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SAT FAQs

The SAT is a widely accepted standardized college admission test that helps Colleges assess your academic ability and potential in comparison with the rest of the applicants in your graduating class across the world. Since the test is standardized, it helps level the playing field so that students from all backgrounds have an equal chance to succeed.

 It’s a requirement: Most universities require a standardized test score (either SAT or ACT) as part of the college application. Scholarships: Many universities use your SAT score to see if they can provide you with merit-based scholarships.

The SAT is out of a total of 1600 points. Evidence based reading + writing are two separate tests each count for 400 points, for a total of 800. The math section is scored out of 800 points.

The SAT tests you for your math, evidence-based reading & writing skills. The entire test takes 3 hours (plus 50-minute optional essay).

Section# of Questions & LengthTopics Included
Math
(800 points)
58 Questions

80 Minutes

Algebra, Problem Solving & Data Analysis, Quadratic & Higher order equations, Arithmetic operations, Geometry, Basic Trigonometry. Includes one 25 minute no-calculator section. Questions are mostly in multiple choice and a few free response formats.
Reading
(400 points)
52 Questions

65 Minutes

Evidence based reading & writing, focusing on analysis of History/Social Studies, Science, Data & Informational graphics and vocabulary in context.
Writing & Language (400 Points)44 Questions

35 Minutes

Essay (Optional) (Scored Separately)1 Free Response Question

50 Minutes

Tests reading, analysis and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided text.

PS: THE ESSAY WILL BE DISCONTINUED AFTER JUNE 2021

Most students take the test in Grade 11. Definitely plan to be finished with your SAT by October/November of Grade 12.

Yes, you should prepare for the SAT. Everyone has the ability to improve their knowledge, and you want your SAT score to match your potential so that you can get in to the best possible schools. Start preparing for the SAT any time after Grade 10 exams. Summer is a great time to start because you will actually have time to prepare. Try to begin your preparations ahead of time – don’t leave it to the last minute.

You can take the SAT as many times as you want, but we recommend that you take it at least 2 times, and no more than 3 or 4 times.

Think of the PSAT as a baby brother of the SAT. It serves as a practice test to show you what the SAT is like. For most students, the PSAT serves as a good wake up call to start thinking about their college application process. The PSAT can be taken in October. While you can take the PSAT in Grade 10, you should definitely give it a try in Grade 9 as your PSAT score could qualify you to enter National Merit Scholarship programs

You can register online at SAT.collegeboard.org. Make sure you check the registration deadline well in advance! Also make sure to check the SAT testing centre closest to you – it might not be available in your school.

Yes and no! The SAT has one no-calculator section where the use of a calculator is not allowed. For the other section, however, you may use your calculator. Make sure that you check what types of calculators are allowed.

Although the price can vary slightly each year, the registration fee for the 2019-20 school year is as follows:

RegionFee (USD)Additional Fee (USD)
United States$57 (with Essay)
$45 (without Essay)
Africa (Sub-Saharan), Americas$57 (with Essay)
$45 (without Essay)
$35
East Asia/Pacific$57 (with Essay)
$45 (without Essay)
$53
Europe/Eurasia$57 (with Essay)
$45 (without Essay)
$38
Middle East/North Africa$57 (with Essay)
$45 (without Essay)
$47
South & Central Asia$57 (with Essay)
$45 (without Essay)
 $49

The weight placed on SAT scores varies from school to school. Colleges and universities also consider high school grade point average and academic transcript, letters of recommendation, interviews and personal essays when deciding on admissions. In addition to that, virtually all U.S. colleges and universities will accept ACT scores in lieu of SAT scores. For more specific information about the weight of your scores, contact the admissions offices of the schools to which you will apply.

SAT registration deadlines fall approximately 5 weeks before each test date. You can register online at www.collegeboard.com

This policy allows students to choose which scores to report by test date. However, it may be in your best interests to release all of your test scores.

Federal law protects student data, and these laws broadly apply to SAT scores. The College Board will generally not disclose your SAT scores without your permission, although there are exceptions to this policy for purposes such as research or educational administration. In those cases, data is usually given without identifying students by name.

The College Board has no official policies limiting retakes. This means that students are only limited by the number of times the test is offered. Students commonly take the SAT towards the end of Grade 11, and often again in the beginning of Grade 12. Students should check with the institutions to which they are applying for appropriate policies. Some schools consider only the highest score, while others consider the average score of all test attempts.