How to ace your SAT exam?

Haripriya Sivasubramaniam
Haripriya Sivasubramaniam
Last updated: May 18, 2022
How to ace your SAT exam?

What is the SAT exam?

SAT exams (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) are one of the crucial exams for you to take when you plan to pursue higher education in the USA. Conducted by the college board, SAT is one of the popular exams for studying abroad. This is an excellent tool for colleges to compare and shortlist the applicants based on their eagerness and academic inquisitiveness reflected in their test scores.

So in this article, let us look at how you can ace your SATs, the eligibility criteria to apply and attend, and so much more!

In this article

The benefits of taking SAT exam

Firstly, get to know what is the advantage of taking SATs. Adding the score to your application profile will make you stand out from the crowd of equally competitive candidates. This will be a brownie point to clear your way into a prestigious college.

Here are other reasons why you should take the SAT if you wish to pursue education in the USA;

  • A gateway to pursuing undergraduate programs in American and Canadian universities.
  • Avail of your exclusive scholarships to study in top universities in the USA.
  • Also, you can apply for some job opportunities that consider SAT scores.


While ACT is another exam that is considered a popular one, many get confused between SAT and ACT to be the same. But it isn’t! So, know these critical differences between the two assessments before kickstarting your preparations.

Exam detailsSATACT
SectionsReading, Maths, Writing and Language testReading, Maths, Writing and English test
Exam duration3 hours2 hours and 45 minutes with extra 40 minutes for the optional essay
Total questions154215
Number of score reportsNo limits on availing of one20
Score scale400-16001-36
Registration deadlines4 weeks prior5 weeks prior
Free mock tests8 downloadable, with scoringOnly 1

When to take the SAT?

After completing your high school or 12th class, you can take the SAT exam if you plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in the USA. The SAT score is accepted in countries like the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia.

What is the SAT exam syllabus?

The 3-hour long assessment has three main sections in the paper. They are reading, mathematics, writing & language areas. There is an additional section for writing an essay that is optional while you attempt the SAT.

Here’s the curriculum list that’ll help with your preparations for the SAT exam.

ReadingClassic or contemporary works [US/ World literature], Social science, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Earth sciences, Global conversations
MathematicsAlgebra, Data analytics, Quadratic equations, Rational exponents and radicals
Writing and LanguageHumanities, Social science, Commerce and Science-based

SAT eligibility criteria

One can take the SAT exam after completing high school. And there are no specific eligibility criteria to take the SAT exams.

  • There is no age bar to taking the test.
  • SAT exam is ONLY for pursuing an undergraduate degree in the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

SAT Exam registration process

You can start the process either online or by mail to apply for the SAT exam. Check for the updates regarding SAT updates on the college board website. First, sign up and create an account or profile with your personal or academic details. And make sure you fulfil the following criteria while you are applying via mail:

  • Selecting Sunday as the exam day for the first time.
  • Making payment through cheque or money order
  • 16 years of age
  • Registering with the guidance of a representative

SAT exam fee

The application and the registration fee for the Scholastic Assessment Test for Indian students are as follows:

  • For SAT with only the three sections: $59 of application fee + a non-US resident fee. Therefore, a total of $59 + $49= $104.
  • For SAT with an additional essay section: $59 of application fee + a non-US resident fee + essay section fee. Therefore, $59 + $49 + $9= $117.

SAT exam pattern

Generally, the duration of the test is 3 hours. The score range of each section of the test ranges from 200 to 400. Summing up and taking cumulative, the total score calculation will be 400-1600. Composed of these three sections, there are 154 questions in total. But if you include the optional essay question in your paper, it is 155 questions, and the exam duration is an extra 50 minutes.

SAT scores

Here’s how the scoring is distributed throughout the paper for each section of the SAT exam:

SectionScore range
Evidence-based reading and writing200 - 800
Mathematics200 - 800
Optional essay200 - 800
Total400 - 1600

There is no specific cut-off range for the SAT assessment. And you can check your SAT scores on the official college board website.

Steps to view your SAT scores and score report from your College Board account

  1. Visit: - Official website and click SAT Scores under the "SAT” menu.
  2. Now Go to "My organiser" section -> SAT scores -> Assess my scores -> My test scores.

Quick prep tips to ace your SAT exam

  • Sit back and relax. Loosen up your muscles and never start your preparations in panic mode.
  • Schedule time for each section to explore, analyse, and understand each concept without a rush.
  • Start attempting the easy questions and gradually move on to the difficult ones.
  • Eliminate the wrong choices in answer to identify the right one quickly.
  • Master your basic grammar and vocabulary. 
  • Be thorough with your maths formulae.
  • Take more practice tests to attain accuracy.

Latest update from the college board

The College Board, which conducts the SAT exam every year, has released two important updates. From 2023, the exam will be conducted online, and the duration is to be truncated to 2 hours. They believe that conducting the exam in virtual mode will pave the way for being environmentally sustainable and cut back the issues candidates face in paper mode.


When should I take the SAT?

You can take the SAT when you plan to pursue undergraduate studies in the USA after high school. Since you’ll get the test scores three weeks from the exam date, you can schedule according to the application submission date in the colleges.

What is the SAT exam used for?

SAT exam is considered one of the gateways to entering reputed colleges. This competitive exam generally tests your academic and intellectual ability.

Is 1200 a good score on the SAT?

Since the score range falls between 400 and 1600, if you have 1200 as your SAT score, then it means that you have aced it!

How to find SAT scores?

Based on your mode of application to write SAT, you can check for the scores either via the website or via mail.

So are you all set to take the first step of pursuing your education in the USA? Do you want to know more about the other exams that’ll make you stand out from other candidates? Then connect with Edvoy today to stay updated!

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Written By
Haripriya Sivasubramaniam

A writer by profession and an artist by passion. Out here to give interesting and informative articles on the education sphere!

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