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Let’s Discover The Full Insight About SAT to Optimize Your Preparation!

7 Min Read
January 18, 2023
EduALL

Are you a student planning to take the SAT test? Then you must be fully prepared for what you are about to undertake. SAT is an important element that will help to decide whether you are accepted into your dream university. Therefore, it is essential to research a little bit more about the test before you jump right into it. Without further ado, let's find out more about SAT!

What is the SAT?

The SAT is a standardized test used by US colleges and universities to help them evaluate potential students by testing their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze and solve problems. Its goal is to assess a student's ability and readiness for college courses in three academic areas—reading, writing, and math.

SAT Score breakdown 

Your SAT score, which ranges from 400 to 1600, is the sum of your two section scores: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW). Each section is scored between 200 and 800 in 10-point increments. 

Not all questions receive the same weight when scored as they have different levels of difficulty. The College Board converts your raw scores into scaled scores, which are then used to calculate percentile ranks. The percentile indicates how well you did compare to other test takers. For example, if you score in the 75th percentile, you did better than 75% of test takers.

SAT scores follow a normal distribution. This means that student performance tends to cluster around the middle of the scale. Based on College Board data, this table displays the percentile ranking for various composite SAT scores:

Composite Score (Out of 1600) Percentile Rank
1600 >99
1550 >99
1510 99
1500 98
1450 97
1410 95
1400 94
1350 91
1340 90
1300 86
1250 80
1220 76
1150 72
1130 64
1100 60
1080 57
1050 50
1030 44
1000 40
980 34
920 20
830 10
770 5
650 1
640 <1

Test-optional SAT score

According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than 1,800 four-year colleges have announced plans to go test-optional or test-blind for the SAT. Admissions officers now focus on other factors, such as GPA, course rigor, extracurricular activities, admission essays and personal statements, and letters of recommendation.

Despite the rise in test-optional or test-blind policies, a good SAT score can still make your application stand out. Just because a school has allowed applicants to exclude SAT test scores does not mean other applicants are not continuing to submit their SAT scores.

Want to know more about the score? Read here

SAT Subject Test

If you are planning to take the SAT, then you should know about all of the SAT Subject Tests. This will help you to prepare and pace your study and preparation better. Here are some of the subjects:

Biology E/M

The Biology Subject Test evaluates your knowledge of general biology at the college-preparatory level, as well as your memory and comprehension of its key ideas and your capacity to use what you have learned to solve particular biological problems. It is possible to take ecological biology and molecular biology.

Chemistry

The Chemistry Subject Test assesses your capacity to arrange and analyze information obtained from experimentation and observation. The test measures your capacity for inferring meaning from experimental data, including information given in the graphic or tabular form.

Physics

Your capacity to apply physical concepts to address particular issues is evaluated on the Physics Subject Test. The test evaluates your knowledge of ratio and proportion concepts, simple algebraic, trigonometric, and pictorial relationships, as well as your ability to apply these ideas to physics situations.

US History

The United States History Subject Test measures how well you are able to evaluate and comprehend significant historical changes in American history by testing your knowledge of historical ideas, cause-and-effect relationships, geography, and other information.

Curious about the other subjects? Find out more here!

Practice Test Example

The Reading section has passages that are taken from US and World Literature, History/Social Studies, and Science. Charts, graphs, and tables are some of the graphical data representations that might be used in the passages. 

Below is an example of a question from this section:

Which choice best describes the developmental pattern of the passage?

A) A careful analysis of a traditional practice

B) A detailed depiction of a meaningful encounter

C) A definitive response to a series of questions

D) A cheerful recounting of an amusing anecdote

As for the Writing & Language section, there are 4 passages total, each with 400 to 450 words. The passages range from arguments to nonfiction narratives, with topics such as careers, history, social studies, the humanities, and science. 

Below is an example of a question from this section:

Which choice most accurately and effectively represents the information in the graph?

A) NO CHANGE

B) to 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

C) to their lowest point on December 13.

D) to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and stay there for months.

The SAT Math is divided into two subsections: a No Calculator part and a Calculator part). The test focuses on three major areas that you will likely encounter in college, including: 

  • Heart of Algebra 
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis 
  • Passport to Advanced Math 

Want to know more about the other SAT practice test questions? Read all in this article!

How do you prepare for the SAT Exam?

You should not underestimate the SAT exam as the results might help you get that admission letter from your dream university. Let's take a look at how you can prepare better for the SAT below!

Step 1: Research the SAT

Before you start your preparation for the SAT, you need to know the ins and outs of the SAT. Get to know the exam syllabus, pattern, and question types thoroughly. Consider this the first step of your SAT preparation. You need to do thorough research on the SAT to make sure that you know what to expect in terms of the exam and the effect it has on your university application.

Step 2: Learn the exam format

Being familiar with the exam format can help you be more prepared on test day. Familiarize yourself with the format that the exams are going to have. It is important to know about the subjects and the format before you take the exam.

Step 3: Take practice tests

By taking practice exams, you can get a sense of where you stand and how much additional study is necessary to acquire the results you want. You need to take a few practice tests before you get to the real deal. This is also an important step to find out what kind of questions you will encounter in the exam.

Click here to get to know the full steps to preparing for the SAT!

Tips on Mastering Your SAT Test

To top it off, we have some great tips that you can use to further prepare for your SAT exam. Remember, you still need to study hard and keep practicing if you want to land a great score on the SAT. Here are the tips for you:

Plan an SAT Study Schedule

Even though it may seem obvious, studying for the SAT will increase your score. Many students finish their coursework by taking a few practice exams. However, a schedule might help you stay on course and make sure you constantly study.

Selecting a SAT test date is the first step in creating your study schedule. You can plan regular study sessions once you know when the exam will be given. Plan to spend at least two to three hours every week studying. You want to avoid being exhausted before the test day and keep the subject fresh in your mind.

Use Quality Prep Materials

The SAT study tools you choose can have an impact on both your score and how well-prepared you feel on test day.

Your first stop should be the College Board website. There, you can access practice questions, full-length sample exams, answer explanations, and advice in addition to downloading the free SAT Study Guide. A partner of the College Board, Khan Academy, also offers hundreds of official SAT practice questions and video explanations.

Increase Your Reading Speed

The ability to read questions accurately and rapidly is crucial in the SAT. You want to speed through the Reading section without missing any important details. You'll have more time to think about the answers if you read the questions and passages on the test more quickly.

Need more tips like this? Read it here!

The SAT is one of the most important tests for any student who wants to continue their education journey to a top university, especially in the US. With a lot of candidates and competitors, SAT can be the extra factor that can help you get the acceptance letter. 

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