through analysis of evidence. You get 50 minutes to read a passage and write an essay after analyzing how the author has built his argument around it.
There are 154 questions in total which are to be completed in 3 hours and the score is reported out of 1600. SAT essentially checks your analytical, grammatical, mathematical and inferential skills. Therefore, brush these up and make your dream of studying in the US a reality.