What is SAT
Updated on May 11, 2018 - 10 a.m. IST by Ranjini Basu

What is SAT – Formerly stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, now simply the SAT® is an internationally acclaimed entrance exam administered for selecting candidates for undergraduate courses in the US and other countries. The test is intended to assess students' readiness for college. The SAT is designed to be aligned with high school curricula, as the questions reflect more closely what students learn in high school. Each year, SAT is taken by over three million aspirants on a global scale. The SAT Test 2018 is conducted internationally in the months of October, December, March, May, and June (SAT Subject test). The SAT Test Dates for the US candidates are scheduled in the months of May, June, August, October, November, December, and March. The College Board® is the conducting authority founded in 1900 is composed of more than 6,000 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. In this article, Careers360 has provided all the related information what is SAT.


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Quick Glance: SAT Test



Name of Examination


SAT Format

  • SAT (Reasoning) Test

  • SAT Subject Test (20 Subject options)

Exam Duration

  • Three hours (excluding Essay)

  • 3 hours and 50 minutes (including Essay)

Registration Fee for SAT

  • $47.50 (without Essay)

  • $64.50 (including Essay)

Registration Fee for SAT Subject Test

$26 (fee entitles up to three subject tests)

Scoring Range


Score Validity

Five (5) years

Eligibility Criteria

Not specified

Number of Sections

Mainly three sections –

  • Reading

  • Writing and Language

  • Mathematics

  • Essay (optional)

SAT Score Pattern and Time Distribution

SAT(Reasoning) Test


Time (minutes)

Number of Questions




Writing and Language



Essay (optional)







180 (230 mins with Essay)

154 (155 mins with Essay)

SAT Registration, Fee and Testing time

Two methods which are widely used to register for SAT 2018 are Online and via Mail. Although registering online is the quickest and the most convenient way to apply for SAT test, prospective test takers need to register by mail ONLY if they are below 13 years of age.

One can take up to three SAT Subject Tests on a single test date by paying $26. For every additional subject, test takers need to add $22 (Except Language Tests with Listening). The cost of the SAT test with and without Essay are $64.50 and $47.50 respectively.

All test centres across the globe open at 7:45 am and doors close at 8 am. unless otherwise mentioned on the admission ticket. Candidates are not allowed to enter once test starts under any circumstances. If one is late or absent on test day, he/she has the option to re-schedule. SAT Testing commences between 8:30 and 9 am.


What is SAT Score Structure and Validity

SAT Scores: The total SAT score ranges between 400-1600. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section score ranges between 200–800 and the Mathematics section is scored on a 200 to 800-point scale. Finally, the optional essay is scored on the scale between 2 to 8. There is no composite SAT Essay score to be precise, the three scores are not added together and there are no percentiles provided by the conducting body.

Validity: SAT scores are valid for five years from the date of the test. Test takers can request a Question-and-Answer Service up to five months after their respective test dates.


What is SAT: Additional information

Breaks between SAT exam- Typically, there is one 10-minute and one five-minute break during the test, the only times one can eat and drink. However, the ID and the admission ticket should always be handy as they will be checked every time candidates enter the testing room.

Support- For assistance related to exam, test takers may visit the official website, sat.collegeboard.org. The College Board offers free SAT sample papers & free practice tests as well.

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Questions related to SAT

Showing 47 out of 47 Questions

hi sir jee 2020 my percentel 96.5141161.my home state Karnataka . sc category wide i want computer science course seat in you college pl send me answer.

Singampalli sai rahul Student Expert 14th Feb, 2020
Hello aspirant,

Based on your percentile score and cadte I will list out the top colleges in which you can get a seat in CSE Branch-

  • IIIT Delhi - Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIITD)
  • DTU - Delhi Technological University (DCE)
  • Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology
  • UIET - University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University

Jee Mains college predictor tool-https://engineering.careers360.com/jee-main-college-predictor

What is the difference between subject SAT test and General SAT ???If one has to give SAT for biology what will be the syllabus ???

hrithik jain 10th Feb, 2020


The main and the biggest difference is that General SAT tests for the general Knowledge and critical reasoning while SAT subject test your knowledge in specific areas say: biology, math etc.

Also, General SAT is around 3 hours paper whereas, SAT subject is a 1 hour paper. General SAT is offered for around 7 times a year and SAT Subject is offered for like 6 times a year that too, depending on the subject (date wise).

There are two test for SAT Biology- Biology (E) and Biology (M), you cannot take both of them on the same date. (E) stands for Ecological and (M) for Molecular. The syllabus topics are as follows:

1. Cellular and Molecular Biology- 15%(E) and 27%(M)

2. Ecology - 23%(E) and 13%(M)

3. Genetics - 15%(E) and 20%(M)

4. Organismal Biology- 25%(E) and 25%(M)

5.  Evolution and Diversity - 22%(E) 15%(M )

*Consider these figures to be approximate and cross check before finalizing.


Can I get admission into IIT or NIT based on my SAT subject test scores?? if so how to apply for it???

Koyel Bagchi 8th Feb, 2020


No iit or nit can not accepts sat.

Because the majority of students are selects here through jee not by their talents. Even if the pattern of jee is changed then also it is not similar as sat.

Hope it helps you.

Thank you.


I am going to complete my 11th standard in March 2020.Then can I write SAT exam in the month of June 2020.

AnkiT KunwaR 3rd Feb, 2020
Hello Aspirant,

Basically there is no eligibility criteria specifically for SAT 2020. Generally candidates can opt for the exam in their junior or senior years of high school (Indian Grades 11th or 12th), to be precise, aspirants are roughly between 17 or 18 years of age.

So, you will be eligible for SAT 2020.

Good Luck

Can a student from India take the SAT exam if he/she is homeschooled?

Aishwarya Bp 28th Jan, 2020


Yes you can take SAT exam even if he/she is home schooled.

You have to register online,Once you're done registering you will get an admission ticket.

You can ask for a fee waiver if you're home schooled from a counselor at the local public high school. one must provide eligibility proof like tax records, public assistance records, or record of enrollment in an aid program  to the conselor.

Hope it helps

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