Last Updated: February 07, 2021


The SAT exam is administered by the College Board to assess the merit of students from high school and provide a standard measurement for colleges to take in students for higher education. The nature of the exam brings in various doubts that cannot always be read in detail and requires answers to the point in order to avoid confusion. Here we provide a set of frequently asked questions about SAT and then move on to defining some commonly used terms regarding the test.

Why SAT?

SAT is a competitive exam that measures the readiness of a high school student for entering a space of higher education. The score range provided in the SAT report lets colleges/ universities decide whether or not the student will be a right fit on the campus.

Students who are high achievers can use their SAT scores to avail themselves of scholarships that can aid them in their studies. This is also an opportunity for students coming from financially lower backgrounds to be able to study through merit without having to drop their studies.

SAT scores can be added to one's resume even after college to avail of great jobs as a fresher. It shows your skillsets and avails you a better job.

When Should I attempt SAT?

SAT can be attempted both in the 11th and 12th-grade levels. It is recommended that students take it in the 2nd semester of their 11th grade with some extra preparation covering the 12th-grade syllabus so that they have time to retake the examination in case of lower grades. The report will be valid for another year which means that if the score is good enough the student also has the option of not attempting it in their 12th grade thereby focusing on bettering their GPA and other formalities required for college admissions.

How many times can I attempt SAT?

One can attempt the test as many times as they want. But the ideal number would be 2-one in your junior year and the other in your senior year. For people who want to go to college after a break from high school, the ideal number is 2 again- one to assess where they stand right now and the next to achieve their target score. Any more than 4 times, according to our opinion, would not yield better results unless the 4 times were faced with extreme technical difficulties.

A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 would then be the ideal number of times one should attempt SAT.

Is writing PSAT necessary for SAT?

No. Writing PSAT is not mandatory for attempting SAT. PSAT is conducted as a preliminary test to understand how the SAT exam works and to relieve students from the stress that SAT exams can otherwise provide.

Attempting PSAT before SAT gives you a perspective on SAT and familiarizes you with the question patterns and time management that SAT requires. PSAT is also attempted by students who want to receive the National Merit Scholarship or to at least be part of the commendable population of students which can aid them in their future endeavors.

Changes in SAT from 2021

From 2021, the College Board has decided to stop conducting the optional essay section of SAT.

They have also decided to cancel all Subject-Matter Tests from this year after conducting them 2 more times for International students. The students in the U.S. who have already enrolled for the Subject-Based Tests will have their registrations canceled and their fee refunded with immediate effect as soon as they request for the same.

When will I receive the Score Report?

The score reports will be available online to you and your school within 2 weeks. But the report will take over 4-6 weeks to be available in hard copy and for it to be dispatched to the respective colleges/ universities.

What do you mean by Score Choice?

Score choice allows you to retake the test as many times as you want since you can choose the grade that is sent to your college. You can choose with SAT score and which Subject-Test score might give you a higher chance of getting admission and send only those specific marks with no additional charges.

What is the SAT scored in?

The highest mark that can be received is 1600 with 800 in Mathematics and 800 in Evidence-based Reading and Writing.

How long does SAT take?

SAT is conducted in 3 hours. There used to be an additional 50 minutes provided for the written test but the written test has now been removed from the official test.

Are we allowed to use calculators?

Yes and No. SAT exam has a Mathematics section that is divided into two. One permits the use of calculators while the other does NOT.

Is there negative marking for SAT

No, there is no negative marking for the test. The College Board encourages guesswork instead of leaving unattended questions.

Which calculators are allowed for SAT?

Graphing calculators, Scientific Calculators, and all four-function calculators are allowed. Four-function calculators are not recommended by the College Board. They also insist on calculators with batteries since no wires are permitted within the exam hall.

How can we register for SAT? Can we register offline?

You can register online through the College Board website. But you can also register offline provided all your documents and photograph has been attached with the documents along with the fee receipt.

Does SAT only contain multiple-choice questions?

SAT mostly contains multiple-choice questions with the exception of 10 student-produced answer questions in Mathematics. These questions are called grid questions where the student has to write the answer without the steps without any options provided.

What if my score is bad? Can I Cancel my Score?

Yes, you can. As long as you decide to cancel the scores right after the exam, you will be able to do so. The request to cancel a score cannot be taken back. The scores will not be reinstated at any cost.

Can I verify my score?

If your score is extremely different from what was expected you can apply for a multiple-choice hand score verification, an essay score verification, or both.

What is Rush Reporting?

Rush reports are reports that are sent within 4 business days for results that have already been declared. This can be opted for at an additional cost if deadlines must be met in colleges/ universities. You can order this online, by mail, and by phone.

Terms used in SAT and their Meaning

Total Score-Sum of the two different sections of the test.

Sectional Score- Marks obtained in the two different sections namely Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and Mathematics.

Sub-score- Marks obtained in a particular type of question which is divided into Reading, Writing, and Mathematics separately.

Percentile- Shows the degree in which the student has excelled when compared to others who have taken the test.

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