The Universal Guide to the SAT - 2020

Exam dates, Registration, Syllabus, Results, Scores....

College Board SAT

Looking to do your Bachelor’s abroad? Not sure where to start?

No need to worry! We are here to fill you in on the details about the whole process concerning the SATs!

So, what is the SAT?

Let’s dive into detailed information on the SAT exam.

1. What is the SAT?

SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test, which was renamed from Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The SAT is a test conducted internationally to test the students’ eligibility to pursue higher education (undergraduate programs) in select institutions across the world, especially in America.

It is managed by the Educational Testing Service, which works under the College Board, a private, not-for-profit organization in the USA. The exam aims to evaluate the students’ reading and writing proficiency along with their arithmetic ability.

Admission for Undergraduate Courses

Waiting for your Board exam results and trying to figure out your next big step? The SAT is exclusively for students aspiring to make it to one of the best Admission for undergraduate programs across the world.

Your score in the SAT can get you an opportunity to learn from the best in the field you’re most passionate about!

SAT scores for Indian Colleges

It just doesn’t end there! SAT scores are now accepted in Indian colleges too!

The College Board has launched the College Board Indian Scholars Program and invites applicants from across the country with different economic backgrounds to participate in the SAT.

Students who score 1350 out of 1600 can get into any member university of the Indian Global Higher Education Alliance. Certain institutions waive the tuition fees and even provide scholarships according to your score and economic status.

In India, more than twenty of the top universities accept SAT scores for admission.

Why Study Abroad?

For the past two decades, students have been flocking towards countries like the USA, Canada and UK to secure admissions in the best universities of the world.

The high standards of education in these countries and the state-of-the-art facilities their universities provide for education are primary reasons for this phenomenon.

In the competitive environment prevalent at present, it is prudent for students to look beyond the options available within India and aim for universities across the globe to pursue quality education.

Global Access

One of the most popular perceptions of the SAT is,
“Isn’t SAT a popular exam in the US, how is it relevant for Indian students?”

You can study in world-renowned institutions no matter where you’re from!
The Scholastic Aptitude Test acts as one of the gateways to your dream courses that can establish a strong career for you in the long run.

  • Institutions that offer you state-of-the-art resources, both in terms of the course and infrastructure.
  • You will be equipped with a set of unique social skills due to the vast multicultural exposure at your institution which can help you gain a competetive edge over the others in the global platform.

What next? You have to pick the right university that best suits your needs. Where will you find the right package to get you on the right track? It’s not hard to guess because the popularity of this educational hub has grown multifold! The United States of America is indeed the land of opportunities for those looking for exponential growth. There are so many universities for you to choose from and here’s the creamy layer of the lot!

We have even given below the ideal score that is expected from you in these Ivy league universities. You can set your target accordingly and work towards it!

Name Of CollegeSAT Requirements
Reading And Writing
SAT Requirements
Math
Harvard University 710-800 720-800
Yale University 710-800 710-800
Princeton University 690-790 710-800
California Institute of Technology 740-800 770-800
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 700-790 760-800
Columbia University 700-790 710-800
The University of Chicago 720-800 730-800
University of California 620-750 650-790
Stanford University 680-780 700-800

*The mentioned universities have been listed randomly and follow no particular order.
*The given data is from a survey conducted in 2016.

These world-class institutions can facilitate a holistic development through a more heuristic approach to teaching and learning. Want to know more? Here’s where we can start!

Why SAT?

Benefits of SAT

Benefits of the SAT

  • By writing the SAT, you can apply to multiple universities.
  • There is no negative marking on the SAT.
  • You can retake the SAT as many times as you want.
  • The test is conducted many times a year.
  • This test easily makes you eligible for a number of scholarships.
  • If you have a low GPA, you can still pursue your dreams with the SAT scores.

The SAT Subject Test

There is a special SAT Subject Test where the assessment relies entirely on the subject matter related to the chosen course of study. This test can easily validate your command over a particular subject and you can take the SAT Subject Test without the SAT!

  • There are 20 subject tests which come under five broad areas like English, History, Mathematics, Language and Science.
  • It is scored on a 200-800 scale and should be written in one hour.
  • You can take upto three tests on a given test date.
  • You cannot write the SAT and SAT Subject Test on the same day.
  • Some universities specifically ask for an SAT subject test according to the course.
  • Some students consider taking an SAT Subject Test when they have low SAT scores.
  • 1/4th of a mark is deducted for every wrong answer.

SAT Requirements

Eligibility

There are no specific requirements in terms of age or educational qualification. The SAT is taken for gaining admission for undergraduate programs, so the majority of the test takers are high-schoolers.

