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The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Introduced in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now, simply the SAT.
The SAT is owned, developed, and published by the College Board, a private, non-profit organization in the United States. It is administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service, which until recently developed the SAT as well. The test is intended to assess students' readiness for college. The SAT was originally designed not to be aligned with high school curricula, 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 learned in high school.
On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The current SAT, introduced in 2016, takes three hours to finish, plus 50 minutes for the SAT with essay, and as of 2017costs US$45 (US$57 with the optional essay), excluding late fees, with additional processing fees if the SAT is taken outside the United States. Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing. Although taking the SAT, or its competitor the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many colleges and universities in the United States many colleges and universities are experimenting with test-optional admission requirements and alternatives to the SAT and ACT. Starting with the 2015–16 school year, the College Board began working with Khan Academy to provide free SAT preparation.

The NEW SAT 2016 format

SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. It is a standardized test, designed to measure critical thinking, reading and analytical skills and writing skills through three sections- math, critical reading writing and language and Essay (optional).The SAT tests a student's capability and their likelihood to succeed in a course which and is one of the several factors that many universities and colleges consider when making their admission decisions alongside high school grades.

The NEW SAT structure

Section Time Number of Questions Focus
Math 80 minutes (55 minutes with calculator + 25 minutes without calculator) 58 Problem-solving and data analysis;"The Heart of Algebra";"Passport to Advanced Math";Real-world problem solving accompanied by informational graphics
Critical Reading 65 minutes 52 1 Evidence-Based Reading to test understanding of U.S. and World Literature
Writing and Language 44 minutes 44 "Expression of Ideas" and "Standard English Conventions" through passages relating to Careers, History/Social Studies, Humanities, and Science
Essay (Optional) 50 minutes 1 Reading, analysis, and writing skills; requires students to analyze a source document and explain how the author builds an argument

THE NEW SAT Scoring Methodology

Two sections of SAT (Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) are scored on a scale ranging from 200-800 points giving a possible total of 1600. Sub scores and insight scores are also reported along with an optional essay (scored separately).
Questions that a student does not answer do not count either for or against their score. No negative marking for wrong answers on the math questions where the answers have to be entered into a grid. The raw score for each section is then converted into a scaled score. This is where the score of 200–800 points comes from, which is done through a statistical process called 'equating'.

To remember when taking the New SAT:

Unlike the old SAT there is no negative marking or wrong-answer penalty and too much time must not be spent on answering specific questions, especially, in the Critical Reading section. The critical reading section now does not asks for sentence completion. There are only 4 answer choices per question in the New SAT test format.SAT is available in print and digitally.

Key facts about the NEW SAT:

10 key insights into the GRE:

  • In India, the SAT is offered in the months of January, May, June, October, November and December.
  • The test is generally conducted on the first Saturday of the month (except in the month of January, when it is held on the last Saturday).
  • Students have 3 hours (3 hours 50 minutes with optional essay) to take the SAT, not including breaks and check-in time.
  • SAT scores are valid for five years.
  • Students can take the test more than once to see if they can score better. Two to three times is the maximum recommended number of attempts.
  • The essay question asks students to analyze a 650-700 word document and explain how the author builds an argument. Students need not have previous knowledge of any particular subject to answer the essay question as the test focuses on the reading, writing, and analysis skills of the test-takers.
  • A scoreclose to the mean (average) - about 500 on critical reading and writing and 500 on mathematics - shows that a student has scored quite well.
  • Each college has its own way of using test scores and evaluating applicants. The SAT score reports sent to colleges include score ranges and percentiles that provide some context for how well a student has performed in the test.
  • Scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which a student was tested.
  • There is an on-screen calculator for use in the Quantitative Reasoning section to reduce the emphasis on computation and to ensure that the student focuses more attention on reasoning skills.
  • There is emphasis within the test on vocabulary enrichment through reading.

Fees and Costs

The cost to take the SAT for Indian students is US$ 92.

The cost to take the SAT with Essay for Indian students is US$ 103.50.

In addition to the cost of taking the SAT, other charges may apply in certain circumstances. Further details of costs can be found on

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