All About SAT Exam: Syllabus, Registration & Tips

All About SAT Exam: Syllabus, Registration & Tips

Updated on 22 January, 2022

Mrinal Mandal

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What is the SAT exam?

The SAT exam is a standardized assessment that is required for applications to undergraduate educational programs in other countries. The examination tracks the overall readiness of students along with enabling predictions of college outcomes. The SAT exam in India and other countries comprises three compulsory sections, namely Writing & Language, Math, and Reading. The optional Essay section has been discontinued starting this year. Composite SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores usually range between 400 and 1600 and is the sum of scores in sections- Reading & Writing (200-800) and Math (200-800). The overall duration to take the test is three hours.

The entrance test is administered under the aegis of the College Board and must be given by aspirants to leading undergraduate institutions. Those aspiring to study in countries like Canada and the US should appear for the SAT exam. The College Board brought SAT in 2018 after the Higher Education Alliance with several institutions. The fee for the test takers is $104 (INR 7,673 approximately). 


SAT examination- Overall importance:

Candidates should register for the examination since its scores are vital for getting entry to several leading colleges throughout India and even abroad. The scores are also used for providing academic scholarships. 30+ Indian universities (it is a growing number) take SAT scores on college applications. A single test will open up avenues for application to several domestic universities, offering courses in fields like Journalism and Design, Business Management, Law, Engineering and Liberal Art. The SAT exam scores are also accepted at almost every university in the US and Canada along with institutions in the UK and Australia. 

SAT examination types and other details:

Till about last year, the College Board was conducting two types of the SAT exam, General Test and Subject Test, in the US and other international locations. However, the body has discontinued the SAT Subject Test starting this year.

What is the SAT General Test?

SAT General Test is a general examination which has been created for evaluation of verbal, written and mathematical abilities of students.

Eligibility for SAT examination- Key details:

The SAT exam eligibility criteria depend on various factors. The College Board has not officially established any particular eligibility guidelines for those wishing to appear for this test. However, it should be noted that there is no maximum or minimum age limit for taking this examination. Studies have shown that students in the 17-19 age group are among the highest takers of the test. The examination can also be taken as many times as desired by the students. It is administered every year in India about five times. The examination usually takes place in March, August, May, December and October each year. While specific educational eligibility criteria are absent, those wishing to apply for undergraduate courses should have completed high school successfully at least.


SAT examination registration:

Those willing to appear for the SAT should get themselves registered beforehand. Registrations may be done via mail in the offline method or through an online method which is more convenient and practical. In the latter system, aspirants have to create their login IDs for the official site and then undertake the procedures for registration accordingly. Here’s taking a closer look at the same:

  •       Visit College Board’s official website.
  •       Create your account.
  •       Submit all necessary information.
  •       Choose your examination and the nearest testing center.
  •       Upload a clear photograph.
  •       Pay your application fees.

With regard to registering via mail, you will require the Student Registration Guide for SAT which is provided at institutions. The guide has a return envelope and registration form. The form should be dispatched in addition to a demand draft. The local SAT representative in India is known as the USIEF and the mailed forms are sent directly to their regional office. Since a limited number of seats are available at all official testing centers, candidates should book slots well in advance for avoiding hassles.

Examination fees for SAT:

Those looking to appear for the examination will have to pay fees/charges for this purpose. The fee for taking the SAT is approximately $55 (approx. INR 4,058) and the non-US regional fees stand at $49 (approx. INR 3,615), thus the total charge is $104 or approximately INR 7,673. 

Aspirants have to pay a cancellation fee of $26 or approximately INR 1,918. Cancellation fee is costly, and the only refunds issued are $10 (INR 740). An additional $30 or approximately INR 2,213 has to be paid for getting specific services like changing the test center or date. Those in the 11th and 12th standards in the US and UK territories may be eligible for a waiver on their fees. The US citizens staying outside may get the same as well.

