SAT FAQs

SAT FAQs:
  1. When and Where should I take SAT Test? SAT Exams are conducted across year. 
  2. What is SAT new Test debuting in March 2016?
  3. Why should I take SAT Test seriously?
    I will answer your questions point wise. Firstly, the SAT is a 3 hr 45 min examination consists of 3 main topics i.e, Math(800), Critical Reading(800) and Writing(800) scored out of 2400. There are 10 sections in total on the test implying that there are 3 sections per topic and 1 experimental section. Each section has it’s own terms i.e., questions and time limit. There also is an essay which is the first section and is scored by two different readers on a scale of 6 each.
    1) How should I prepare? – Math shouldn’t be a problem (the only problem might be timing. Work on that). Critical Reading is one thing where people tend to mess up a little. The only way to ace it is to read, read and read. Writing mainly tests grammar and sentence correctness which also needs practice. Keep in mind the essay, too.
    2) How much should I score? – Since, you mentioned that you want to make it to a top college, you should understand that a high SAT score will boost your chances. Hence, a score of 2200+ is a very good score.
    3)How much will this SAT score affect my admission process? – As I mentioned, a top university wants a top student and a top student must have a top SAT score. So, work hard for this because it can very well decide your college
  4. How much does taking the SAT exam cost in India?SAT Subject Tests in India – $100 (Including Surcharge)  SAT Reasoning in India – $93-94
    4 score reports are free with registration so you can send scores to NUS and 3 other universities for free.
  5. How many people take the SAT in India?
  6. What is the best time for an Indian student studying in an IB to take the SAT exam?
  7. What are the benefits of studying in IB schools in preparation for the SAT?
  8. While doing IB, is it easy to do the SAT exams?It isn’t easy but studying for the IB can help for the SATs and vice versa. I found that some of the concepts were easier to grasp while studying for the science/math SATs because of the different way the american textbooks seem to explain things. But this isn’t the case for all subjects, like english, because the test format and objectives are different. I completed my IB Diploma in 2012 and also took the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests in 2011/2012 in Math II and Physics. I found the subject tests to be easy since the majority of the contents were covered in Math HL and Physics SL, which I took. However, I found the reading and writing sections on the Reasoning Test to be hard.

    I highly recommend doing many practice exams before taking the real SAT until you are highly comfortable with the type of questions and timing. Writing great commentaries in English does not guarantee a competitive score on the SAT reading and writing sections.

  9. What are the benefits of studying in IB schools in preparation for the SAT?
  10. How high of an SAT score is required for an Indian student to get a scholarship?SAT scores do play an integral part in the decision making process for the college… but a brilliant essay along with good extracurricular activities helps much more.. 🙂
  11. Is there any full scholarship for an undergraduate American student at Stanford? If yes, what SAT score is required?Stanford does not offer full merit scholarships, but they do have a great deal of financial aid to meet all need for students. A number of students also get outside scholarships. For example, the Ron Brown scholarship gives students money to attend any school they choose to enroll in.
  12. How many Indian students qualify for the SAT?
  13. How many international students take the SAT each year?It’s actually 1,647,123 students took the SAT in 2011 – of those 1,417,600 were US Citizens plus another 50,936 US permanent residents. But yes, around 89K (88,777) were citizens from outside of the US. (To verify)
  14. How much do SAT tuition classes cost in India?
  15. Is there any chance of taking the SAT exam in India without a passport?NO, But you can book a slot with your passport number given that you will be able to carry it to the centre of examination.
  16. SAT (standardized college admission test): Which SAT subjects are the most desirable to take generally?
  17. If you are in higher level math, an ACT Math or SAT Math score suffices to display math proficiency, rendering this test score redundant. You should be taking the Math Level 2 to show true proficiency if you’ve taken pre-calculus and/or calculus.
    2. SAT in your Native Language
    If you learned a non-English language as your native language, taking the SAT subject exam for that language is a pure waste of time.
    3. Any test that you will score below 600 in.
    The median test score for most SAT subject exams is between 630 and 680. If you’ve prepared well and still get below a 600, that means you are missing some crucial concept to demonstrate proper expertise in a subject.
    What is desirable?
    An SAT Lit, History, or Bio score of 800. Typically, less than 3% of students are able to achieve such a score. Whereas in many other tests an 800 is achievable by many students — i.e., 10 percent or more — an 800 on the aforementioned exams shows true mastery.
  18. SAT (standardized college admission test): What does it take to get a 2300+ score on the sat?
    1. Motivation – you must really badly want that 2300.
    2. Objectivity – to identify your weaknesses and work on them.
    3. Time – to practice and improve every time you practice.
    4. Math – mastery of Algebra-II, and ability to frame solutions.
    5. Reading –  be motivated to read every passage with interest.
    6. Grammar – master the 50 or so grammar rules.
    7. Essay – start with passion, add organization and intellectual depth.
    8. Skill, intelligence, and luck.
      You have to know a certain amount of the marerial, and a certain amount of test-taking tricks. You have to know it confidently to move through the test quickly and cleanly. And the luck of the draw has to break in your favor — you can’t hit the three facts you didn’t know on the same day.
      People talk about being a natural on tests, and being a person with just such a reputation, I’m of two minds about it. Sometimes I luck out and ace a test the first time out.  More often, I’m a natural at figuring out what I (or someone else) did wrong, and can raise a score a about 5 percentile points a day, up to about the 95th percentile; then you have too few of any one type of question you’re getting wrong to spot the patterns, and hope that luck will carry you the rest of the way – or you spend another month amassing enough test data to spot the pattern.
    9. SAT (standardized college admission test): As a student of the class of 2017, should I take the old SAT or the redesigned SAT?
      Take the old SAT. Many colleges have expressed that they will accept both the pre-2016 SAT and the redesigned SAT for applicants in the class of 2017.

