The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a USA-originated, standardized test for high school students looking for entry into various undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United States of America and Canada. This entrance test is used by most colleges and universities in the country to make decisions on student applications for study. The structure of the SAT is such that it uses a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper method of testing, which is created and administered by the College Board. The SAT usually has reading and writing sections, followed by an essay component if the students choose to take the essay as well. The SAT scores are validated by the colleges to assess a student’s overall ability to seek admission.
The purpose of the Scholastic Assessment Test is to measure a high school (Class XII in India) student's skill to seek admission in a college and provide colleges with a common data point that can be used to compare all applicants by measuring their scores on the various sections of the test. Students who take the SAT send across their scores to the colleges that they are interested in applying, who in turn, review the standardized test scores alongside high school GPA, letters of recommendation (LoR) from teachers, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays, to make a holistic decision on the student’s application. How important SAT scores are in the college admissions process differs from college to college. In a nutshell, the higher the score in the SAT, the higher the scope of a student getting accepted in top colleges.
The SAT assesses students who have completed or are in the process of completing their Class XII, to see if they are ready for higher education at a college or a university. This standardized test enables colleges and universities to compare all applicants using pre-defined parameters which include the SAT scores, scores in Class XII, personal statements, recommendation letters from teachers and extra-curricular activities. Students must make sure that they book their test date well in advance to avoid last-minute hassles and focus on the total score achieved instead of deliberating on section-wise scores.
SAT is considered an expensive test in India due to the Non-U.S. Regional fees that are required to be paid in addition to the actual test fees. The fee for only the SAT exam is USD 47.50 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee. Non-U.S. Regional Fee for students taking the SAT in India is USD 49, therefore, the total SAT fee in India is USD 96.50. The fee for the SAT exam with Essay is USD 64.50 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee. Therefore, the total fee for the SAT with the Essay in India is USD 64.50 + USD 49 = USD 113.50. For the SAT subject tests, all candidates are required to pay an additional USD 26 as a basic subject test fee.
In the next section, we will discuss the structure of the SAT in detail and focus on how to score well using self-practice and coaching.