What is the SAT? A Complete Explanation of The Test

Untitled design 2

The SAT refer as Standardized test, basically it is an Entrance Test which is useful for the college admissions. This test provides admission in foreign countries like US, Canada and other countries for undergraduate courses.

It was established in 1926 by the educational testing service in the interest of the College Board and act like a non-profit corporation. The motive of the test is to measure the knowledge of the student in specific subjects and further the students get the chance to study abroad.

In the year 2014, the Collage Board has planned and decided to make few changes on the pattern of the SAT exam and finally they have successfully changed it on 2016. It is one of the best chances to go abroad for the higher studies.

What are the Different types of SAT?

Different collages provide different names but the SAT exam consists of two types: General Test and Subject Test.

The SAT I is considered as the ‘General Test’ and the SAT II considered as the ‘Subject Test’. These are the recent names of the SAT exams. Recently, they are referred SAT I as ‘SAT’ and the SAT II as the ‘SAT Subject Tests. Still, in some of the collages they are referred as SAT I and SAT II.

Difference between SAT and SAT Subject Test are as follows:

  • The SAT consists of 3 hour and 50 minute test and the SAT Subject Tests are only 1 hour test.
  • The SAT Test paper includes: Reading comprehension, Writing and Math’s whereas The SAT Subject Test includes different topics like Chemistry, Physics, English, Spanish and many more you have to choose among them.
  • The SAT Test requires almost in every collage but The SAT Subject Test needed only in some collages.

Eligibility Criteria:

The candidates have to fulfill the given requirements to be able to register for the exam-

  • There’s not any age limit, the candidate should be of higher school or senior secondary school.
  • The candidate should carry debit/credit card which can support the international currency for the transactions.
  • The candidate should have a valid Indian passport which is important to be appear in the examination.

Examination Dates and Fee Structure:

  • There are special months provided for the SAT examination. The months like October, November, December, January, March, May and June are the months conducted to provide the SAT exams. For the month of March, only the US candidate can apply for the SAT exam. Most of the SAT exams are held on ‘Saturday’ whether there’s not any specific day but approximately the exam goes on Saturday.
  • The fee of the examination is different in different countries. For the Indian candidate the fee for the SAT exam is depends upon the condition if the essay writing is opted by the candidate or not.

If the candidate chooses the Essay Writing then the fee should be come out $106 which is near about 6500- 7000 else if the candidate doesn’t opted for Essay the fee is $94 which is approx. 6000.

Examination Pattern:

There are some changes provided in the SAT Examination in the year 2016. There are three main sections provided: Writing, Reading and Mathematics. For the Essay writing, the max is not included in the main sections. Every section consists of 200-800 marks and the total cutoff will be calculated on the basis of overall 1600 marks.

There is not any negative marking for the wrong questions, each question contains similar marks and the most of the questions are of MCQ’s (Multiple Choice Questions).

 Let’s discuss the pattern of SAT exam:

1- Reading Comprehension:

  • This section consists of 52 questions.
  • The time duration of the section is about 65 minutes.

2- Writing Section:

  • There are 44 questions provided in this section.
  • The time period allotted is about 35 minutes to attempt all the questions.

3- Mathematics:

  • This section consists of 2 sub-sections: Math ( without using calculator) and Math (Uses of Calculator)
  • There are 58 questions allotted in these sections which are further divided as: 20 questionswithout using calculator and 38 questions with the help of calculator.
  • The time given for this section is 80 minutes: 25 minutes for non calculator and 55 minutes with calculator.

4- Essay (Optional):

In this section, the Candidate has to write only one Essay on the given information. The time provided to this section is 50 minutes to complete a single Essay. The Max of the essay is not included in the main sections but have different score for it.

(The total number of questions in this exam consists of 154 questions which includes all the three sections whereas the total times given for all the sections are about 230 minutes.


The sat syllabus consists of three sections Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

  • 1- Reading:
  • Reading Passage– There is in total 5 passages and each and every passage consists of 10 questions.

 This section helps to check the thinking and writing ability of the candidate. The more reading habit will more helpful for the candidate and the candidate should be perfect to understand and convert the whole passage in their language to find the answer easily. The best way to solve the passage is to read the passage completely and further find the answers.

  • 2- Writing:
  • This section mainly involves 4-5 passages and each passage consists of 10 questions. The questions include spot error, rephrase marked sentences.

This is one of the most scoring sections as it only takes less than a minute. This section doesn’t require reading the full passage whether only the selected part is enough to give the right answer. The answer should be relevant to the given question while reading it once will give us idea about the answer. Rather than reading the full passage in reading section, it is much better to attempt and score good marks in this section.

  • 3- Mathematics:

The mathematics section consists of two sub-sections:

  • In the first section, there is no calculator required for the candidate and the candidate has to solve the equation with the use of pen and paper. This section consists of 25 minutes only.
  • In the second section, the candidate can take the help of calculator and the time limit is 55 minutes.

The Mathematics portion consists of various topics as Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics and probability.

  • Arithmetic:

Mean Median Mode
Simple & Compound Interest
Profit & Loss
Ratio & Proportion
Mixtures & Allegations
Time Speed & Distance
Time & Work

  • Algebra:

Basics Algebraic Formulae
Linear Equations
Quadratic Equations
Higher Degree Equations

  • Geometry:

Lines and Angles
Solids (Menstruation)
Co-ordinate Geometry

  • Statistics and probability:


Statistical Inference

Linear Inference and Multivariate Analysis

Sampling Theory and Design of Experiments

Industrial Statistics

Optimization Techniques

Quantitative Economics and Official Statistics

Demography and Psychometrics

4- Essay (optional):

The Essay writing is for those who has opted for that and the only single essay should be written on the given topic. It should be like case study and on the basis of given data. The main motive of assay writing is to check the knowledge of the candidate and also the thinking capability. The 50 minutes will be provided to you to complete the essay and the length of the essay should be 650-700.

The essay writing should be accurate and the main key words should be shown in the essay. You can’t give your personal opinion in the essay, it should be related to the facts and more accuracy will help you to get good marks in this writing.