      The CollegeBoard has partnered with, as you said in your question, Khan Academy to make free prep materials for the new SAT (nSAT) widely available, but there’s only so much prep material that can be released through Khan Academy. Also, the idea that you will all have an “equal” advantage is slightly flawed: there are test prep companies and tutoring centers that have already looked at the questions and syllabus CB released for the nSAT and have started offering the appropriate classes (and if they haven’t started yet, they will start by the time the first nSAT test date rolls around). The people who can afford these tutoring services will have the benefit of individualized tutoring as well as the Khan Academy stuff you’ll have access to, so equal advantage is a misnomer.

      Another thing that you mention in your question is the abundance of resources for the old SAT (oSAT) compared to the nSAT and how the nSAT might prove a financial burden to prepare for due to the dearth of free prep materials (again, CB is giving out some prep material through Khan Academy, but there is a limit on how much they’ll just give away). This is another reason to take the oSAT: you can find used copies of the Official SAT Study Guide (with multiple practice tests directly from the CollegeBoard in each book) from like 2010 for super cheap on Amazon. In fact, when preparing for the SAT, I didn’t even buy the 2014/2015 version of the Official SAT Study Guide (Blue Book); I found the Blue Book my sister used when she was in high school (~2010) in her room and just used that. My mom bought me a bunch of Kaplan/Princeton Review SAT books that I didn’t even touch; the 5 year old Blue Book was enough. For the nSAT, you’d probably have to buy the new Blue Book for the redesigned test (as the used market won’t be too big since the book will still be relatively new). Even used copies would be much more expensive than used copies of Blue Books for the oSAT. There’s also a bunch of free practice tests from the College Board for the oSAT already available online, and the version of the Blue Book I used was the first Blue Book that Sal Khan (founder of Khan Academy) worked through and posted answer explanation videos for all the math questions on YouTube (they’re some of his oldest videos). In short, not only does the oSAT have lots more practice materials for you to work with than the nSAT, but much of this material is also either cheap (2010 Blue Book, used, from Amazon or something) or completely free (free official practice tests available online, Khan Academy’s explanations of the 2010 Blue Book math problems on YouTube).

