The SAT is a standardized test given across the U.S to high schoolers, and occasionally to those students across the world who plan to apply to U.S colleges. It is a benchmark aptitude test that helps assess the students abilities.Every year SAT exam is held nationally in October, November, December, January, March (US only and also SAT only), May and June and is 3 hrs and 45 mins long.

Introduced in1926, the SAT is a paper-based standardized examination widely used for college admissions in the United States. Owned and published by the College Board, the SAT (along with its chief competitor, Pearson’s ACT) stands as one of the most popular tests for entry into universities in the U.S.For the last decade, the College Board has been the leading developer for standardized exams. Due to the ACT’s recent increase in popularity, however, the CollegeBoard has announced a major redesign of the SAT to make it much more reflective of U.S. high school curriculum.The new SAT test, out of 1600, is simpler and more concise. You have a reading section where you are to dissect the assigned passages. There is an English section where common grammar rules, sentence structure, etc. are tested. These compile of the Verbal section, which is worth 800 points total. There are two math portions, calculator, and non-calculator, which test your knowledge and capability to do math, both on a fairly elementary and advanced level. This is worth another 800 points. You may take the test with Essay, which will test your analysis skills by having you write an essay about the passage given.

You need a minimum score of 1400 to be competitive for STEM majors in a lot of good schools also you need a good score in the mathematics section to increase your chances.

Let us take a detailed look at the SAT exam pattern:

Reading – The Reading Test of the SAT is made up of one section with 52questions and a time limit of 65 minutes. All questions are multiple-choice and based on reading passages. There are five passages (up to two of which may be a pair of smaller passages) on the Reading Test and 10-11 questions per passage or passage pair. SAT Reading passages draw from three main fields: history, social studies, and science.

Writing and Language – The Writing and Language Test of the SAT is made up of one section with 44 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 35 minutes. As with the Reading Test, all questions are based on reading passages which may be accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts. The test taker will be asked to read the passages, find mistakes or weaknesses in writing, and to provide corrections or improvements.

Mathematics – The mathematics portion of the SAT is divided into two sections: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator. In total, the SAT math test is 80 minutes long and includes 58 questions: 45 multiple choice questions and 13 grid-in questions. There are two sections under the Mathematics section, which are-

The Math Test –No Calculator section – has 20 questions (15 multiple choice and 5 grid-in) and lasts 25 minutes.

The Math Test –Calculator section – has 38 questions (30 multiple choice and 8 grid-in) and lasts 55 minutes.

SAT Marking Scheme:

Section scores are reported on a scale of 200 to 800, and each section score is a multiple of ten. A total score for the SAT is calculated by adding the two section scores, resulting in total scores that range from 400 to 1600 (there is another 2400 scale as well). There is no penalty for guessing on the SAT: scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly.

SAT Learning resources:

  1. Learn from official practice tests written by the test makers. The Official SAT Study Guide Second Edition: The College Board: 9780874478525: Books. There are another 10 as part of The Official SAT Online Course, and more are available as free PDFs from College Board online.
  • UWorld is a great tool to practice and study for the SAT. It has thousands of online challenging practice questions with unique answer explanations and performance tracking. This helps you master difficult topics and prepare your best for the SAT.

Once you feel prepared, the best thing to do is to take a complete, timed practice test. It is strongly recommended to take the College Board free practice tests which are pretty useful

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