Everything You Need to know about the SAT Test

24 Jan Everything You Need to know about the SAT Test

Preparing for an SAT exam is different for everybody. Some students get anxiety just by the thought of it while others can’t wait to appear for their SAT. But worry not, in either case, we’ve got you covered! By the end of this article, you will be looking forward to your SAT test. This guide will provide you with tips on how to prepare for the SAT exam and overcome the anxiety that is often associated with the test. 

What Is the SAT Test?

SAT tests are the basis of entry to most universities and colleges across the United States. This entry test requirement and your SAT score is the gateway to higher education and a potentially bright future. It is a multiple-choice, pencil and paper-based test usually conducted by the college board. International students applying to US-based colleges and universities must score well as per qualification criteria to get admissions.

The College Board first launched the SAT exam in 1926 as the Scholastic Aptitude Test but is now known as the Scholastic Assessment Test. The test was designed to evaluate students’ knowledge gained in high school and their level of capability to enter college.

The SAT exam is mostly based on mathematical and English skills. The rule of thumb is this – the higher your SAT score, the greater your chances are of getting admissions in the top colleges and universities. A high SAT score can also help increase your chances of getting a scholarship at top-rated universities.

The SAT Test Sections and How They Work:

The test is basically for a duration of 3 hours and it is divided into four sections. The scores range from 200 to 800 of which two sections are reading and writing. The math section ranges from 400 to 800. The total scores of these sections are added together to formulate your final SAT score. Essay writing is the fifth section and is completely optional for students to attempt for extra points. If you go for essay writing, extra time is also allotted. It is also worth noting that there is no negative marking which provides the incentive to answer every question.

Tips for the SAT Test

  1. Reading Test: A multiple-choice questionnaire with 52 such questions and a time limit of 65 mins, based on five passages each having 10-11 questions. The passages discuss different topics like history, social studies, and science.  
  2. Writing and Language Test: This section has 44 multiple choice questions with 35 mins to complete them. The test taker will read out some content to you and will ask you to make changes in the underlined information. Students must practice making changes, and learn synonyms and sentence structures. 
  3. Mathematics Without a Calculator: 20 Questions (15 multiple choice questions and 5 grid-in questions) with a 25-minute time limit. 
  4. Mathematics With a Calculator: 38 questions (30 multiple choice questions and 8 grid-in questions) with a 55-minute time limit. Candidates are allowed to use simple calculators.

Many experienced students report that along with the basic concepts of algebra, trigonometry, statistics, and geometry, the maths section is more about time management and keeping your cool under pressure.

Tips for the SAT Essay 

Structure your essay and build each section (i.e start, middle, and end) strongly. You can start with the end in mind and begin with writing the conclusion first, then move on to a solid introduction and build it into the middle. A great introduction includes your essay topic, which is your central claim that you will build your essay around.

Make sure your writing is easy to read and keep your essay tone formal, avoiding the terms ‘I and me.’ It is safe to say that practicing and actively improving upon your time management skills for the exam, greatly improves your chances of getting a higher score. This certainly adds to your confidence on the day of your SAT test as you are not rushing through questions.

How to Prepare for the SAT?

The following tips are a culmination and curation of previous students’ hard work and experience to help you score well in your SAT.

  1. Hard work is your best friend, don’t shy away from it. Reaching any goal requires vigorous hard work, sincerity, and dedication and acing the SAT exam is no different. 
  2. Attempt as many sample tests and mocks as possible. Remember! There is only one correct answer. 
  3. Download prep applications and other resources from the internet and have them on your phone so you can practice and learn on the go. 
  4. Make flashcards of formulas and concepts you find difficult and review them frequently so they are ingrained in your memory.
  5. Dedicate and spend at least a few hours a day on preparation and taking SAT practice tests.
  6. Highlight the questions you got wrong in the practice tests and learn why you got them wrong conceptually.
  7. Practice English essay writing on different topics every day. Later, get it evaluated for grammatical mistakes and work on your weak areas
  8. Make sure you don’t leave anything blank. Since there is no negative marking on the wrong answer, give each question your best shot.
  9. Evaluate the answer in your head first then look into the given choices. This practice will help boost your confidence in answering correctly.
  10. Since there is only one correct answer, eliminating all the incorrect ones will quickly reveal the right answer. This is called the ‘Process of Elimination (POE). After you eliminate answers choices that you know are incorrect or cannot be right. What’s left must be correct. 
  11. Practice finishing at least 5 to 10 minutes before time during your mock tests so you have time for a final review before submission.


We hope that these SAT tips and tricks will make a positive difference and help you in preparation for your test. The most important tip to remember is that your confidence on the test day is totally reliant on your competence. This means that the more prepared and practiced you are on the test day, the more confident and relaxed you will be. 

A great visualization practice to reduce anxiety on exam day is to imagine yourself in the exam hall confidently going through all the questions, and coming out of the test with a huge smile on your face. This practice not only reduces the fear induced by the examination room itself but also enables your mind to be at ease, in this new environment. 

Remember that while your SAT scores don’t define you as a person, they most certainly have a positive impact on your education and future prospects. Take a free SAT practice test now and get your scores instantly. 

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