The SAT is a standardized test for college admissions in the US. It assesses a student’s academic readiness for college. The SAT tests a student’s knowledge of reading, writing and math.

The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a non-profit organization in the United States. Though with past, it was developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS now administers the SAT exam. The current SAT takes three hours and forty five minutes excluding breaks. The students are advised to update themselves on fee details by visiting the College Board website.

Since the SAT´ introduction in 1901, its name and scoring has changed several times. In 2005, the test was renamed to “SAT Reasoning Test” with possible scores from 600 to 2400 combining test results from three 800-point sections (math, critical reading, and writing), along with other subsections scored separately.

Structure

SAT consists of three sections


CRITICAL READING

Critical Reading section includes three scoring sections – two 25 minutes sections, and one 20 minutes section. It includes reading comprehension–short and long passages, and sentence completion exercises.

Sentence completion question generally test a student´s vocabulary and understanding of a sentence structure and its organization by requiring the student to select one or two words that best complete a given sentence.

The bulk of the Critical Reading questions are made up of questions regarding reading passages, in which students read short excerpts on Social Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences or Personal Narratives and answer questions based on the passage. Certain sections contain passages asking the students to compare two related passages. The number of questions about each passage is proportional to the length of the passage.


WRITING

Writing section of SAT includes multiple choice questions and a brief essay. The essay sub score contributes about 30% towards the total writing score, with the multiple choice questions contributing 70%.

The multiple choice questions include error identification questions, sentence improvement questions and paragraph improvement questions.

The Essay section, which is always administered as the first section of the test, is 25 minutes long. All essays must be in response to a given prompt. The prompts are broad and often philosophical and are designed to be accessible to students regardless of their educational and social backgrounds.

The 25 minute long section consists of multiple choice questions; and the last 10 minute section deals with varying types of sentence correction and effectiveness of expression.


MATH/QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE

The mathematics section of SAT is widely known as the Quantitative Section or Calculation section. The mathematics section consists of three scored sections. There are two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section

The first 25 minute sections consists of 20 multiple choice questions.

The other 25 minute section includes 8 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions. The 10 grid-in questions have no penalty for incorrect answers because the student´s guessing is limited.

The 20-minute section is all multiple choices, with 16 questions.

In Math section, there are questions related to Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Statistics.


Students can use scientific and graphical calculators for the quantitative section of SAT.

Scoring

The SAT includes 10 subsections, including an additional 25-minute experimental or “equating” section that may be in any of the three major sections. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200–800. All scores are multiples of 10. Total scores are calculated by adding up, the scores of all the three sections. Each major section is further divided into three parts.