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The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Reasoning Test is an admissions test typically taken by high school students, and required for entry to most undergraduate programs in the United States (US).

The SAT Reasoning Test is a paper-and-pen test, comprising of four compulsory sections, and an optional Essay, with each section assessing the following topics and abilities:

Section I: Reading

Reading comprehension, interpretation, inference, and deduction. Understanding word usage and word choice as it shapes meaning, style, and tone.
Section II: Writing and Language

Editorial decision making in the expression and communication of ideas and arguments. Usage of standard English conventions.
Section III: Mathematics

Algebra (linear equations and inequalities); ratios; percentages; graphs; arithmetic and geometric sequences; statistics; quadratic and exponential functions; quadratic equations; polynomials; functions
Reading52 multiple choice65 minutes200 - 800
Writing and Language44 multiple choice35 minutes
Math - No calculator20 multiple choice and grid-ins25 minutes200 - 800
Math - Calculator20 multiple choice and grid-ins55 minutes
Essay (optional)1 task50 minutes2 - 8 points

Not included in total score
Total3 hours (without optional essay), excluding breaks
3 hours 50 minutes (including optional essay), excluding breaks


Which schools require the SAT?

Most US undergraduate programs require the SAT, including but not limited to the following universities:
Boston University
Brown University
Cornell University
Columbia University
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
New York University (NYU)
Princeton University
Purdue University
Stanford University
University of California, Berkeley
University of Chicago
University of Southern California (USC)
Yale University

What is a good SAT score?

Generally speaking, for students applying to the most selective universities, a competitive score is above 1450.

How long is my SAT score valid for?

SAT scores are valid for up to 5 years.

How often can I sit for the SAT?

You may sit for the SAT any number of times.

When is the SAT held?

The next available date will be 29 August. Subsequent test dates will be in September (to be confirmed), 3 October and 5 December. These dates are subjected to change by College Board, depending on the COVID-19 situation.

When will my results be available?

SAT scores for the multiple-choice sections are usually released within 2 weeks of the test sitting. SAT Essay scores are typically released within 3 weeks of the test sitting.

Should I sit for the ACT or the SAT?

Both exams are widely recognised by US universities. One key difference between the SAT and the ACT is the inclusion of a Science section in the ACT, accounting for 25% of the final score.

If you are unsure as to which test to take, we invite you to try our free SAT and ACT diagnostic tests for an idea of your expected performance on each test. 



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