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What is Sat?

The SAT is a standardized test required by many US colleges and universities as part of their admission process. The score a student gets on the SAT is often used as a predictor of how a student is likely to perform in college-level studies.

However, a SAT score is not supposed to be used as the sole admissions criterion admissions committees should also consider high school grades, recommendations, essays and other relevant information in offering places on their undergraduate courses.

In its present form it consists of two different examinations:

  • The SAT Reasoning Tests (formerly SAT I)
  • The SAT Subject Tests (formerly SAT II)

SAT-I: Reasoning Test

SAT-I is a three hour, primarily multiple-choice test that measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities that develop over time. Most colleges require SAT-I scores for admission.

SAT-II : Subject Tests

SAT-II subject tests are one hour, primarily multiple-choice tests that measure your knowledge of particular subjects and your ability to apply that knowledge. Many universities may require you to take this along with SAT-I.

In India, SAT is conducted at the following cities: Bangalore, Calcutta, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kodaikanal, Mumbai, Mussoorie, New Delhi, and Pune.
SAT is held about 6-7 times a year.

Who administers the test?

The SAT has a long history going back to the early 1900s. It was initially developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) who still administer the test, but now it is owned and developed by the “College Entrance Examination Board”. This implies that College Board sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report.

Eligibility for SAT exam:

Students can appear in this exam either after completion of their Class XII from a recognized Indian university or education board or they can also take this test while studying in Class XII or Class XI. The students should keep college deadlines in mind while appearing in the exam. The scores that are finally considered depends upon the fact that in which college you want to apply.

Validity of Test Scores:

The SAT test scores are valid for Five years, i.e., most universities accept scores up to five years old.

How to apply?

  • By mail: Obtain the “SAT Information Bulletin” available free with USEFI offices or from College Board website.
    Fill in the form, get the draft made (if you are not paying by credit card), and use the envelope provided with the form to mail these to:
    College Board SAT Program
    Princeton, NJ 08541,
  • Online Registration (Credit Card required): Fill up the form online and mention your credit card number. This is the easiest way to register for SAT.

Reporting the Scores:

College Board has the provision of reporting your SAT scores to a maximum of four universities of your choice, the cost of which is built into the SAT fee you pay. You have to mention the universities to which you want to send the scores in the SAT application form. This implies that even before taking the SAT, you need to do some homework on which universities you’re finally going to apply, based on the score that you expect to attain. For reporting to each additional university, the College Board charges you $6.50 (approx. Rs. 280), payable by an international credit card or a dollar denominated draft.

Scoring Pattern:

The SAT results comprise three different scores: a total score (400-1600), a separate score for Verbal section (200-800) and a separate score for Mathematics section (200-800).

Content and Format of SAT


The SAT-I is a three hour exam, divided into seven sections. The following table gives out the format of the SAT-I :

Section Type of Question Total Questions Timing
Verbal Sentence Completion – 10 questions
Analogy Questions – 13 questions
Critical Reading – 12 questions
35 questions 30 minutes
Verbal Sentence Completion – 9 questions
Analogy Questions – 6 questions
Critical Reading – 15 questions
30 questions 30 minutes
Verbal Critical reading questions on paired passages 13 questions 15 minutes
Mathematics Multiple Choice – 25 25 questions 30 minutes
Mathematics Quantitative Comparisons – 15
Student-produced-response Questions – 10
25 questions 30 minutes
Mathematics Multiple Choice Questions – 10 10 questions 15 minutes
Experimental Either verbal or Mathematics section varies 30 minutes
Total 138 + 3 hours

SAT-II: Subject Tests

Writing, Literature, American History and Social Studies, World History, Math IC, Math IIC, Biology, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, Chinese Listening, French Reading, French Listening, German Reading, German Listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese Listening, Korean Listening, Latin, Spanish Listening, Spanish Reading, English Language Proficiency