SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. Colleges and Universities in the United States demand either the clearance of SAT or ACT exam for admission. The College Board, which is a non-profit organization of the United States, organizes the SAT Reasoning Tests that evaluate the analyzing skills, writing skills, math, and critical reading skills of the students to ensure that he or she is ready for college.
It is better for a junior student to take the SAT exam in the spring to provide himself with ample time before the college admissions get into full swing> This way if it becomes necessary to retake the exam in case of a lower score, you have the option of taking the exam one more time before admission season gets underway. The SAT exam by the way is held seven times in a year.
The SAT has its added advantages. By scoring high in the SAT’s, a student can get through the admission process in spite of low GPA. Majority of the Universities and Colleges accept students who have cleared SAT. Since the SAT scores take a place in the resume of the student, it makes up a significant part of the student profile. The SAT’s by and large has become the actual test of aptitude for the students irrespective of their academic scores. Tests such as the SAT’s test a student on their reading, writing and basic math skills and can effectively project the ability of a student, which is why many colleges and universities base a large percentage of their admission criteria on these tests. A good score on the SAT can pretty much ensure that the student eligible to enter into a reputed college.
The duration of the test is 3 hours and 45 minutes with 3 major sections and the last 20 minutes is devoted for the experimental sections the score of which is not counted and is the most difficult and confusing part of the test.
- The reading section is one of the major sections that takes 70 minutes of the total time. This reading section, in itself is comprised of different sections like sentence completion and reading comprehension. This is to assess the critical reading of the student.
- Next comes the writing section, which takes about 60 minutes of the total time and has several questions on grammar and essay writing.
- The third major section is the Math section, which takes 70 minutes with questions of multiple-choice and Grid-ins. Topics like absolute value, functional notation, exponents and manipulations are all covered in this section.
- The extra section is the Experimental section, which could be in reading, writing, or Mathematics.
SAT Subject Test or SAT II
These tests are conducted to assess the student’s knowledge in selected subjects like Math, History, Science, and English. This enables the student to choose a specific course and the colleges to choose their students for the various courses on various subjects offered by them.
All the high school juniors and seniors are eligible for SAT. A good academic score is not necessary for the SAT exam though it could be an added advantage to get into a reputed college. International students are eligible too if they have completed 12 years of education.
There are several books that available to buy or in the libraries that a student can access. Reading books alone is not sufficient, you have to put that knowledge into use by taking several mock tests. Mock tests not only can highlight the areas that you need ot target for improvement but also help you gain confidence and help you work on your test times as well.
The College Board web site also provides free practice papers and questions on a daily basis. Other websites also have sample question papers to help students prepare for the SAT.
SAT Scores and Results
You can view your SAT scores in 3 weeks after completion of the SAT exam. However, your SAT results by mail can take as much as 6 weeks.
When it comes to scores, scores for all the three sections of reading, writing, and math are given separately, the score of each section ranges from minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800, which makes the total of all the three sections range from 600-2400. The average score for each section is 500, which makes the average of all the three section to 1500.
Students, who have taken the test more than once may produce their best of their scores to the colleges they apply to.
Registration for your SAT’s is the first step to be taken for college admissions. The fastest and easiest way of all is to register online through the web site of the College Board. The choices of the test center and date can be made through this web site, which confirms the registration on completion of the process.
The counselor’s office in each school can provide student with a free copy of the Registration Bulletin of the College Board if asked for, and the registration form in that can be filled out and sent by the student.
Registration through phone is also possible if the student has already registered earlier for a previous SAT test.
If you miss registration, all you have to do is, call the ETS (Educational Testing Service) in advance, and try for the walk-in registration option at the test centers. If you are lucky enough to find an opening in the test center, you may write the exam.
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