SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) – Types, Exam, Syllabus, Eligibility

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)The SAT is wholly owned, developed, and published by the College Board, a private, not-for-profit organization in the United States. It is administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service,[rx] which until recently developed the SAT as well.[rx] The test is intended to assess students’ readiness for college. The SAT was originally designed not to be aligned with high school curricula,[rx] but several adjustments were made for the version of the SAT introduced in 2016, and College Board president, David Coleman, has said that he also wanted to make the test reflect more closely what students learn in high school with the new Common Core standards.[rx]

It is a standardized test administered by the College Board and is required to be taken by students seeking admission to undergraduate schools. The full form of SAT is the Scholastic Assessment Test, which was earlier known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. SAT exam has been developed to evaluate the written, verbal and mathematical skills of the candidates. Applicants aspire to pursue undergraduate courses, particularly in the US and Canada, are required to take the SAT exam. If the student is looking to get admission to a particular course, s/he can take the SAT subject tests to show his knowledge and understanding of that particular subject. Subject tests are offered in areas like Literature, History, Mathematics, Sciences and Foreign Languages. 

Type Paper-based standardized test
Developer/administrator College Board, Educational Testing Service
Knowledge/skills tested Writing, critical reading, mathematics
Purpose Admission to undergraduate programs of universities or colleges
Year started 1926
Duration 3 hours (without the essay) or 3 hours 50 minutes (with the essay)
Score / grade range Test scored on scale of 200–800, (in 10-point increments), on each of two sections (total 400–1600).
Essay scored on scale of 2–8, in 1-point increments, on each of three criteria (total 6–24).
Offered 7 times annually
Countries / regions Worldwide
Languages English
The annual number of test-takers Over 2.22 million high school graduates in the class of 2019[rx]
Prerequisites/eligibility criteria No official prerequisite. Intended for high school students. Fluency in English assumed.
Fee US$52.50 to US$101.50, depending on country.[rx]
Scores / grades used by Most universities and colleges offering undergraduate programs in the U.S.

SAT Exam Latest Update

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ALERT: College Board has canceled the May SAT exams because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Makeup exams for March 14th-2020 which were scheduled for March 28th-2020 have also been canceled. Registered students will receive refunds from the College Board. The College Board will provide future SAT testing opportunities as soon as it is feasible to arrange for the exams. Also, it has not canceled the exam scheduled for June 6th-2020. In the coming days, the College Board will share additional information and details regarding the SAT administration.

Many universities abroad are going test-optional as SAT is being canceled. What it means for students and whether this arrangement is here to stay?

Recently, the College Board has introduced SAT in India. students looking to pursue higher education in premier universities in India would be pleased to know that in 2018, the College Board has brought into effect an India Higher Education Alliance with various academic establishments. All the university affiliates in the Alliance are accepting SAT scores for admission from Indian students and around the world. Hence, students who want to study abroad and also apply to universities can appear for the SAT test. For a list of Indian academic universities accepting SAT scores

SAT Exam Highlights

Exam Name SAT
SAT full form Scholastic Assessment Test
Official Website
Most popular for Undergraduate courses in the US and Canada
Also accepted by The United Kingdom and Australia
Conducted by The College Board
Mode of Exam Written-based examination
SAT Fee $96.50 without the essay and $113.50 with essay
Score Range 400-1600 points
SAT Contact The College Board National Office

250 Vesey Street

New York, NY 10281

Phone: 212-713-8000

Why do people take SAT?

Students looking to enroll in the undergraduate programs in the US appear for their SAT. Most of the colleges in the US require SAT for admission to the undergraduate courses. Apart from this, many schools also offer SAT scholarship money to students based on their SAT results.

Types of SAT

Conducted by the College Board, SAT 1 or more commonly referred to as the Scholastic Assessment Test is required to be taken by students seeking admission to undergraduate schools. SAT 1 is a general test that has been developed to evaluate the written, verbal and mathematical skills of the candidates. SAT 2, on the other hand, is a more subject-focused test. Students looking to get admission to a particular course are required to take the SAT Subject Test to demonstrate their knowledge of that particular subject. So, whenever, you are in a dilemma while thinking about SAT1 vs SAT2, then just see which SAT 2020 exam is apt for you.


