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Last Updated: November 23, 2023

What is SAT?

SAT is a test administered by the College Board to measure the readiness of high school students to attend college/university. It is a pencil-and-paper test whose workability is solely based on the fact that the test provides a common assessment ground for colleges/universities when it comes to narrowing down the application forms. SAT score is then reviewed alongside the GPA and college application which will act as a bonus and also show the amount of preparation that has gone into sending the application.

The exam is generally taken by students in the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. The advantage of taking the SAT in junior year is that the test can then be retaken in case the average score leans toward the lower end of the score range. The exam is offered 7 times nationally in a year which generally comes up in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December.

Throughout the years, the SAT has undergone numerous changes. The College Board has now declared that the SAT will be entirely digital beginning in January 2024 everywhere the test is offered. U.S. students continued to take the paper and pencil SAT in 2023, despite the fact that international students took the test digitally. SAT Test Dates

Who Can Apply for SAT?

Candidates who are applying for undergraduate college admission will be able to take the SAT examination to prove their academic skills in Mathematics, Sciences, Language, and Social Sciences. Though there is no official age for taking the test, students ideally take the test when they are between 16 to 19 years of age. After the age of 25, institutions do not require the candidate to submit an SAT score for their admission.

Why Take SAT?

Students mostly remain confused about the prospect of taking the SAT. It is a fact that many colleges and universities do not require SAT and one might prefer to choose such places for obvious reasons. It is to remove this confusion that this page is providing a curated list stating the reasons as to when and why candidates must take the SAT.

First of all, while SAT plays a critical role in college admissions, it also clears the path for various scholarships. Even when colleges might not consider SAT scores for the admission process, a higher SAT score will aid in entering the list of SAT scholarship requirements. In specific cases, when the college of one’s choice does not provide SAT scholarships, one will always be able to find other organizations that offer a decent sum according to the score they have received. Generally speaking, a score above 1200 makes one eligible for scholarships. But the higher the score, the better the scholarship that can be procured. This can add up to thousands of dollars in one’s college years.

Secondly, a decent SAT score compensates for a low GPA. Whatever the reason for having a low GPA in high school, an above-average SAT score along with an excellent college application and a few letters of recommendation will guarantee admission to the school of one’s choice. In such cases, SAT scores show the candidate’s credibility despite their high school performance and raise the bar that a GPA must have set.

Thirdly, SAT scores are universally accepted and can be used after college. This means that an above-average SAT score can be added to one’s resume and that it will boost their chances of getting hired at the first job. Competitive exams that are taken at any point in life will never be a wasted effort since their value is recognized universally and will compensate for any year gap or other drawbacks a profile may seem to hold.

The exam then is for gaining admission at a college/university of choice, but it is not limited to that alone. An above-average score can bring both money through educational scholarships from inside and outside the academic space along with that first dream job one has always wanted.

Eligibility Criteria for SAT

There are no set eligibility criteria for taking the SAT examination. Typically, candidates take the test between the ages of 16 and 19. They take the SAT for undergraduate college admissions.

Cost of Taking SAT

The amount charged for registering for SAT and the other additional charges included are as follows-

ServiceFee
Registration$60 ($43 regional fee)
Test center fee (if applicable)$24
Late Registration$30
Test center change$25
Test cancellation$25
Late cancel fee$35


Further fees associated with scores are as follows:
ServiceFee
Additional score report$14 per report
Rush reports$31
Getting scores via phone$15 per call
Archived scores$31
For information on Average SAT Scores

How to Register/Apply for SAT?

Students can use their college board account to register for the digital SAT online. The procedures below outline how to sign up for the digital SAT: NOTE: Students also need to mention the name of the testing equipment they plan to use and verify that it will function on test day, to access their admission ticket and verify their information, download the Bluebook app and to show the ticket on test day, they should print it off or send it to themselves via email.

Avoid Delays
To avoid delays in processing applications sent through the mail, one must ensure that every field marked in red/marked required is filled. The applications sent can be rejected and returned to the candidate in case of the following reasons-

Syllabus and Test Structure for SAT

The Digital SAT exam consists of two major sections which are Mathematics test, Reading and Writing test.

There are 54 questions in the Reading and Writing section, and students have 64 minutes to complete them. In contrast, the Mathematics section has 70 minutes to complete 44 questions. Students are now permitted to use calculators throughout the Math section, as the section without calculators has been removed. More information on SAT Syllabus and Format

What is Tested on SAT?

