SAT Exam 2019 – 2020 | India
SAT general information on the eligibility, pattern, exam dates, test centers in India, exam fee (test price) and the best free SAT preparation material.
The SAT exam has been living under the shadow of others (such as the GRE and GMAT) that have been more vociferous in promoting themselves. However, the SAT serves a different purpose, so it’s not really competing with those entrance exams. In this article, we look at the SAT and cover the following aspects:
- What is the full form of SAT?
- What is the SAT exam pattern?
- What is the SAT fee in dollars and Indian Rupees?
- SAT exam test centers
- SAT preparation resources
Studying abroad in popular destinations like US, UK, Canada, Australia et al. as a graduate student is a popular choice among students of the developing world. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the gold standard of standardized tests for securing a place at technical schools, while Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) serves the same role for business schools. Lines surely do blur, and schools are increasingly accepting both as valid indicators of a graduate candidate’s potential.
The SAT exam is a less-known avatar of the same lineage for securing admissions at an undergraduate level. The number of applicants at an undergraduate level is much lower compared to the graduate level, hence the difference in popularity.
What is SAT?
The full-form of SAT is Scholastic Aptitude Test.
The SAT is a standardized exam that evaluates the mathematical, writing and reading prowess of a candidate. It is designed for high-school students looking for a college education (learn more about how the undergrad college admissions process works), and the exam is meant to test the candidate’s ability to solve/analyze problems.
Each section is marked in the range of 200-800 points, and the final score ranges from 400-1600. Moreover, the written essay is scored on a scale of 0-24 and varies incrementally.
SAT Exam Eligibility
College Board, a private, not-for-profit Corporation in the US owns and publishes the SAT, and does not prescribe any prerequisites for the exam.
One needs a debit/credit card with international currency support enabled to be able to register for the exam. College Board does not specify any age requirement; however, a valid Indian passport is a must to appear for the exam.
SAT Exam Dates 2019 – 2020
The organization publishes an official calendar for SAT dates and deadlines, and the test is generally scheduled on Saturdays. Fall season witnesses a higher proportion of tests in the calendar, and it is generally difficult to sit for 2 SAT exams in a row if the result for 1st comes out below par. Internationally, the test is offered mainly every month from Oct-Jan.
College Board sets the International SAT dates and deadlines every year.
The basic fee for the exam is $52, but it varies based on the country of the applicant. For Indian applicants, the fee for SAT comes out to be ~$106 (with written essay), or ~$94 (without essay).
In Indian Rupees, the SAT exam fee is around 6200-7000 INR.
Apart from the general SAT, one can sit for subject SATs which can be useful under certain circumstances. The fee for subject SATs comes out to be ~$111, though the importance of subject tests is gradually diminishing in general.
SAT Exam Pattern
SAT got an overhaul recently in 2016, and you can find a comparison between the old and new SAT here. The paper consists of 3 major sections: Writing, Mathematics and Critical Reading.
Essay remains a separate component of the test (if you choose a test with Essay), and its score does not register in the overall test score of 1600. No penalty is awarded for incorrect responses, and all questions carry equal weight (unless specified). Most of the test questions are multiple-choice- 4 choices given of which 1 is correct.
Here is a general overview of the SAT pattern:
|Section||Test||Duration||Number of Questions|
|Evidence-based Reading and Writing||Reading||65 Minutes||52|
|Writing and Language||35 Minutes||44|
|Mathematics||Math (Calculator not allowed)||25 Minutes||20|
|Math (Calculator allowed)||55 Minutes||38|
|∑ 230 Minutes||∑ 154 Questions|
|Essay (Optional)||50 Minutes||1 Task|
For a look at the type of questions that can be asked on the SAT, click here.
What’s a good score on SAT?
Definition of a good SAT score largely depends on the school you’re applying to. The overall average SAT score hovers around the 1000 mark.
Below is a table by Magoosh showing the middle 50% score range (meaning 25% of admitted students had lower scores and 25% had higher scores) for Ivy League schools:
|University||Old SAT Score Range||Projected New SAT Score Range|
|University of Pennsylvania||2050-2330||1440-1570|
Here’s a much bigger list of the average SAT scores.
It is a good idea to aim for the highest score that is realistically possible after an honest self-assessment and create a timetable/plan to achieve that score. However, unlike their Indian counterparts, American Universities take into consideration the overall profile of the applicant and the SAT score is just a factor in the admission process.
Here is an article that shares tips on coping with a low SAT score. If you have a stellar profile, yet an average SAT score- you can still bag your dream admit!
Although the amount of preparation required to achieve the target score depends on the individual, a couple of months is usually enough to achieve the targeted score (80-100 hours). It is usually hard to cram for the SAT as it tests skills which yield to a much longer time-frame, such as a long-standing habit of reading.
Official SAT Study Guide can be a good starting point for the preparation, and it neatly covers all aspects of the exams in a comprehensive manner.
Khan Academy is also a must-have resource for all aspirants. The quality of preparation material is top-notch, and it is free! You can create a customized study plan, and do a thorough review of your strengths and weaknesses based on the analysis provided on the website. It also provides a range of free practice tests.
As with any other standardized test, consistent preparation is key and practice tests are a good way to ensure that remain on the right track.
SAT Test Centers in India
The test centers for SAT can be found in different cities in India, and it is a good idea to book early to avoid the last-minute rush (especially in the peak application season) and head to the preferred test location.
It is also advisable to keep some buffer time (in months) in case you decide to retake the test afterward.
SAT Test Samples
Official practice tests by the College Board itself are a good resource to test your readiness.
Here Magoosh compares various full-length SAT practice tests available in the market.
If the above resources are not enough, here is a list of the best SAT books.
It usually takes about 4 weeks for the College Board to put your result online. In the next 9 days after giving the exam, you can send the SAT score report to 4 colleges of your choice for free.
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