Most of the colleges in the US accept either SAT or American College Testing (ACT) for admissions to their undergraduate programs, so, students looking to get into these courses are required to take these tests. However, it is important to know which exam you should take. Firstly, check the requirement of the college you are applying to whether they require the SAT or ACT, then decide on which exam you should go for. If you are lucky enough to have both the options acceptable from your choice of college

SAT 2020 Eligibility

The College Board, which is the conducting body of the SAT has not laid down any specific SAT eligibility criteria for students wanting to appear for the SAT exam.s

Age Limit to Appear for SAT

  • Candidates should be informed that there is no minimum or maximum age criteria fixed for students wanting to appear for the exam. General studies have shown that students belonging to the age group of 17 to 19 are among the highest to appear for SAT.

How many times can you take SAT exams?

  • As in the case of ACT, there are no restrictions set by the College Board, students can take the SAT exam as many times as they want.

What is the educational eligibility criteria for SAT?

  • There are no specific eligibility criteria set by the College Board, the body that conducts and manages the SAT exam. However, it can be taken by students who are in high school. Students who want to apply for undergraduate studies abroad are required to have successfully completed their high school education to move to the next level of their learning.

What skills does the SAT Exam test?

SAT exam analyses Mathematical, Critical Reading and Writing skills of the candidates. According to the College Board, they test the skills which students have learned in their schools. They test the skills which are required for the academic success of the students in college.

SAT 2020 Registration

Students wanting to appear for the SAT are required to register for the same. SAT is an important examination for students wanting to pursue their bachelors in the United States or Canada among top study abroad countries. Students can register for SAT through the offline method via mail or through the more convenient, online method. Through the online method, candidates are required to create a login id on the official SAT website and go ahead with the registration process.

Online Registration (Steps)

  • Visit the College Board official website.
  • Create your account.
  • Submit all the required details.
  • Choose which exam you want to give along with your nearest test center.
  • Upload your clear photograph.
  • Pay the application fee.

Registration by Mail (Steps)

  • You first need ‘The Student Registration Guide for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests’, which is available at schools.
  • The guide includes a registration form and a return envelope.
  • The form needs to be sent along with a demand draft.
  • The local representative of SAT in India is the USIEF. The mailed forms will be directed to their regional office.

SAT Slot Booking

Since there are a limited number of seats in every designated SAT Test Centre. Candidates are recommended to book their SAT exam slot in advance to avoid any unnecessary hassle.

How to Cancel SAT Exam?

Candidates should note that no matter how early you cancel your SAT Test, you would not be entitled to a full refund. Candidates who have registered for the exam and are required to cancel the same would be eligible for a $10 refund if the candidate cancels the test 5 days in advance.

How to Postpone or Reschedule SAT Exam Date?

Candidates are required to pay an extra fee of $30 for SAT Exam date change. They are required to log into their SAT account and put in a request for a date change.

SAT Admission Ticket

Once the candidate has successfully registered for the exam he would be required to log into his account on the official website and download the SAT Admission Ticket. It is important the candidate should check the credentials on the admission ticket and get any mistake rectified at the earliest.

SAT Exam Fees

Candidates looking to appear for their SAT are required to pay a fee for the same. Candidates can check out the detailed SAT Fee levied below.

  • The fee for only the SAT exam is $47.50 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee. Non-U.S. Regional Fee for students giving SAT Test in India is $49, so the total SAT fee is $96.50
  • The fee for the SAT exam with Essay is $64.50 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee. So, the total fee for the SAT exam with Essay is $64.50 + $49 = $113.50
  • For subject tests, candidates have to pay an additional $26 as a basic subject test fee
  • For SAT subject tests, some additional fee might be required

SAT Cancellation Fees

Canceling your SAT Registration is an expensive affair and students are always advised to go for a date change rather than canceling the exam entirely. Candidates should keep in mind that Registrations cannot be refunded later than five days before test day, and candidates are only refunded $10 whether they have opted for SAT or the SAT along with Essay.

SAT Rescheduling Fees

Candidates who are looking to change their SAT Test Centre or SAT Test Date or changing between the SAT and SAT Subject Tests or vice versa are required to pay an extra $30 to avail similar services. Candidates can check out rescheduling fees below:

Date/Test Centre Change Fee $30
Late Registration Fee $30
Register by Phone $15
Waitlist Fee $53

How to get fee-waiver for SAT?

Students belonging to the 11th and 12th grades in the US or US territories are eligible for SAT Fee Waiver. US Citizens residing outside the country can also get their fee waived off. However, SAT Subject Test fee waivers are available for students in grades 9-12.

