The SAT Test
Test Sections of SAT Explained!
The SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test is a standardized test for admissions to colleges in the United States of America. Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) around the world and scored by the College Board-USA, the SAT plays a vital role in the admission process of an applicant.
- A High SAT Score:
A high score in SAT maximizes the chances for success in attaining a place in the top colleges of the US. The SAT test assesses the problem solving skills of the test taker on subjects learnt in high school. In order to qualify to receive a scholarship to cover the tuition and living expenses during the course of study, it is necessary to achieve a high score in SAT. Many international students believe that a high SAT score helps to ease the visa process to a certain extent.
- When can you take the SAT test?:
The SAT test is offered six times a year around the world and seven times in the United States. It is generally offered in the months of January, May, June, October, November and December all over the world. In the US, SAT is conducted in the month of March as well. Usually, the first Saturday of the month in which the SAT exam takes place is fixed for conducting the SAT exam.
- The SAT Test Pattern:
The SAT test assesses subject matter learnt in high school. The SAT test pattern consists of three major sections of critical reading, mathematics and writing. Each major section is further divided into three parts. There are three sections for critical reading, three for mathematics and three for writing. However, there are ten sections in the SAT test pattern. The last section is an additional variable section that may be in any of the three major sections. The variable section points are not included in the final score.
The total test takes 3 hours and 45 minutes. The first three sections of critical reading have 70 minutes allocated to them, the mathematics sections have to be completed within a total of 70 minutes and the writing sections have to be done in 60 minutes. There is a penalty for the wrong answers. For every correct answer, one point is allocated. For every wrong answer, one-fourth of a point is deducted.
- The SAT Test Sections:
The SAT test sections are divided into three major areas. The Critical Reading section of the SAT is made up of three sections with different types of questions ranging from sentence completions to short and long reading passages. Two of the three sections of critical reading are timed for 25 minutes each while one is timed at 20 minutes. The Mathematics section of the SAT test consists of three sections. There are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section with different types of questions in each of the sections. While one of the 25-minute sections comprises entirely of 20 multiple choice questions, the other 25-minute section contains 8 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions. There is no penalty for the grid-in questions if answered incorrectly. The last section timed at 20 minutes has 16 multiple choice questions.
The Writing section of the SAT test comprises of multiple choice questions and an essay and has a time limit of 60 minutes.
- Style of Questions:
Almost all the questions on the SAT test are multiple choice questions except for the essay and the grid-in math responses. The multiple-choice questions have five options out of which there is only one correct option. All questions carry the same number of points. There is no penalty for the mathematics grid-in questions in case they are answered incorrectly. Except for the essay, the scoring or grading is done by a computer.
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