Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

  About SAT I and II

SAT I and SAT II exams are given by students for applying abroad and is the gateway to a college, financial aid, scholarships, etc. Students often take the SAT in the spring of 11th grade and again in the fall of 12th grade. Scholastic Assessment Test also known as SAT I is an aptitude test which tests student’s ability on Critical Reading, Writing, Grammar and Mathematics. It is globally acclaimed and helps undergraduate institutions check the academic strength of a student for various courses.

SAT I is marked out of 2400 and is a three hour and forty five minutes long exam. SAT I test structure consists of 10 sections of different timings. There are three sections each for Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. For mathematics, one of the sections is both multiple choice and grid-ins and the other two are multiple choice. In the writing sections, the first section test students on writing abilities in which they have to write an essay in twenty five minutes whereas the other two sections test students on their grammar. In addition to these sections there is one supplemental section which can be mathematics, critical reading or writing based. This section is not marked in the 2400 score but the students won’t be able to know which out of the ten sections is experimental.

SAT II, also known as subject test, tests applicants on a set of more than 20 different subjects including History and social sciences, Mathematics, Foreign Languages and Physical Sciences. Each subject test in SAT II is marked out of 800.

The New SAT has been redesigned and students can now take the new SAT starting March 2016. The exam has been redesigned to measure the most important skills, knowledge, and understandings. The redesigned SAT includes an optional essay that allows students to engage in and demonstrate the deep critical reading, analysis, and writing skills they’ve learned in high school. The redesigned SAT will be scored differently from the way it’s been scored in the past. The test will now share a common score scale with the other tests in the SAT Suite because the content is so tightly aligned. Furthermore, sub scores and cross-test scores will be added for greater insight and there won’t be a penalty for guessing.

  What is on the SAT?

The current SAT covers three required areas and the optional essay :

  • Reading : Test-takers answer questions about passages they read. All questions are multiple choice and based on the passages. Some questions will also ask about tables, graphs, and charts, but no math is required to answer the questions. Total time for this section : 65 minutes.
  • Writing and Language : Test-takers read passages and then are asked to identify and fix mistakes and weaknesses in the language. Total time for this section : 35 minutes.
  • Mathematics : Test-takers answer questions related to the types of math you're likely to encounter in college and your personal life. Topics include algebra, data analysis, working with complex equations, and some basics of trigonometry and geometry. Some questions allow the use of a calculator; some do not. Total time for this section : 80 minutes.
  • Optional Essay : The optional essay exam asks you to read a passage and then make an argument based on that passage. You'll need to support your argument with evidence from the passage. Total time for this section : 50 minutes.

  How much time does the exam take?

The exam takes a total of 3 hours without the optional essay. There are 154 questions, so you'll have 1 minute and 10 seconds per question (by comparison, the ACT has 215 questions and you'll have 49 seconds per question). With the essay, the SAT takes 3 hours and 50 minutes.

  How is the SAT scored?

Prior to March, 2016, the exam was scored out of 2400 points : 200-800 points for Critical Reading, 200-800 points for Mathematics, and 200-800 points for Writing. An average score had been roughly 500 points per subject area for a total of 1500.

With the redesign of the exam in 2016, the Writing section is now optional, and the exam is scored out of 1600 points (as it had been back before the Writing section had become a required component of the exam). You can earn 200 to 800 points for the Reading / Writing section of the exam, and 800 points for the Math section.

  When is the SAT offered?

The SAT is administered seven times a year : January, March, May, June, October, November, and December. The October, May, and June dates are the most popular--many students take the exam once in the spring of junior year, and then again in October of senior year. For seniors, the October date is often the last exam that will be accepted for early decision and early action applications.

  Do you need to take the SAT?

No. Nearly all colleges will accept the ACT instead of the SAT. Also, many colleges recognize that a high-pressure timed exam is not the best measure of an applicant's potential. In truth, studies of the SAT have shown that the exam predicts a student's family income far more accurately than it predicts his or her future college success.
Over 850 colleges now have test-optional admissions, and the list keeps growing. Just keep in mind that schools that don't use the SAT or ACT for admissions purposes may still use the exams for awarding scholarships. Athletes should also check NCAA requirements for standardized test scores.

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