SAT Subject Fee

SAT Scholarships

One of the biggest drawbacks of studying abroad is having to pay tuition fees in foreign currency clubbed with high living expenses. Due to such reasons, a lot of times, many sections of students are unavailable to go abroad and end up settling down for other alternatives. However, with the availability of various scholarships and education loans students can finally make their dream come true. Scholarships are available on the official website of every college along with other fellowships and grants that are awarded to deserving students on a regular basis. Students can also opt for education loan from financial institutions for studying abroad.

SAT 2020 Exam Dates

Candidates looking to appear for their SAT need to register for the same. Candidates are already aware that the SAT is generally of two types, SAT General and SAT Subject Tests. Candidates are advised to register for their SAT exam before the SAT registration deadline to avoid any last-minute stress. The table below provides the test dates for the SAT General Test as well as SAT Subject Test.

Test Date Test Available SAT Registration Deadline
March 14, 2020 SAT Test February 14, 2020
May 2, 2020 SAT Test

SAT Subject Test

April 3, 2020
June 6, 2020 SAT Subject Test n/a

Which is the best time to give the SAT exam?

The SAT Exam is held multiple times round-the-year. Students looking to appear for their SAT are advised to choose an exam date 3-4 months before their application deadline, to avoid any last-minute error. Candidates can choose from the various SAT Test Centres located across major cities in India.

SAT 2020 Syllabus

SAT syllabus includes courses the students have already studied in their school over the years. So if you are good at studies at school, you shouldn’t have any issues preparing for the SAT Syllabus. The syllabus includes:

Writing Section

  • SAT writing has three sections
  • Essay section – 25 mins
  • Multiple choice sections – 25 mins and 10 mins

Critical Reading Section

  • SAT contains three critical reading sections
  • Reading comprehension – 25 mins
  • Sentence completions – 25 mins
  • Paragraph-length critical reading – 20 mins

Math Section

  • SAT contains three Math sections
  • Algebra and functions – 25 mins
  • Geometry Statistics – 20 mins
  • Probability and Data analysis – 20 mins

SAT test focuses on accessing skills and knowledge acquired by students in the high school education. Each section tests the skills required to succeed in college.

Reading Test

  • Multiple choice questions based on passages and informational graphics
  • Some questions consist of informational graphics like tables, graphs, and charts
  • The test includes –
    • A passage from a classic or contemporary work of U.S. or world literature.
    • One passage or a pair of passages from either a U.S. founding document or a text in the Great Global Conversation. For e.g.: The U.S. Constitution or a speech by Nelson Mandela
    • A passage about economics, psychology, sociology, or some other social science.
    • Two science passages (or one passage and one passage pair) examining foundational concepts and developments in Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics.

Writing and Language Test

  • Multiple choice questions based on passages
  • Some passages have informational graphics like tables, graphs, and charts
  • Questions are based on sentence structure, usage, and punctuation.
  • Students required to change words, clauses, sentences, and punctuation to fix the mistakes in the sentences.
  • The topics include verb tense, parallel construction, subject-verb agreement, and comma use as well.

Mathematics Test

  • The test is divided into two sections – Math Test–Calculator and Math Test–No Calculator.
  • Most questions are multiple choice while some are grid-ins
  • Grid-in questions require students to solve a question and fill in the answer derived in the space given
  • Topics covered include –
    • Algebra
    • Ratios, Rates, Proportional Relationships, Scale Drawings, Percentages
    • Polynomials, Linear, Quadratic, Exponential Models, and Equations
    • Linear and Exponential Growths
    • Probability, Statistics, Graphs
    • Geometry and Trigonometry

SAT Result

  • SAT Scores are usually released three weeks after the test day.
  • SAT score reports include –
    • The total score
    • Sectional score
    • Sub score (marks scored in each types of questions)
    • Essay score (if applicable)
    • Student’s percentile
  • Score reports can be accessed via College Board profile
    • Click on My Organizer.
    • Click on SAT Scores
    • Click on  Access My Scores
    • Enter username and password
    • Click on “My Test Scores” box
    • Your SAT score will be displayed on screen
  • Students are required to send their score reports by phone or mail to the colleges they are eligible for
  • Score choice can be used for the above purpose
  • Students can send up to four score reports to colleges for free; prior to which additional fee will be charged.

SAT Score

  • The raw score achieved by students is converted to a scale of 200-800 for each section.
  • The total score is in the range of 400-1600.