There are questions in the digital Reading and Writing section that correspond to the four content domains listed below:
Each of the four content domains listed below is represented by a question in the digital math section:

How Digital SAT is different?

The following list of parallels and discrepancies exists between SAT and Digital SAT:
BasisPaper and Pencil SATDigital SAT
Time Allotted3 hours2 hours 14 minutes
Break Time15 minutes10 minutes
Number of Sections3 Sections2 Sections
Section
  • Reading section
  • Writing and Language section
  • Math section
  • Reading and Writing section
  • Math section
Number of Questions
  • Reading Section-52 questions
  • Writing and Language section-44 questions
  • Math section: Module 1-2O questions
  • Math section: Module 2-38 questions
Reading and Writing section-54 questions
  • Math section-44 questions
  • Time per section
    • Reading section-65 minutes
    • Writing and Language section-35 minutes
    • Math: Module 1-25 minutes
    • Math Module 2-55 minutes
    • Reading and Writing section-64 minutes
    • Math section-70 minutes
    Use of CalculatorAllowed in one Math moduleAllowed throughout the Math section
    Score Reports2-3 weeksWithin a few days
    Passages in Reading and Writing sectionLengthyShort
    Score Range400-1600400-1600

    What is Bluebook Application?

    Students will take the digital SAT using the Bluebook application. There are numerous features in this app that will help students both before the test and on test day. One such feature is a test preview that can help students familiarize themselves with the main features of the app before the test. Some other features of the application include: Students can download the application by clicking here

    Multistage Adaptive Testing

    Each test section in a multistage adaptive SAT Suite exam is split into two equal-length, independently timed stages, each consisting of a module of questions. Students respond to the questions from the first module at the start of each test section. Before going on to the second module, students can showcase their progress by answering a variety of easy, medium, and hard questions in this module. Based on the test taker's performance in the first module, the questions in this second module are primarily designed to assess their achievement level; the questions in this module are either (on average) harder or easier than those in the first module. This indicates that the exam "adapts" to show questions that are more suitable for the level of performance of a student.

    Testing Devices

    Students can use a school-managed Chromebook, a Mac laptop or iPad, or a Windows laptop or tablet to take the digital SAT. Before the test, the device must be downloaded with Bluebook. In addition, the gadget needs to be fully charged so that it can run for about three hours and be able to connect to Wi-Fi. Students are not permitted to take exams on their phones, and privacy screens for detachable devices are prohibited. Throughout testing, all other programs and applications need to be closed. While the College Board encourages students to bring a power cord or portable charger, we cannot guarantee that they will have access to an outlet. If it's a tablet, they can also bring an external keyboard and mouse for the device. Students may take tests on a device controlled by the school or on their own.

    Score Reports

    Rather than taking weeks, digital SAT score reports will be accessible in a matter of days. Two formats are available online for student scores: a PDF report and more in-depth score insights. The student can view the three scores available in a digital SAT"total score, Reading and Writing section score, and Math section score"in the score report PDF, which the school can send if the student requests it. Additionally, graphical representations of student performance on each of the eight content areas assessed by the digital SAT are included in the PDF report.

    Calculate SAT Score

    The SAT exam is scored out of a total of 1600 and the candidate will receive scores on each sub-section in the SAT report which includes Math and Reading and Writing Section. The test has no negative marking and encourages guessing over leaving answers unattended.

    The total score will be a combination of both Reading and Writing and Math sections where both are graded within 800 and then added to obtain the overall score. The average SAT score that an examinee can obtain is around 1000 which will increase to 1200 as a minimum for decent scholarships.

    Retake SAT

    Students are allowed to retake the SAT exam as many times as they want to. College Board ideally recommends students take the test twice to see the best results.

    Validity of SAT Score

    The SAT scores that a candidate receives will be credible for all times except in circumstances where institutions cap the length of time at a maximum of 5 years after receiving the score report. Students will be able to use their SAT scores on their resumes at all times since the score does not expire.

    Changes in 2024

    The College Board has declared that the SAT will be entirely digital globally beginning in January 2024. The test has been shortened to 2 hours and 14 minutes, but the knowledge and skills that are being tested have not changed. Here is a list of additional SAT changes:


    2024 SAT Test Dates

    SAT

    SAT Prep - Tips

    PSAT as a Stepping Stone to SAT

    SAT Math