Home Education What is SAT exam? Best exam to study abroad|India

What is SAT exam? Best exam to study abroad|India


If you have a dream to study abroad, then this article is for you. Here I will talk everything about the SAT exam. How to apply, registration process, benefits of giving SAT, which countries accept SAT scores, and much more information about the SAT exam you will find here.

  1. What is SAT?
  2. When SAT exam occurs in India?
  3. Benefits of giving SAT exam
  4. SAT test format
  5. Fees of SAT exam
  6. Preparation tips for SAT
  7. Registration process
  8. Conclusion
  9. Frequently asked questions about the SAT exam

What is SAT Exam?

SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. It is a standardized test widely used to get admission in colleges abroad. This exam is developed by the College Board which is an American not-for-profit organisation.

The SAT scores are valid for five years, but the latest exam scores are preferred during admission which you appeared for.

Countries, where SAT score is applicable, are:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • United kingdom
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Netherlands
  • Turkey

Also, other 175 countries worldwide accept the SAT exam for admission procedure. In the United States, all colleges accept SAT scores, but worldwide it depends whether that specific university allows that exam or not. Like in Canada many universities have SAT exams as optional criteria in their admission procedure.

This exam is conducted seven times in the US and six times in India. You can take as many times as you want. But many American universities review number of attempts. There is no restriction on how many times you can give this exam.

Generally, more than four attempts are not recommended if you are applying for the US universities.

When SAT exam occurs in India?

In India, the SAT exam is conducted six times every year. Conducted in the month of January, May, June, October, November and December. The test is generally conducted on the first Saturday of the month except January. In January it is usually conducted on the last Saturday.

There is also an option to cancel your SAT score. Students cancel their SAT score as if they realise that they would not score well, so they cancel their exam.

The benefit of cancelling the exam is that there are many universities which ask you to submit all your SAT scores and in those SAT scores you have one exam with a lesser score will make a bad impression.

Generally, in India, very few students cancel their exams as it is little bit costlier. I will discuss fees in later part.

Short intro to SAT exam:

Benefits of giving SAT:

The SAT has four sections: one reading, one writing, one math (no calculator), and one math (with calculator). There is also an optional fifth section, a 50-min essay. It depends upon the colleges you are applying for, they may ask you to take the exam with an essay.

  • The biggest advantage of SAT examination is, it open doors for scholarships in foreign universities.
  • Also, your English speaking, writing, reading skills get improve.
  • If you are planning to study in the US, most colleges give admission based on SAT score.
  • A good SAT score balances a low CGPA, increase chances of admission.
  • The fees for SAT is lower than other international exams like IELTS, TOEFL etc.

SAT test format:

SAT comprises four sections:

  • One 65-min reading section
  • One 35-min writing & language section.
  • One 25-min mathematics section (no calculator).
  • A 55-min mathematics (with calculator) section
  • A 50-min essay (optional).
  • Total test time: 3 hours and 50 mins (3 hours without essay).

SAT exam pattern breakup:

SubjectDuration (mins)Sub-sectionsTypes of QuestionsScore range
Maths 80-mins Calculator allowed for 38 questions.   Calculator not allowed for 20 questions.Problem-solving and data analysis.The heart of algebra‘Passport to advanced maths’200-800
Reading 65-mins Total 52 questions.Tests understanding of passages from the US and world literature, history, social studies and sciences 200-800 (Combined with the writing section).
Writing & language35-minsTotal 44 questions.Revise and edit passages.Tests ‘expression of ideas’ and ‘standard English conventions’.Passages related to careers, history, humanities and science.200-800 (Combined with reading section).
Essay (optional)50-minsOne 50-minutes optional essay.Students are required to write an essay on the given topic in 50-mins. Not scored.
Total 180-mins And 230-mins with essay.155 questions with essay. 154 questions without essay.                                                   –400-1600

The score range you see is decided based upon your answer. As SAT is a computer adaptive test, first it will give you an average level question, difficulty increases on judgement of your answer to that question.

From this, the ability of the student is measured. If you are giving the right answers the more difficult questions you get, but if you perform some wrong answers the difficulty level may decrease.

The good thing about the SAT is, there is no negative marking. In the past, there was a negative marking of 0.25 marks in the old SAT.

Fees of SAT exam:

The normal SAT exam without essay costs you about US$96. And if you add the essay exam it will cost you US$113. These prices are the final prices with all-inclusive costs.

So, in Indian pricing, you will spend around ₹7000 to ₹8000. If you change your SAT date or Centre, add an additional cost of US$30.

Preparation tips for SAT:

The syllabus is mainly high school level, all you have learned and practised in school is sufficient to prepare for the SAT. Basic English, Mathematics and science knowledge will help you.

There are numerous books and sample papers available to practice SAT questions. Online resources like khan academy will be very useful. As khan academy is the official partner of College Board and has awesome content explained in videos. It is useful to those who are preparing for the SAT.

For the details of the pattern for this exam, types of questions, topics on questions are asked, mathematics questions etc. you should search for sample papers. Also, try to find some previous year solved question papers it will help you a lot.

Registration process:

  1. For registration of SAT, firstly, you have to visit the official website of college board- www.collegeboard.org, here you create your account.
  2. After creating the account, they will ask you for basic details, fill these details correctly. Fill all your high school, academic details, details related to extracurricular activities and about your college.
  3. Fill up your details as much as you can, so the universities can easily approach you for scholarships if you deserve it.
  4. After filling all the necessary details, choose the test date and nearest test Centre from your location.
  5. At last, upload your picture and they will ask you for the payment.
  6. The online payment methods are by Credit cards and PayPal.

For full details about payments and other queries visit register at College Board.


This was all about SAT examination available in more than 170 countries. If you are looking to study abroad in any country including United states this exam open wide doors and make easy to get admission in top universities getting huge scholarships with good SAT score.

Also, you have more countries other than US to get admission through this exam.

Also read: Top 5 reasons to do MBA

Frequently asked questions about the SAT examination

Is there any negative marking in the SAT exam?

No, there is no negative marking in the SAT.

Why SAT exam required?

SAT is an entrance exam used by most universities worldwide for undergraduate admission

When should I give SAT exam in India?

You should start preparing for SAT in your class-11 and give the SAT exam in your class-12 before eight months of board. So, that you have time to give again if you got a bad score.

What is eligibility for SAT exam?

Actually, most of the high school students with 17-18 years of age are mostly appear to give SAT exam for undergraduate studies

What is SAT exam age limit?

There is no specific age limit. The College Board hasn’t specified about age restrictions.

Can SAT test date be changed?

Yes, you can change your test date and centre. But you have to pay a fee which is nearly US$30. So, first be sure about the test date and then apply.

What is a good SAT score?

Generally, it depends on every year what average SAT score has come. With a score of 1000 is considered as average and below it is considered low performance.

For a good SAT score try to score above 1100 it will allow you to get admission in good universities.



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