SAT exam dates for 2021 and 2022:

The upcoming SAT exam dates for 2021 and 2022 are as follows-:



SAT exam dateLast date for registrationLast date to make changes
2nd October 20213rd September 202121st September 2021
6th November 20218th October 202126th October 2021
4th December 20214th November 202123rd November 2021
12th March 202211th February 20221st March 2022
7th May 20228th April 202226th April 2022
4th June 20225th May 202225th May 2022



SAT exam syllabus and pattern:

The SAT exam syllabus contains several courses studied by aspirants throughout the years. This includes the following components-:

Writing- (44 questions)

  1. Essay Section- 25 minutes
  2. Multiple Choice Sections- 25 minutes and 10 minutes

Critical Reading- (52 questions)

  1. Reading Comprehension- 25 minutes
  2. Sentence Completion- 25 minutes
  3. Critical Reading (Paragraph-Length)- 20 minutes

Mathematics- (58 questions)

  1. Algebra and Functions- 25 minutes
  2. Geometry and Statistics- 20 minutes
  3. Probability and Data Analysis- 20 minutes

The examination pattern is given as follows-

There are 154 questions in all and the total score for them is 1600.

Calculation of SAT exam scores:

Every section of SAT will be evaluated on a scale of 200-800 points. The total score will be the sum of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section (cumulative score of SAT Writing and Reading) and Math section.

Both the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) sections make for 800 points each. Initial scoring (i.e. the raw score) is done on a scale of 10-40 points. This is changed into a 200–800 points scale and this makes up the end score for the EBRW section. Math is divided into No-Calculator and Calculator sections that contain 20 and 38 questions respectively. This is initially scored on a scale of 10-40 points and is converted thereafter into 200-800 section scores.

The minimum score is 400 (combined total) for the Math and EBRW sections. The lowest score is 200 for individual SAT sections. The College Board offers benchmarks, depending on the grade in which a student is appearing for SAT. Students meeting the score benchmark will have a 75% chance of getting a ‘C’ in the first college semester as per the College Board.

A green sign signifies that you have matched or surpassed the minimum required score. A yellow sign indicates a score that falls just a year short of the academic growth for the next benchmark. A red sign denotes a score that is way lower than the earlier threshold. The below table will help you understand this:


Specific Grade/Time of Taking TestMath Benchmark ThresholdEBRW Benchmark ThresholdCumulative Benchmark
Ready for College5304801010


Cross-test scores, an element of the SAT exam result that measures a candidate’s problem-solving skills, is marked between the range of 10 to 40. Scores of this component are calculated on the basis of two predominant criteria, namely Analysis in Science and Analysis in History/Social Studies. 

Sub score is another part of the SAT assessment and the score in this segment ranges between 1 to 15. The sub-scores for EBRW are evaluated on the following:

  •       Standard English Conventions
  •       Expression of Ideas
  •       Words in Context
  •       Command of Evidence

The sub-score for Math is evaluated on the following:

  •       Passport to Advanced Math
  •       Heart of Algebra
  •       Problem Solving and Data Analysis

SAT exam results and how to view them:

Obtaining the SAT exam results is not a difficult task. The scores are usually available three weeks after giving the test. You can follow these instructions for accessing your results in the SAT:

  •       Click My Organizer.
  •       You will find SAT Scores as the option in the left-hand side menu, and you have to select the same.
  •       You should then click on the option called Access My Scores.
  •       You will have to provide your username and password details. Enter all the required information.
  •       Scroll downwards till you find the option called My Test Scores.

Tips for the SAT examination:

There are several tips that you should keep in mind while preparing for the SAT exam. These include the following:

  •       Validity: The SAT score will be valid for 5 years and this will apply unless any criteria have changed. Aspirants usually keep taking newer tests for applying to their chosen institutions. 
  •       Students may order added scorecard copies if they wish to apply to more higher education institutions and colleges. They have to pay close to INR 450 or roughly $9 for this purpose.
  •       Score verification- This means re-evaluating test scores for checking whether scores have been obtained in all the sections or anything has been skipped. The score verification request should be submitted by filling a form and within 5 months. Always read the form instructions carefully and you will have to pay a fee for this purpose as well. For those aspirants with fee waivers, this charge will be lowered subsequently. You will ultimately get a letter with your confirmed and new SAT results in 5 weeks, upon paying this fee and submitting the form.
  •       You should carefully look at online study materials available from the College Board along with taking practice tests regularly.
  •       You should keep analyzing these tests and work on the feedback that you get.
  •       Consider studying from the SAT exam syllabus PDF which you will find in your guide.

·        You should consult authentic books for preparation along with the official guide for studying. 

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