The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a mandatory part of the application process to any undergraduate programme in the US.
About the SAT
The SAT consists of three sections: Evidence-based Reading & Writing, Math and an optional Essay. The Reading & Writing and Math sections account are graded on a scale of 200 to 800 while the Essay section is graded on a scale of 6 to 24.
Reading & Writing
This section includes a reading test and a writing and language test. Each test is composed of multi-paragraph passages and multiple-choice questions. The reading test measures the comprehension and reasoning. The writing and language test assesses expression, grammar, usage and punctuation.
This section asks students to read and analyse and argument and write an effective response. The essay section is optional, however many universities either require or recommend completing the Essay section and use your essay score as part of their evaluation. Hence, it is advisable to complete this section.
This section includes multiple choice and student-produced response questions based on the math that college-bound students typically learn during their first three years of high school.
SAT vs. ACT
The SAT format bears a strong resemblance to the ACT.
|Format||4 compulsory section and 1 optional essay section||4 compulsory sections and 1 optional essay section|
|Negative penalty||None (always guess!)||None (always guess!)|
|Reading||Tests understanding of four types of passages||Less focus on archaic vocabulary and more focus on evidence instead|
|Math||Tests a few more topics like complex numbers and trigonometry while focusing less on planar geometry||Tests a few more topics like complex numbers and trigonometry while focusing less on planar geometry|
|Essay||A different essay format that tests the response to 3 perspectives on any topic||The essay uses a new format and the score is not included in the composite score out of 1600|
|Total score||The raw score is converted to a scaled score from 1-36||The raw score is converted to a total of 1600, 800 for Math and 800 for Verbal|
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