SAT Fees

As International students, you will be asked to pay an additional regional fee (non U.S. Regional Fee) along with the International SAT Registration Fee.

International Registration FeeRegional fee
Math
Total fee
SAT only $ 49.50 $ 49 $ 98.50
SAT with Essay $ 64.50 $ 49 $ 113.50

Students who are not capable of meeting the financial requirements are eligible for a fee waiver when certain criteria are met. The SAT Fee Reduction Voucher is given to those applying for Indian universities.

Registration Requirements

  • Create a free College Board account and log in.
  • Give your full, legal name as mentioned on your Photo ID and also upload your photo as per the requirements. Acceptable forms of identification are either a valid Passport or an Aadhaar Card with your name, photograph and signature.
  • Fill in the other details according to your choice, but keep in mind that providing a few specific details can help colleges and scholarship organizations find you.
  • Check if the colleges that you’ve chosen require an essay as a part of the admission criteria and choose accordingly.
  • Sunday Testing is not available in India.
  • And don’t forget to take a hard copy of your admission ticket!

Registration Dates

As international students (India), you will have a different set of registration and test dates. You will have to register by 11:59 pm, Eastern Time, U.S.

Test DateLast Date of RegistrationSAT availability
March 14, 2020 February 14, 2020 Yes
May 2, 2020 April 3, 2020 Yes
June 6, 2020 To be updated To be updated

Test Centers

To know the test centers near you, you can enter your details in the link below and get the necessary details. The link below also has the International Code List which can be used to manually check the generated test center.

Click here to find test centers.

Exam Tips

  • Take your Admission Ticket, Photo ID, Two No.2 Pencils with eraser along with an authorized calculator.
  • Check the status of your test centre a week before the exam.
  • Electronic devices, books and stationery (other than pencil and eraser) will not be allowed inside the test centre.
  • You can enter the centre at 7:45 am and the test commences between 8:30 am and 9:00 am.
  • The section in your textbook might be different from that in your neighbour’s.
  • You will have to work on a section during the allotted time and refrain from skipping sections.
  • You will be given breaks after each section. The test ends at around 1 pm.

What happens after the SAT?

SAT Results

The section scores are usually published in approximately 15 days from the date of the exam. If you have registered to the College Board, then you will be receiving an email for your online score report.

Make sure you download and get a hard copy as well. Your score report consists of details on how your marks have been split across the different sections. Your score is valid upto five years from the test date.

During this period, you can use these scores to gain admissions in colleges and also avail scholarships.

College Board offers you a way to search for your ideal college and also get a glimpse of what they have to offer. Along with this, it gives an insight into the average SAT score each college requires as given here.

College Applications

7 things you need to know when applying to colleges

  • You must know that when you put in all your effort and work smartly, you can easily get into the top universities. It’s not impossible! If you do the right things, you can quickly be on your way to your dream college!
  • While choosing your college, do not just see what it has to offer. You might want to check if the goals of the college and the course meet your needs. It could have the best library but the courses offered might not suit your learning style. Weigh your options carefully and choose what’s best for you!
  • Talk to your parents, teachers, and counsellors about your interests and what’s best for you. Talk to those who can help you through this process, in terms of paperwork, financial assistance and all that follows. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone!
  • Even if your SAT scores do not meet the average requirements of the college, you can still apply because it’s not a rigid cutoff, and marks aren’t the only criteria that decides your admission.
  • Along with your application forms, you might have to submit a Letter of Recommendation, a Statement of Purpose, an Application Essay, and your High School Transcripts.
  • TOEFL scores are also important.
  • Apply for an F1 visa once you secure admission in any university in the States. This visa is granted specially for students pursuing an academic degree.

Scholarships

SAT scores can really help you bag a scholarship given that you are able to market yourself. You have to prove to them that you are the candidate who has a strong purpose and who can make the best use of the opportunity.

Based on the College List that you have created, you can explore the various requirements posted on their official websites.

What does the test contain?

The SAT Test Pattern

SAT syllabus - Reading, Writing, Math and Essay sections

The SAT, which is a three hour test, tries to assess you based on what you have learnt in school and what knowledge you must have prior to pursuing your target course.

It is divided into three sections:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing and Language
  3. Math 
  4. Essay (Optional)

The total score will be 1600 on the whole, where 800 is alloted for Reading and Writing, while the rest is allotted for Math.

