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SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

The SAT is typically taken by high school (Year 12) students aspiring to pursue a Bachelor's degree in the U.S. The test assesses critical thinking skills that students need for academic success. It is accepted in nearly every college in the U.S.. There is no qualifying benchmark, though the entry requirements differ from institution to institution.

There are two types of tests - SAT general and SAT subject also commonly known as SAT 1 and SAT 2.

SAT General Test (SAT 1) measures the verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities of a student which they have developed over a period of time. SAT 1 has three sections, namely Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing and takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to finish. The highest score that can be received on the SAT 1 is 2400.

SAT Subject Test (SAT 2) measures the student's knowledge of specific subjects and the ability to apply that knowledge. English, Mathematics Level I / II, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc, are some of the subjects in which the test can be taken. The one hour test measures expertise on a particular subject as listed on the SAT subject test list. The SAT 2 score is variable dependent on which test is taken. Please consult your counsellor for more specific information.

Category New SAT
Total Testing Time 3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the Essay [optional])
Components 1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
  • Reading Test
  • Writing and Language Test
2. Math
3. Essay (optional)
Important Features
  • Focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success
  • Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, and impact
  • Rights-only scoring (no penalty for guessing)
  • Optional and given at the end of the SAT; postsecondary institutions determine whether they will require the Essay for admission
  • 50 minutes to write the essay
  • Tests reading, analysis, and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided source text
Score Reporting
  • Scale ranging from 400 to 1600
  • Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 200 to 800 for Math; 2 to 8 on each of three dimensions for Essay
  • Essay results reported separately
Subscore Reporting Subscores for every test, providing added insight for students, parents, admission officers, educators, and counselors

Test Length & Timings

Component Time Allotted (min.) Number of Questions / Tasks
Reading 65 52
Writing and Language 35 44
Essay (optional) 50 1
Math 80 58
Total 180 (230 with Essay) 154 (155 with Essay)