SAT Score Verification

  • Students can request Score Verification for a charge, in case they are not satisfied with their scores.
  • The request can be made till five months after the test date.
  • Booklet with SAT questions and answered marked by the student is provided.
  • In some case, the entire answer sheet is scored again manually.
  • If any errors are found in the scoring, the verification charges are refunded.
  • The scores updated automatically after the verification.
  • Students can request this service online or by mail by filling the SAT Score Verification form.

SAT Score Cancellation

  • If a student feels he/she has not performed well on his/her SAT, he/she can request an SAT Score Cancellation.
  • The request must be received before 11:59 P.M. on the Thursday following the test date
  • This service cannot be availed online or by phone due to signature requirement
  • The request can be made – at the test center and after leaving the test center

At the Test Center

  • Ask the coordinator at the end of the test for a Request to Cancel Test Score form
  • Complete the form
  • Submit it with the coordinator

After Leaving the Test Center

  • Download the form from the College Board website
  • Information to be provided for score cancellation –
    • Test date
    • Test center number
    • Name of test you are canceling—either the SAT or SAT Subject Test(s)
    • Name, address, sex, birth date and registration number
    • Signature
  • Send a written request with signature along with the completed form via fax or mail.
  • The mail or fax label must read: “Attention: SAT Score Cancellation”.
  • The cancellation fee can be paid by check or money order.

SAT Scores

The SAT is divided into two sections, Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. These two sections are scored on a 200-800 point scale, for a maximum total score of 1600. SAT Subject Test scores are measured on a scale of 200 to 800. There are additional subscores reported on a 20-80 scale. The scores of a student reflect on how he/she is compared with other students who have appeared for the test.

SAT Score Range: What’s a Good SAT Score for Colleges?

An average SAT score is around 1000. Anything above 1200 is considered a good SAT score. The maximum anyone can score on the SAT is the perfect score of 1600. Since you receive scaled scores, you should have some understanding of SAT scaled scores and percentiles. For a detailed understanding.

How to Send SAT Scores to Colleges?

There are two ways of sending the scores to colleges, one while registering for the test or after releasing the official scores. Candidates receive four free Score Reports while registering for the SAT test. Candidates can send the scores to colleges up to nine days of taking the test after that they have to pay $12 for sending the score reports to each university/program they choose.

Fee Waivers during SAT Score Reporting to Colleges

For the economically weaker sections and low-income students, the College Board offers SAT fee waivers/scholarships. It allows a student to send his/her SAT score to the colleges of their choice for free of cost. However, the eligibility differs as per the latest changes. You can contact the representative of the College Board or read about the criteria on their website and apply accordingly.

Sending SAT Scores: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • First of all sign in to your College Board account
  • You will see an option for ‘Send Scores’. Click on ‘Send Scores’.
  • Next step is to choose ‘Send Available Scores Now’ (for sending scores immediately) or click on ‘Send Scores When Available’ (if scores are yet to be declared or you are yet to sit for the exam)
  • Add recipients by choosing your shortlisted colleges. You can search them by name and by state.
  • Make sure you double-check all the recipients and personal details, and then only pay the final amount

SAT Score Validity Period

The SAT scores are valid over a period of 5 years, until or unless there has been a change in the criteria for SAT. Candidates mostly do not use their SAT scores till five years or so. They usually take new tests and then they apply to the desired colleges. Students can also order an additional copy of their scorecards for the purpose of sending it to more colleges and can pay a sum of $ 9 (433.224 INR).

SAT Score Verification

SAT Score verification is nothing but a revaluation of your test scores, to check that you have received scores in all sections and nothing has been skipped. So, if you feel that the SAT score that you received is different than what you expected, you may have missed or made a mistake in marking your answers. Another reason for different SAT score than expected can be that your Essay is illegible or blank when one views it online. Under SAT score verification you have three options:

  • Multiple-choice hand score verification
  • Essay score verification
  • Or both, Multiple-choice and Essay score

You can put in this request within the next five months after test day by filling in a SAT score verification form. Before going further, it is advised to read the instructions carefully given on the form. You will also be required to submit a score verification fee. For students with a fee waiver, this score verification fee will be reduced. You will receive a letter with the new and confirmed results within five weeks once you pay the verification fee and submit your form. If there are any changes in the SAT scores post verification due to an irregularity in the scoring or scanning process, the verification fee will be refunded.