    10. What is the Difference in old sat and new sat?
    11. The new SAT is like the old SAT plus a healthy dose of the ACT English and  Reading sections, plus a few GRE type questions, all to the power of the common core standards.
      But more helpfully, here are a few things I’ve noticed…
      – the format is now more like the ACT, each subject is presented all at once in longer sections (as opposed to 2-3 sections per subject randomly throughout the test).
      – the vocab has been replaced with ACT-style “meaning in context questions.”
      – the reading section includes 2-part GRE-style “evidence” questions, wherein you have to first answer a question about the passage and then pick the line of the passage that contains the evidence for your answer. Tip: make sure you are looking for the evidence for your answer and not the previous question. It’s a tricky business.
      – the writing is folded into the writing-language test (part of the 800 point “evidence-based reading-writing” score).
      – the writing-language test resembles the ACT English section to an almost embarrassing extent. This means long passages with questions about underlined portions throughout. It means more punctuation and structure questions.
      –  the math is getting more convoluted. They are trying to make the math section more grounded in “real-world problems,” but from what I can tell, this just means adding 2 sentences to each problem to give the pretext of a physical situation. If you’re going to ask about a function, you don’t have to first give an introduction explaining that the function models the production of fizzy widgets in the Roebuck county. But they feel differently and many problems are longer than they need be.
      – there is basic trig on the math.
      – the essay is now document-based and resembles the analyzing-an-argument essay of the GRE and the AP English test. Essentially students are given a passage and have 50 minutes to write an essay that explores how the author of the passage uses literary tools to convey their point, story, intention to the reader.
      Overall, the new SAT looks a lot more like the ACT (and a little bit more like the GRE). Should be a fun test to watch in the years to come.
  19. How many times can a person take SAT exams?
  20. How many times can you take the SAT? Is there a limit if you’re retaking it to achieve your ideal score? Why would you want to keep sitting through this high stakes test, anyway?
    There are several compelling reasons to take the SAT more than once, but you also shouldn’t go totally overboard. Let’s go over when you should retake the SAT, and when it might be time to move on.
     
    Reasons to Take the SAT More Than Once
    Students almost always improve when they retake the SAT. When you take the SAT, you gain valuable real test experience that helps you figure out how to manage your time and deal with pressure. You might encounter certain problems that stump you andlearn the concepts you missed out on for next time. Because they can take time to study and improve, lots of students choose to take the SAT more than once to improve the scores they’ll ultimately add to their college applications.
    Some students strategically build up their SAT score section by section. If yourcollege superscores your test results, or takes the highest scores by section across all the time you sat for the test, then you could theoretically focus in on the math section on one test date, the Critical Reading on another date, and the Writing on the third. While you shouldn’t treat any sections as throwaway sections, since a major discrepancy in scores could raise red flags both to your colleges and the College Board, this approach is one way to really hone your knowledge in one area and potentially achieve near perfect section scores one test date at a time.
    If you score worse than you expected to on the SAT, you might have had a fluke test. There could have been a major passage that just didn’t make sense to you, or maybe you were tired, sick, or distracted that day. If this is the case, you should schedule for the next test as soon as possible.
    So if you’re likely to improve your SAT scores every time you take the test, should you just keep taking it over and over again until you hit perfection?
     
    Can You Take the SAT an Unlimited Number of Times?
    How many times can you take the SAT? Technically, you can take the SAT as many times as you want! There are no restrictions for registering for and taking the test. There are 7 test datesthroughout the year, so the only limit that stands in your way is time.
    Many schools allow you to use Score Choice, or to pick and choose which scores from which test dates you want to send as part of your college application.
    Not all schools support the use of Score Choice, however, and they take it on good faith that you’llsend all your scores. Some notable schools with a “send all scores” policy include Yale, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of California.
    So if you can use Score Choice to send only some scores and keep the rest private, and you have the time and money to keep retesting, then technically you could take the SAT as many times as you want. But if your schools don’t use Score Choice and you are expected to send all your test scores along with your application, how many times retaking the SAT is too many?
     
    How Many Is Too Many?
    If you’re applying to schools that require all scores, like the ones mentioned above, I would recommend not taking the SAT more than 6 times. If you take it this many or more times, you might be sending the signal that you’re not taking the test seriously enough to prep each time or that you have a lot of trouble improving your scores. The SAT is meant to test all students on a level playing field and determine their readiness for college, so it wouldn’t look all that strong to have to take the test more than 6 times to perform well.
    While real test experience is valuable, you also will gain a lot from focused and purposeful test prep. Perhaps you keep retaking the SAT and your scores are not improving as much as you’d like. Rather than asking, “How many times can I take the SAT?” you should reconsider your test prep approach. Are you really uncovering and targeting your weak spots and filling in your knowledge gaps? Are you timing yourself when you take practice tests to practice your pacing? Are you familiar with the best strategies for reading the Critical Reading passages or writing the essay?
    By honing your approach to test prep and really putting in the time and effort to study,you should be able to achieve your target scores within a few administrations of the SAT. Besides what excessive retesting indicates about how you’re prepping for the SAT, it also might not be the best idea for a few other reasons.
     
    Planning your SAT testing schedule is all about balance.
     
    Reasons Not to “Overtake” the SAT
    First, it’s important to take control of your test prep, diagnose your strengths and weaknesses, and figure out what you need to do to improve your scores. Apart from this, you’re probably also taking other tests, like finals or the SAT Subject Tests, along with all your schoolwork, community service, and clubs or sports that require your attention. You wouldn’t want to drop the ball at this point in your high school career by diverting attention away from these other pursuits, as these are also all key parts of yourcollege application.
    Plus, unless you’re superhuman or highly skilled at meditating, sitting for the SAT tends to involvestress and anxiety. Getting real test experience is helpful in teaching you to regulate your nerves, calm yourself down, and focus, but you also don’t need to put yourself through this too many times. Taking the SAT more than 6 times could potentially become a waste of time, money, and energy.
    Again, while you can definitely have a fluke testing experience and score much lower than you should, you also don’t want to treat any tests as throwaway tests. It’s important totake every test seriously so you can get a real sense of your skills and scoring capacity. You can use this same mindset with practice tests – by simulating testing conditions and timing yourself, you can build on your testing experience and figure out what you need to learn and practice to boost your scores.
    Like with everything else you’re involved in through school and outside of school, taking the SAT is all about balance. If you set and stick to a study plan and testing schedule, then you’ll be able to find the happy medium between testing too often and testing too little. Below is one common guide that works for a lot of high school students.
     
    SAT Study Plan and Testing Schedule Guide
    This timeline is effective for a lot of students and gives you time to prep and retake the SAT a few times to hit your target scores. Rather than scouring for test dates to figure out how many times can you take the SAT, you can have everything planned out in advance.
     
    1. Study for the SAT the summer before junior year. You can use online prep, answer SAT Questions of the Day, print official practice tests, try sample questions, and study from books.
    2. Register for and take your first real SAT test in the fall of junior year.Depending on how you do, you can register for the test again.
    3. If you’re retaking the SAT, you can prep during the winter of junior year and take the SAT again in the spring. You might also be taking SAT Subject Tests at the end of the school year. If you still aren’t scoring where you want to score, then you can sign up to take the SAT in the fall of your senior year.
    4. Put a lot of effort into test prep the summer between junior and senior year. Figure out what you were missing on the first two administrations of the test, learn the concepts, and apply them through practice problems. You want to do everything you can to prepare, as this test in the fall will likely be your last chance.
    5. Take the first available test senior year, before you get too busy with schoolwork and your summer studying is fresh in your mind. This would be in October for the SAT. If you feel this test did not go well, you might be able to retake it one more time, depending on your college deadlines. This is also not an ideal time to take the SAT, as you’ll be busy finishing up and sending off the rest of your application. If you’re not sure if your scores will be sent to your colleges in time, definitely call or email the admissions office and ask if they’ll accept these scores. They might wait for your scores even if they arrive after the stated deadline, but you can’t bank on this unless they’ve told you this explicitly.
    Ambitious students who feel they can achieve a high score even earlier in their high school careermight choose to push this schedule forward a year. You could start prepping as a 9th or 10th grader, take the SAT throughout sophomore year, and be all set with your scores before you even start the rest of the application process. If you’re a strong, academically achieving student, you might already have the math, reading, and writing skills you need to score highly on the SAT before you even reach junior year.
    Just like with your test prep, it’s important to reflect on what works best for you. As everyone has different preferences, strengths, and weaknesses, there’s no one size fits all approach to studying for and taking the SAT. This testing schedule works for a lot of students, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide on and stick to the schedule that will allow you to perform your best.
     
    To Sum Up…
    Around 4 times of sitting for the SAT (sometimes more, sometimes less) should likely be enough for you to reach your target scores, along with many more practice tests and effective test prep on your own. Don’t underestimate the power of prep in helping you master the SAT.
    In the end though, you shouldn’t be afraid to take real tests, as they are valuable training experiences and you can almost always improve your scores or make up for a fluke off day.Give yourself enough test dates so you don’t run out of opportunities to take the test and find the balance between retesting, studying, and accomplishing your goals in time for your college deadlines.
     
    What’s Next?
    What’s a good SAT score for 10th grade? 9th grade? What about overall for your college applications? These articles explore this topic of when to take the SAT even further, revealing what your early test scores indicate about your future performance.
    Are you aiming for a perfect 2400? This full scorer shares his strategies for scoring an 800 in math, Critical Reading, and writing.
    While most schools place a great deal of importance on the SAT or ACT, there are actually some schools now that have test optional or test flexible policies.Before you design your plan,make sure you understand the requirements of your colleges.
    Want to improve your SAT score by 240 points? We have the industry’s leading SAT prep program. Built by Harvard grads and SAT full scorers, the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through advanced statistics, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.

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