SAT Exam Requirements & Test Preparation

SAT Exam Requirements & Test Preparation

SAT is an examination for undergraduate students willing to get an admission in a college in the United States of America. Nowadays, even other universities all over the world use SAT score as a benchmark for their admission procedures. Although administered by Educational Testing Service, SAT is owned by College Board.

SAT was introduced in 1926 with the name Scholastic Aptitude Test and was later renamed as Scholastic Assessment Test. Currently SAT has no full-form. A three hours and forty five minutes long test, SAT Reasoning Test, the latest version of SAT, allows a person appearing in the test to score a maximum of 2400 with each of its three sections yielding 800 marks.

How To Get Through SAT


SAT is conducted seven times a year. It is held in the month of October, November, December, January, March, May and June. The registration date of each attempt varies according to the date of test. The SAT Reasoning Test can cost a candidate $50 along with fee waivers available to aspirants belonging to low income groups.

A candidate is required to make a payment by means of a cheque, a demand draft or a credit card. Cash payment is not received for SAT registration. A candidate can register online by signing up on the website which is absolutely free of charge. He/she is then required to select his test date and centre and receive a confirmation on his registration immediately. Apart from this, registration via mail and waitlist registration for late entries is also accepted.


SAT, unlike other entrance tests, focuses more on the knowledge students acquire in their schools. Instead of evaluating a candidates adeptness at logical reasoning, SAT constitutes of three sections which are writing, mathematics and reading. Writing section constitutes of concocting a small essay or a paragraph along with assessing the candidate’s grip on grammar by means of objective type questions.

Reading portion of the question paper requires the applicants to go through a comprehensive passage and answer questions based on it. Finally the mathematics section is akin to all such tests in its structure. Algebra, statistics, probability and geometry complete the maths based part of the question paper.

How to Prepare

When a student plans to take SAT, he should begin brushing his reading and writing skills immediately. It is always advisable for such students to keep in touch with reading; it can be through newspaper, magazines, novels or any reading material which interests him or her. Also, aspirants should develop a flair for writing. An essay compiled with accuracy and precision can hike the chances for one to get through the test. As far as mathematics is concerned, only practice can make a man perfect.

Attempt as many practice papers as possible which are almost flooding the internet. Lay your hands on sample question papers and mock tests available on the official website of SAT i.e. College Board. Not only this, the official website of SAT facilitates the preparation of students by offering a proper study plan, a guide, questions along with reviews and also the SAT question of the day. Even tips and instructions along with audio learning CD’s are available for student’s delight.

Admission Requirements

Different universities have different admission procedures as well as requirements. While few universities rely completely on the SAT score, for some other colleges, SAT is just a brick of the entire wall. Moreover, few students tend to overlook their school grades while preparing for SAT. This can be highly unfortunate for them as school scores are also considered while evaluating a candidate’s ability for earning a seat.

SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests are an extension of SAT which focus on individual subjects. The duration of SAT Subject Tests is one hour. A candidate is free to elect any subject of his choice in which he can score well. Few universities employ Subject Test score to allot subjects to candidates.

Apart from this, a good Subject Test score gives a boost to one’s chances of making it to a reputed university. English, Language, Science, Mathematics and History are the five core areas in which SAT Subject Tests are generally conducted. The official website of SAT is as well equipped with study material on Subject Tests as it is on SAT.

Students can appear in Subject Tests by shelling out a nominal amount of $23 as registration fee. Additional charges of language with listening tests and other subject tests are also levied. This is how a school student can live his dream of graduating from a reputed foreign university. So, start preparing for your next SAT attempt now.

SAT Test Scores Explanation & Analysis

Once you pass the exam, you receive scores on the basis of your performance. How to analyze your scores and performance? Also, whether you need to reappear in the test or not, only your scores will tell. Let’s discuss and do some observation about SAT scores in detail.

Receiving Scores Online

Scores are received after three weeks of taking the test in the “My SAT” section of the College Board website which is password protected and is called My Organizer. Log in to the My Organizer with the username and password you used while registering for the test and view your scores. Full score report can be viewed in My SAT area which will describe your mean score and your score in comparison to others. You can also view your essay online.

Your scores are also sent to all the universities, colleges, schools, scholarship offering organizations and many more. Moreover, you can send your four SAT scores at no cost. Extra fee is charged if you want an additional report to be sent to universities, colleges etc. You can also order your response sheet under “student score verification service” but for only SAT exam.

Scores via Mail

Those who registered for SAT via mail can get a paper copy of their scores. You can also request the scores to be sent within 2 business days. It is called rushing service. It can be ordered online via credit card or can be ordered via mail with the money order payable to The College Board at the below address: SAT Program, P.O. Box 8057, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

Calculation of Sat Scores

Raw Score

First, raw score is calculated and then your final score. Raw score is calculated on the basis of correct and incorrect responses by the students. For every correct answer, 1 point is given while for every wrong answer, 1/4 point is subtracted from the scores. Nothing is subtracted for an unattempted question.

Points subtracted for incorrect answers in SAT Subject tests are somehow different. 1/4 point is subtracted for a 5-choice question, 1/3 point subtracted for a 4-choice question and 1/2 point subtracted for a question having 3 choices. Also, in SAT Subject test, subscores are reported on a 20-80 scale.

Scaled Score

Statistical analysis is done on these scores. It is ensured that your score does not depend on what others have scored but will be on the basis of how well you have performed in your test. Scores are scaled on 200-800 scale basis by a statistical process called equating which gives you the final score. It shows how well you have performed in the particular section.

However, essay is scored differently in SAT. Two qualified persons analyze and score your essay. If there’s a difference of even 1 point in their scores, the essay is again scored by the scoring director.

Score Explanation

Score Range

It gives multiple snapshots of your score. It shows your true ability. The score range is always 30-40 points above or below your ability.

Average Score

It is the score obtained by all the recent SAT scores.


It shows how you have performed among all those who appeared in the test. If you score 60 percentile, it shows you performed better than 60% candidates who took the test in the previous year.

Writing Section Subscore

It contributes 30% to your raw score. These are reported on a 2-12 scale. It is a 25 minute essay and is scored from 1 to 6 points by two readers independently.

Cancellation of Scores

After appearing in the test, if you feel you have not done your best or want to appear again; you can cancel your scores. Also, if you faced problems with the equipments or machines during the test like listening etc. you can report to the exam supervisor directly and cancel your scores.

You can cancel on the same day after coming out of the examination centre by filling cancellation form and submitting it to the supervisor. Or there’s another way, download the form from the College Board website, fill it and sign it properly; and either fax it or mail it before 11:59 pm EST on wednesday after the test.

The form must contain the test date, test center number, name of test (SAT or SAT Subject Test); your name, address, sex, birth date and registration number. Your signature should be there on the form otherwise the form is not processed. Both mail and fax should be labeled as “Attention: SAT score cancellation”. Cancellation cannot be done via phone or e-mail as it requires your signature.

You can fax it at 610-290-8978 or send at the address: SAT Score Cancellation, 1425 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ 08618

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