SAT Score Cancellation

For any reason, you need to cancel your SAT Score, here are two methods through which one can cancel their SAT scores:

  • At the test center: If you are unsure about how the test went, or if you feel like you have skipped a number of questions, you can cancel your test right then and there. Right at that moment, at the test center, you can ask the supervisor for a ‘Request to Cancel Test Scores’ form. Fill in all details along with your signature. Submit the form with the supervisor. Make sure you submit this before leaving the test center.
  • At home: If your poor performance hits you after you leave the test center, you can cancel your test at home as well. However, there is a time limit to it. You need to submit your cancellation request by writing by to College Board as quickly as you can because the deadline of receiving such requests will be 11:59 PM (IST) of a Wednesday after the test date. You need to download ‘Request to Cancel Test Scores’ online from the College Board website, fill in your details, sign it, and fax it or speed-post/courier it overnight.

Here are the details for Fax and over-night mail service

  • Fax: (610) 290-8978
  • Overnight U.S. Postal Service Express Mail (US only) – SAT Score Cancellation, P.O. Box 6228, Princeton, NJ 08541-6228
  • Overnight mail service or courier (US or international) – SAT Score Cancellation, 1425 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ 08618, USA

SAT Result

The scoring for the SAT is evaluated out of 2400 (from 600 to 2400). Subject wise scores range from 200 -800, where 200 is the minimum and 800 is the maximum score. The scores for your exams are available after 3 weeks of taking up the examination. Colleges have different criteria for selecting students on the basis of their scores.

Steps to access SAT Results

Follow these steps to access your SAT Scores

  • Click on ‘My Organizer’
  • On your left side menu, you will see the option ‘SAT scores’, select it
  • Next, click on ‘Access My Scores’
  • You will be asked username and password, enter these details
  • Scroll down until you see the option of ‘My Test Scores’

SAT Cut-Off

SAT Cut-Off 202The College Board does not have any SAT cut-off listed for students wanting to apply for universities abroad after appearing for their SAT. There are no strict SAT cut-offs for top colleges/ universities, candidates are expected to fall within a certain range to be eligible for admission to top schools. However, exceptions would be made for unusual cases0.

Countries accepting SAT Score

Every country has its own selection criteria for international students. The SAT Exam is accepted in various colleges worldwide. It is most popular for undergraduate courses in the USA and Canada. Though it is also accepted by some universities in the UK and Australia.

SAT 2020 Preparation Tips

Candidates who score well in SAT tend to be good readers, who possess a good vocabulary. They can also sustain the pressure of answering questions in a shorter time span as the test requires dealing with multiple sections. For the overall preparation, SAT is similar to the other exams in the sense that candidates can either take the route of self-studying or attend coaching classes.

For self-study you need motivation and self-discipline, to continue with the routine. This method will definitely help you save lots of time and money. However, if you feel you learn the best in a classroom environment, then attending coaching classes is not a bad deal. Remember that you can choose to study on your own or through professional help, there is no right or wrong way.

Check out detailed information on SAT 2020 Preparation Tips. Candidates looking to prepare section-wise can check out our writing prep tips, reading prep tips and math prep tips to be able to perform their best during the time of the exam.

What are the best books for SAT Exam 2020?

Whether you decide to study on your own or to join a coaching class, you would always need a set of the best books to prepare for the SAT Exam 2020. This set should be able to help you cover the entire syllabus along with a series of sample papers or practice tests. Practicing on these questions would give you an idea of the overall feel of the exam paper along with letting you figure out how far you have reached.

SAT Question Paper / Sample Paper

One of the most convenient methods of preparing for SAT is through solving SAT Sample papers. Solving SAT Test Papers not only allows the candidate to self-evaluate his performance but also prepare him for the exam day. For the benefit of our readers, we have got the latest SAT Practice Papers for aspirants to solve and do their best on the day of the exam.

SAT Test Centers

The SAT is conducted at multiple major cities across India for the benefit of students. Students are always advised to book a Sat Testing Centre that is closest to their location and is most convenient. The SAT exam is held at over 50 institutes and spread across 30 major cities in India. To locate the SAT test center that is closest to you, view the entire list of SAT Test Centers, here.

SAT Exam Day Tips

Reaching your test center ahead of time is always a good idea. It gives you time to relax and prepare for facing the exam. Having some time in spare also helps you tackle anxiety that creates panic before entering the examination hall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *