SAT exam is a standardized entrance test conducted primarily in the US. By a standardized exam we mean that the test is consistent in its questions, curriculum, conditions of admission, scoring etc. The manner, structure and scoring scheme are predetermined and known to all. It is conducted for the purpose of granting admission in the degree colleges across US. The importance of SAT can be realized by the fact that almost all the colleges acknowledge the SAT exam as an entrance exam. Therefore the score in SAT exam is the key to admission in the college of your choice. That is the reason why millions of students appear for the SAT exam every year.
ADMINISTRATION OF SAT EXAM
A universal examination board called The College Board administers the SAT exam. It is a non-profit association of all the colleges of the US and it is responsible for conducting most of the centralized exams. Thus the exams conducted by it, like the SAT exam, are widely acceptable. It gets the SAT developed, published and scored by the ETS (Educational Testing Service). The head quarter of the College Board is in the New York City and has various regional centers at various places that help in administering the SAT exam. The SAT exam is conducted seven times in a year in the US, US territories and Puerto Rico, whereas in other countries it is conducted six times.
SAT EXAM PATTERN
The SAT exam is designed to evaluate your skills of thinking and logical reasoning. These are the basic skills that you acquire in your school, but are highly appreciated at the college level as well. Thus the aim of conducting the SAT exam is to judge the students for their writing, reading as well as mathematical skills.
The SAT exam is categorized as SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject based Test. Generally the score in SAT reasoning test is enough to secure admission in a college. But some colleges also consider the score of the subject based SAT exam. Generally, when we say SAT exam, it refers to the SAT reasoning test.
SAT Reasoning Test
The SAT Exam is a 3 hour 45 minutes long test that is divided into 3 sections. These are Critical reading, Writing and Mathematics. Each of these sections is taken in three parts. Besides there is also a fourth section, which is the experimental section, but the score in the experimental section is not added up in the final result. Apart from this section, each section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800. The final score of the SAT exam is the composite score of the three sections.
The questions in the SAT reasoning test are largely multiple-choice type questions. But there are certain questions where you are required to write in detail like the essay writing questions. Mathematics section has multiple-choice questions and grid-in questions based on simple mathematical concepts. The writing section contains questions on improving sentences and paragraphs, identifying errors and essay writing. These questions are based on grammar and capability of expressing and understanding thoughts. The reading section also contains multiple-choice type questions based on sentence completion and passage-based reading. Here the focus is on the reading skills of the student.
SAT Subject Based Test
The SAT exam of the subjects tests the knowledge of students in a particular subject. Although for most of the colleges, the score in the SAT reasoning test is enough, there are some colleges that keep the criterion of score in the SAT subject base tests as a condition for admission in their institution. This Sat exam is a test of subjects like History, Science, Mathematics, and Language etc. The content of the subjects is based on the general trends prevailing in the schools. The subject tests are 1-hour long tests that have basically multiple-choice questions.
A candidate can take the SAT reasoning test and as many as 3 SAT subject based tests on a particular date (with an exception of the first test in the spring, i.e. March or April)
SAT EXAM RESULTS
Once your SAT test is over the next thing on your mind is the result. All efforts are made to prepare the result as soon as possible. The result for the SAT exam is declared online after three weeks of the test. Thus for a test conducted on 1st October, the result will be available on 20th of October, whereas by mail it takes about six weeks.
Since each section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800, the total score in SAT exam varies between 600 and 2400. Out of this, the score for the writing test is declared as 2 sub scores, 0 to 12 for essay writing 20 to 80 for multiple-choice questions. Every correct answer gets you a point and an incorrect answer is marked negatively, thus deducting quarter of a point. Any omitted answer however does not make a difference to you result. Getting a good score increases your chances of getting admission in one of the best college in US.
The students are also given the percentile, which is a relative score of students scoring below you. Due to the percentile you come to know where you stand in the test with respect to other applicants.
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