SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test

The SAT is a standardised test taken by high school students to secure admissions into universities abroad for undergraduate programs and is used by most colleges and universities to make admission decisions. It is a multiple-choice, computer-based test governed by The College Board. The test and its name have undergone changes, and currently, the test is called simply the S-A-T.

Purpose of SAT

The main purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student’s readiness for college and provide the admissions committee in universities with a common data point to compare all other applicants. Alongside the CGPA, letter of recommendations, extracurricular activities, interview, and personal essays, the committee will also review the standardised test score. The importance of the SAT score in the admission process varies from school to school.

The higher the score on the SAT, the better the chances of securing admission in one of the top-ranked universities abroad.

SAT Test format

Each test section, Reading & Writing and Math is divided into 2 modules, and each module has a set of questions. Let us understand this with the figure given below.

Category Reading & Writing Section Math Section
Format Two stage adaptive design Two stage adaptive design
No of modules 2 Modules 2 Modules
Adaptivity Section wise adaptive Section wise adaptive
Length of the test Module 1: 25 operational questions and 2 pre-test questions;
Module 2: 25 operational questions and 2 pre-test questions
Module 1: 20 operational questions and 2 pre-test questions;
Module 2: 20 operational questions and 2 pre-test questions
Time per stage 1st module: 32 minutes;
2nd module: 32 minutes
1st module: 35 minutes;
2nd module: 35 minutes
Total number of questions 54 questions 44 questions
Break 10 minutes after the 1st module 10 minutes after the 1st module
Total time 64 minutes 70 minutes
Score reported Total Score 
Reading & Writing score 
Math score
Total Score 
Reading & Writing score 
Math score

SAT Scoring Pattern

Reading & Writing
Content domain Skill Tested Question Distribution
Craft & Structure Words in Context; Text Structure & purpose; Cross text connection Approx. 28% 13-15 questions
Information & Ideas Central ideas & details Approx. 26%
Standard English Conventions Boundaries Form, structure and sense Approx. 26% 11-15 questions
Expression of Ideas Rhetorical synthesis Transitions Approx. 20% 8-12 questions
Maths
Content domain Skill Tested Question Distribution
Algebra Linear equations & functions, linear inequalities Approx. 35% 13-15 questions
Advanced Math Equivalent expressions, nonlinear equations Approx. 35% 13-15 questions
Problem solving & Data Analysis Ratios, rates, proportions, percentages, relationships, data distribution, scatter plot, probability Approx. 15% 5-7 questions
Geometry & Trigonometry Area & volume, lines, angles and triangles, right triangles, trigonometry, circles Approx. 15% 5-7 questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Most high school students take the SAT during the spring of the junior year or fall of their senior year. For Indian students, the SAT can be taken after grade 10 or before completing grade 11, as many students would require time to prepare for their 12th-grade board examinations.

The SAT is offered every year in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June.

The SAT is 2 hours and 14 minutes long.

Students can take the SAT as many times as they want. The recommendation, however, is to take the test twice, in case the student is not satisfied with the score obtained in the first attempt. Colleges will consider the highest score when making admission decisions.

Upcoming SAT test dates 2024-25 (registration yet to open)

SAT Test Date

August 24, 2024
October 5, 2024
November 2, 2024
December 7, 2024
March 8, 2025
May 3, 2025
June 7, 2025