SAT Exam: Syllabus, Eligibility Criteria and Importance

What is the SAT Exam?

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a standardised test for aspiring undergraduate students who wish to study abroad. The nomenclature and scoring of the SAT Exam have undergone numerous revisions since its introduction in 1926. However, it is now widely termed as SAT. The SAT exam is administered in order to enroll undergraduate students to numerous foreign universities and college programmes. The SAT Essay and SAT Subject Tests have been eliminated by the College Board. Therefore this test is entirely written and lasts three hours.

The SAT exam gauges a student’s proficiency in three areas: writing, reading, and mathematics. The SAT is scored in two portions, each worth 200–800 points (total score 400-1600). Discover more details about the key features of SAT exam in the table below:

Name of the ExamSAT
Full Name of the ExamScholastic Assessment Test
PurposePursue Undergraduate Courses in USA & Canada
Conducting BodyCollege Board
Mode of ExamPen and Paper-based
Exam Fees$55 + $49 (Non-US Regional Fee)
Score Range400-1600 points

Key Changes in SAT exam

A few SAT revisions were announced by College Board, including the discontinuation of the SAT Optional Essay and SAT Subject Tests.

The AP (Advanced Placement) Test may be required of international students who are submitting college applications to US institutions.

According to the College Board’s announcement, due to the pandemic, the test would be conducted with less number of candidates at schools and colleges which are serving as test centers. The number of seats available in the exam centres is constrained by regulations and public health safety concerns. Before the test, COVID-19 screening and a brief survey will be required of SAT Test centers. The College Board is making every effort to maintain the secure organisation of the SAT.

The reading, writing, language, and math sections of the SAT are where the majority of the emphasis lies. These four skills are the main focus of the SAT, which is further broken down into two sections: mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing. Each of the two sections—Reading and Writing and Mathematics with Calculator and Mathematics without Calculator—is further broken down into two sub-sections. The SAT Optional Essay and SAT Subject Tests have been eliminated by the College Board. The only criteria used to evaluate a candidate’s aptitude for college is the SAT General Test. However, the candidate needs to be familiar with the SAT syllabus in order to properly prepare for the test.

SAT Syllabus: Overview

Scores in the SAT are primarily based on two sections: mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing. The SAT exam lasts for three hours. The SAT Exam Pattern is provided below to assist you understand the number of sections, the distribution of questions and marks, and the length of the exam.

SAT Exam Pattern

SectionsSub-SectionsNumber of QuestionsDurationScore
Evidence-based Reading and WritingReading5265 minutes200-800
Writing4435 minutes
MathematicsNo Calculator30 MCQs & 8 GRID-INS80 minutes200-800
With Calculator15 MCQs & 5 GRID-INS
Total1543 hours400-1600

Types of SAT

Students applying to undergraduate programmes must take the SAT 1, often known as the Scholastic Assessment Test, which is administered by the College Board. The SAT 1 is a generic test designed to assess applicants’ written, verbal, and mathematical abilities. The SAT 2 is an exam that is more subject-specific in comparison. To prove their proficiency in a given subject, students applying for admission to a particular course must take the SAT Subject Test. The College Board will no longer offer SAT Subjects starting in June 2021. Aspirants only need to take the SAT 2022 now in order to be admitted to their preferred UG programme.

Why should you take SAT?

The SAT is important for many reasons when applying to college programmes. Here are a few points:

  • Few graduate schools offer SAT scholarships to Indian students based on their scores; 
  • some job applications ask for the College Board SAT score;
  • the SAT excludes difficult science topics, making it simpler for students without a science background; 
  • candidates have more time on the SAT for math, writing, and English; 
  • the SAT prep only covers high school math topics; 
  • and the SAT provides a diagram of math formulas on test day.
  • The majority of the best US universities require SAT scores for undergraduate admission, 
  • and there is no negative grading for incorrect answers on the SAT. 
  • The SAT essay is like a commentary on a certain topic.
  • Comparatively, the SAT exam costs less than other tests.

What is the Use of SAT Exam in India?

The main aim to conduct the College SAT exam in India is to test the knowledge of high school level Maths, reading, and writing to secure admission in undergraduate courses abroad. Here are a few benefits:

  • improve English speaking skills
  • It improves your numerical knowledge.
  • SAT scores are helpful for Indian students in getting scholarships.
  • Compared to other entrance exams, the fees for the SAT are not very high.

SAT Exam Eligibility

The College Board has not established any rigid eligibility criteria for the SAT. Candidates must pass the test in order to be considered. The following minimal requirements must be met by anyone who wish to take the SAT:

Age Limit

There is no upper or lower age limit for applicants to the College SAT. High school graduates are eligible to apply for the SAT. According to research, individuals between the ages of 17 and 19 are among the most likely to take the SAT.

The number of SAT exam attempts

The SAT College Board has not imposed any limitations on the number of times candidates may take the exam. In India, the SAT exam is offered five times a year, typically in March, May, August, October, and December.

Educational Eligibility Criteria

There is no strict educational qualification as SAT exam eligibility criteria. SAT can be taken by students who are in high school and want to apply for undergraduate studies abroad to move to the next level of their learning.

ID Proof

SAT eligibility criteria include having a Passport or a valid Aadhar card. It should contain a photograph, name, and signature on it.  Any document that is torn, worn, scuffed, or otherwise damaged will not be acceptable.  


In order to learn about the SAT syllabus better, a student can also look into the detailed SAT exam pattern and sub subjects for better preparation guidance by visiting the official College Board website for more information.


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