This is the age of competition. You have to struggle to find a place for yourself in every field. In the academic field also there is competition at every level. There comes a time when there are millions of students willing to join a particular course but the seats are limited. It is not possible to accommodate everyone. That is why some from of testing is required to be selective. SAT test is such an assessment where students are judged on a common scale. It is a standardized testing procedure that is required for the purpose of admission in colleges across the US. The essence of this testing lies in its uniformity. It brings together students from various sections of the society, with different academic backgrounds on a common platform in order to be fair to all.
SAT Testing Agency
SAT or Scholastic Aptitude Test is administered by The College Board. The College Board is a non-profit agency comprising of all the colleges and schools in US. It was formed for the purpose of managing different standardized tests. The College Board is assisted by the ETS (Educational Testing Services) to develop, publish and score the SAT. The test requires a consistence in its administration and scoring procedure. There needs to be a predetermined and uniform style of the questions, execution of the test and scoring etc in order to make it worth. So it is the collective responsibility of The College Board as well as the ETS to make it as fair as possible.
Utility of SAT
The utility of SAT is not restricted to just one group of students or to some colleges only. It is useful for one and all. Your score in SAT makes you eligible to take admission in a college for higher education. There are many students appearing for this test every year. All have come up to this level by clearing some exams that form the criterion for taking admission in the colleges. But there can be differences in the systems they have attended on the whole. You have variations in the grading, scoring, curriculum, pattern etc. Also there is difference in difficulty level of each test, methods of preparation and teaching styles. Thus so far you must not have come across any standardized test. Since so many differences exist among the students seeking admissions in the colleges, it becomes difficult for the college authorities to choose one student over the other. SAT is the solution for this and makes the task of the colleges simple. At the time of admissions the colleges give importance to the score obtained in this test. Preference is given to a student who has a higher score in the test. Therefore the colleges do not have to conduct their own entrance tests in order to measure the capabilities of students.
SAT test is also beneficial to the students. With the advent of a common entrance test like SAT, students are not required to go through the admission process of each college separately. This test makes it possible for students to send their scores to various colleges. It is a single test that almost every college accepts.
It is also a fair and just method of selection. It is unbiased and gives equal opportunity to every student. Your grades in school are not comparable because of the fact that there are differences in the difficulty level, method of scoring etc. Thus a deserving student may get a lower score in a difficult test where as a below average student can get a good grade in a relatively simpler test. Thus on the basis of the grades you cannot ignore the capabilities of a deserving student.
SAT can also be used to approach various scholarship programs. A high score in the test can help you to get financial assistance from a scholarship agency. Also while considering Visa applications, you can get preference if you have a high score in this test.
Study Methods for SAT
Studying for SAT is not a casual thing. It needs to be taken seriously. Had it been a regular test, you could have ignored it. But it is a big one. It is the door to your post-secondary education. You cannot be casual where your future is concerned. That is why studies for SAT should be planned and systemized.
There are various methods that can help you in studying for SAT. Firstly, you have coaching classes, where you are given training to appear in the test. Coaching classes run various courses on a regular basis. These courses introduce you to the test. Professional instructors guide the students towards a better score by teaching them various skills, strategies, giving them practice tests and evaluating their performance on a day-to-day basis.
Apart from coaching classes you can prepare for the test through books specially designed for SAT. You can find informative books on the test in the market, or you could also hunt for a good book from the Internet. A good book is an excellent means of study as it is a complete guide in itself. It gives you overall information and is your constant companion. Books have sample questions of each section with detailed explanation of answers. Books also have interesting exercises that you can solve to test yourself.
Another method of studying for the test is through online sources. You have many web sites for SAT preparation. You can join online courses for complete preparation of the test. There are web sites that offer free practice tests with solved answers. Some of the best test products are available online. Products like books, CDs, flashcards and some latest SAT interactive hand gadgets can be purchased through the net. Apart from that you can benefit from 24 hour online help, chat sessions, discussion groups etc.