Sections Key FocusMarks
1600
Time Allotted
3 hours 50 mins
Questions
155
Reading Social Science, History, Economics, Psychology,Science
Great Global Conversation Texts, US and World Literature
Grammar, Vocabulary and Writing Skills
200-800 65 mins 52
Writing 35 mins 44
Math Algebra, Problem Solving, Data Analysis, Advanced Math 200-800 80 mins 58
Essay No particular topic No Score 50 mins 1

Reading Test

The section basically assesses your ability to grasp the content- how you interpret it and draw conclusions. It does not require you to memorize vocabulary or definitions because they are looking to size your language aptitude. The test includes,

  • Interpreting short passages and data on psychology, sociology, social science and economics, Two science passages are included from biology, physics or chemistry.
  • Your knowledge on Great Global Conversation texts like, the Declaration of Independence Document, Presidents’ Speeches etc… US and World literature are also a part of the paper.
  • Analysing numerical and graphic data (does not include problem-solving.
  • Understanding the implied meaning of the given content

All this can be categorized under Evidence-based Reading through which you can prove your ability to back statements and that you have an eye for details. And also, a person’s vocabulary is also tested based on the context of the passages. You will be expected to interpret data and examine hypotheses using the given subject-based passages.

Writing and Language Test

This section exclusively checks an individual’s writing capacity and one’s efficiency to quickly grasp the content, that is,

  • To be able to recognize errors in language and correct them.
  • It is important for you to write a concise and relevant answer using appropriate vocabulary that are context-specific.  You will have to check if the passage is aligned properly- if they are structurally sound and other tasks include checking the grammar, changing punctuation, tenses, etc..
  •  Like the reading test, even this section expects you to use an evidence-based approach to the multiple choice questions. And you don’t have to worry about the subject in question because the questions heavily focus on the given texts and nothing outside of it.

Math test

This section of the paper intends to test your analytic capabilities.

  • Algebraically solve linear equations, interpret variables and consonants, use ratios, units, graphs to solve multi-step problems. You will also have to create algebraic expressions, quadratic or exponential functions.
  • The problem requires an ideal solution an efficient way of approaching the conflict.
  • Having all the math concepts at your fingertips is necessary while attending questions that require you to draw parallels between theories.
  • You will also be asked to analyze graphs, charts and other information graphics and this time you will have to apply mathematical theories to validate your answers.
  • Instead of just using regular math problems, the test gives you an opportunity to examine real- life situations. It is to know if you can apply what you learnt to good use.
  •  A few questions allow calculators due to the complexity of the problem. Although, some problems might not need a calculator, you have the choice of using it- but beware, they may not turn out as a real time saver like they seem!

Essay

It is optional and an extra 50 minute is given to you. Although, they don’t ask you to come up with a research topic or a critical analysis as such, the essay tries to find your clarity of thought that shows that you’re ready for college.

What it requires is for you to show an understanding of the given topic, the author’s point of view.

After all, most of your assignments in college will be similar to tasks like these that look forward to scrutinize your ability to put the author’s implications by using evidence, reasoning and stylistic elements.

How to prepare for the test?

5 Tips to get Good Scores

Tips to get Good SAT scores
  • You must set your target score and work towards achieving it.
  • Take as many SAT practice tests so that you can get the hang of things.
  • You can always time yourself and improve your speed and efficiency.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses because you will know the areas that need improvement. This is basically a trouble-shoot method you can employ for quick results.
  • Learn from the mistakes and keep track of it so that you do not commit it again.

How to prepare?

Reading and Writing

  • Read the passage carefully and read aloud to yourself to identify grammatical errors.
  • Skim the passage before you identify the main points of the passage because you will be able to grasp the content quickly knowing what to expect.
  • Evidence- based reading can be made easier if you are able to pick out the facts from the passage and try to not overthink.
  • Know your Grammar

Math

  • Memorize formulas because this will help save time.
  • Grid-ins is a space for you to write your answers and use them wisely.

Galvanize- SAT Test Prep

Galvanize offers a comprehensive practice module, which focuses on a personalized approach that meets individual needs. We conduct classroom sessions using materials recommended by the College Board.

We provide you with mock tests because you need sufficient practice before the d-day. The module is concise and student centered. Galvanize also provides SAT mock tests which prepare you on important subjects like, English, History, Math, Social Science and Science.

Click here for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the SAT uniform across all countries?

SAT conducts different versions in different areas and also changes the sections to ensure there is no malpractice.

2. Do UK universities accept SAT?

Universities in the UK usually do not require SAT scores and have set other requirements.

3. Can we retake the SAT? Does it look bad?

You can retake the SAT multiple times and will not affect your admissions in any way.

4. Should the year of test taken and year of admission be the same? If not, should we retake the test?

SAT score has a validity of five years so it is not necessary for the test year and year of admission to be the same.

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