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Introduction to Scholastic Aptitude Test


The Scholastic Aptitude Test
The Scholastic Aptitude Test popularly known as the SAT is a standardized test for admission to colleges in the United States. Developed, published and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the USA, many colleges view SAT scores as an important criterion for admission, along with academic GPA, recommendations and participation in extracurricular activities, and/or a benchmark score. The SAT is an important test since you need good SAT scores to get admission to prestigious colleges in the US. SAT scores are also used to grant scholarships and financial aids, which are often, a must for students from India.

Their are two types of SAT Exams
SAT Reasoning Test or SAT I
SAT Subject Test

SAT Reasoning Test or SAT I
A standardized test, SAT I measures Verbal, Mathematical and Writing skills. The test intends to primarily aid Undergrad Schools to assess the potential of the applicants for advanced study. Universities in the US, while inviting applications from prospective students, ask for SAT I scores.
The examination is entirely a paper-based Test. The test is scored on a maximum of 2400. The SAT I score alone cannot guarantee admission into a school The test is only one of the major factors taken into consideration in the long process of an applicant getting admitted into a graduate school he/she desires.
SAT I have three sections i.e. Mathematics, Critical Reading and Writing.
Mathematics Section includes two 25 minutes and one 20 minutes test.
Critical Reading section includes two 25 minutes and one 20 minutes test.
Writing Section One 60 minutes test.

SAT Subject Test or SAT II
Subject Tests are designed to measure a student's knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as his ability to apply that knowledge. Students who want to apply to the Top 15-20 universities in the US are required to take SAT Subject Test.
The examination is entirely a paper-based Test. The test is scored on a maximum of 800. SAT II Subject tests are one-hour tests offered in the following subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths Level 1, Maths Level 2, English Literature, US History, World History and Languages.
The US-based College Board develops and administers both the SAT I and SAT II. College Board is responsible for setting questions, conducting the test and sending score reports to each examinee.

Q1. Does admission to universities depend only on SAT scores?
Ans. It is one of the various criteria that the admission council looks at. However, a good SAT score does improve chances of admission and financial aid.

Q2. What if I miss the deadline for registration for SAT exam?
Ans. You can go to the test centre directly with your passport, photo and take the test as a Standby option if seats are available. And additional fees of USD38 would be charged.

Q3. How many times in a year is SAT exam held?
Ans. Both SAT I and SAT I are offered 6 times a year in India. They are offered on the first Saturday of May, June, October, November, December and January. One cannot take SAT I and SAT II on the same day. Also, only 3 SAT IIs can be taken on one day.

Q4. How many times can I take SAT?
Ans. SAT can be taken unlimited number of times.

Q5. What is the validity of the SAT exam?
Ans. Your SAT score will be valid for 5 years after from the date the test was taken.

Q6. What is the scoring pattern?
Ans. SAT I: Scoring is between 600 (Minimum) and 2400 (Maximum) with 10-point increment. Three scores are reported on the SAT I:
- Critical Reading score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments
- Mathematics score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments
- Writing score reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments
SAT II: Each SAT II is scored between 200 (Minimum) and 800 (Maximum) with 10-point increment.

Q7. How soon do I get my score?
Ans. The scores are available 3 weeks after the exam date.

Q8. What happens if I want to cancel the SAT test score?
Ans. You should ask the test supervisor for a 'Request to Cancel Test Score' form. You may submit the completed form immediately, or you can do it with 2 days of the Exam. ETS must receive the request form no later then Wednesday after the test.

Q9. How do I pass on my score to the colleges where I want to apply to?
Ans. The universities only accept official scores sent directly by College board. Scores to four colleges can be sent free of cost from the time of SAT registration to one week after the SAT exam. Subsequently, for each score report sent to a college, you would have to pay $9.50.

Q10. Do universities consider photocopies of the SAT scorecard? Do I have to send scores through College Board?
Ans. No, photocopies are not accepted. You have to send your scores only through College Board.

Q11. If I take SAT more than once, which score will be considered by the universities?
Ans. Almost all the universities take the best score.

Q12. Do I need to have the SAT score at the time of applying to universities?
Ans. No, you do not need to have the SAT score with you at the time of applying.

Q13. Is SAT mandatory for applying to undergrad programs outside India?
Ans. No, not all the undergrad programs outside India require SAT. All students who wish to pursue their Bachelor's in U. S and the top schools in Canada are required to SAT I Exam. Students who want to apply to the top 15-20 universities of the US require SAT II scores as well.

Q14. Which SAT II exams should I take?
Ans. A student who wishes to pursue Bachelor of Engineering should take Math Level II and Physics or Chemistry. While a student who wants to pursue Bachelor of Business should take Math II, English.