The SAT is the basic qualification for admission to a North American university (United States and Canada) for a Bachelors degree. All students intent on attending a North American university are required to sit the SAT. Certain UK universities will consider SAT scores for entry requirements. The SAT is a standardized aptitude test which tests a student’s abilities in the English language and mathematics. The examination lasts approximately four hours and the mathematics, critical reading and writing sections may come in any order. More specifically, the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT 1 consists of 10 sections, of which nine are scored (see below for further details). The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills you’ll need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems—skills you learned in school that you’ll need in college. The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200—800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice and the essay. It is administered seven times a year in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories, and six times a year overseas. For more online sample questions and preparation materials, visit the SAT Preparation Center.
SAT Question Types
The SAT includes Critical Reading, Math, and Writing sections, with a specific number of questions related to content.
The Unscored Section
In addition, there is one 25-minute unscored section, known as the variable or equating section. This unscored section may be either a critical reading, math, or writing multiple-choice section. This unscored section does not count toward the final score, but is used to try out new questions for future editions of the SAT and to ensure that scores on new editions of the SAT are comparable to scores on earlier editions of the test.
The 25-minute essay will always be the first section of the SAT, and the 10-minute multiple-choice writing section will always be the final section. The remaining six 25-minute sections can appear in any order, as can the two 20-minute sections. Test takers sitting next to each other in the same testing session may have test books with entirely different sections.
Changes in the SAT
As of Spring 2016, the SAT exam format is going to undergo various critical changes. To begin with, vocabulary will be assessed in context and meanings of words will depend on the way they are used within a given text. Next, the critical reading will include at least one question that requires students to select a quote from the text to support their answer and the writing will in some parts also require evidence and may include graphics that students will be asked to interpret. The essay will also be different. The essay prompt will be known in advance and remain unchanged, whereas the passage will vary. The Mathematics will include three different areas of study: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, the Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. Questions throughout the new SAT will be focused more on current real world areas of study so as to be more in key with topics studied at University. Last but definitely not least, students will not be penalized by wrong answers.
What scores do I need? The answer to that question depends on which university you wish to apply to. If you are contemplating about applying to an IVY LEAGUE university, or one in the higher echelons then you should be looking for a minimum score of approximately 1950/2400 (1350/1600 on the old scoring system). If your native language is not English then you may be given a more flexible score as far as the Verbal section is concerned, though you will definitely need to take the TOEFL test and attain a score of at least 105/120; or alternatively an IELTS test with a commensurate score of 7/9.
Our results have been excellent with students attaining places at world-renowned universities such as Brown University, Georgetown University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, New York University, and Columbia University, to name just a few of the recent destinations of AGF Tutoring students. As a student or parent it is most interesting and informative to learn from the experiences of previous students, and this can be arranged through the network of students who have graduated or are currently studying in the US or Canada.