For most students, September means back to school. And, for high-school seniors, it’s also a sign that the SAT is right around the corner. At one point, the SAT stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, now it is referred to as just SAT, but it is one of the major exams used to evaluate students for college admission. Simply put, there is often a lot riding on this test – especially for students with big college dreams.
SAT is a most widely used test to secure admission in any undergraduate program of any college of America. This test is developed, managed and administered by College Entrance Examination Board, based in USA. SAT is prepared and scored by the Educational Testing Service. It is an approximately 4 hour long test. The SAT test is given seven times a year in the United States. Specific test dates and test locations can be found online on the College Board’s website. There are two types of SAT tests namely, SAT Reasoning Test or SAT I and SAT Subject Tests or SAT II. The SAT exam is also used at times to award scholarships to students.
The SAT test is used to evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking and problem solving skills which would help to measure their overall ability and potential to undertake the bachelor level study program.
The test is categorized into 3 sections namely, Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Each section is scored from 200 to 800. The lowest score one can get on the SAT Test is a 600; the highest score being a perfect 2400.
The essay part of the writing section is always first on the test, and the multiple choice part of the writing section is always last on the test. The other sections can vary in their test placement. The variable or equating section of the SAT test is an unscored section of the test, and it is used to aid in the development of future SAT test questions and to compare the difficulty levels of different test
versions. The variable section can be either a critical reading, mathematics, or writing section, and test takers are given 25 minutes to complete the section.
Taking the SAT and doing well is all a matter of preparation. Even though you can’t exactly study for the SAT, you can certain prepare your mind and body for the rigors of timed test taking and by practicing questions that are similar to those you will need to answer.
Ways and Tips to Prepare for the SAT
• Decide when you want to take the SAT test. Four to Six months before the start of a graduate program is an ideal time.
• Register for the test at least six months in advance so that you will be at pace for preparation. Understand the pattern of the test in great detail. Your SAT preparation should provide you with adequate study materials and enough practice questions.
One way you can prepare yourself for the SAT is to take the PSAT. It can help you gain an understanding of the types of questions presented on the SAT, the format of the test, the time limits and the pressure. PSAT is a great way to have a “test run”. Know what to expect on the test.
Take practice tests. That way, you can see what the test questions look like. By answering the questions, you will also learn the areas of the SAT that you’re already good at and note the ones that are giving you trouble. There are many Practice Sample SAT questions and resources available that can help you get your brain thinking in the SAT way One of the strongest habits a person can develop in pursuit of a higher SAT score is a reading habit. Successful people not only read continuously, they read to stretch, challenge and improve themselves. Stay informed on the latest information by reading Books, magazines and newspapers. One of the top things you must do, if you are serious about doing well on the SAT or the ACT, is improve your vocabulary.
Obviously, it will be in your best interest to do your best on the SAT the first time you take it. If, however, you believe your test score is not indicative of your best ability, you can retake this important exam. Most colleges will only look at your highest test score and many of the admissions officers are also impressed if you show an improvement in your test scores. Do not forget to do as much practice as you can by taking online SAT practice tests.