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The SAT. The SAT: The Basics. A standardized exam accepted as an admission criterion by all American universities Taken by over two million high school students each year Lasts 4 hours Has 170 questions. The SAT: More Basics.

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The sat the basics
The SAT: The Basics

  • A standardized exam accepted as an admission criterion by all American universities

  • Taken by over two million high school students each year

  • Lasts 4 hours

  • Has 170 questions

The sat more basics
The SAT: More Basics

  • Necessary but not sufficient – great score cannot guarantee entry to top American universities.

  • ACT Option: ACT is a competing standardized exam accepted by many universities in place of SAT. Generally considered more ‘knowledge-based’.

The sat fun fact 1
The SAT: Fun Fact #1

  • In 1994, the SAT was ‘de-acronyzed’. People will tell you that it stands for the Scholastic Aptitude Test or the Scholastic Assessment Test, but these names were deemed too ‘limiting’ by the SAT test-writers. It is the SAT Reasoning Test – and nothing more.

  • The SAT is neither a test of Aptitude (like an IQ test) nor Achievement (like an A-Level).

The sat what is it
The SAT: What is it?

  • Materially:

    • Math through GSCE standard, including Algebra, Geometry, Numbers & Operations, and Data Analysis, Statistics & Probability.

    • Critical Reading: passage-based comprehension and sentence completion

    • Writing: grammatical knowledge and an Essay

The sat what is it1
The SAT: What is it?

  • Formally:

    • Strategy: the SAT has 170 questions and 160 of these are multiple-choice. On multiple-choice questions, the test-taker is penalised ¼ Raw Point for every question answered incorrectly. Therefore a degree of strategy is necessary in deciding which questions to answer and which to leave.

    • Stamina: with ten different sections and lasting close to four hours, the SAT is a test of endurance and the ability to focus.

The sat fun fact 2
The SAT: Fun Fact #2

  • The SAT is a ‘speeded’ exam, meaning that it is not designed to be finished by all students. Indeed, almost a quarter of test-takers do not answer every question.

The sat scoring
The SAT: Scoring

  • Raw Points: a student’s score is scaled from the number of Raw Points.

    Total Raw Points = # correct – (1/4)*# incorrect

  • Scaled Score: a student’s score is scaled from a number of Raw Points to a score between 600 and 2400.

The sat more scoring
The SAT: More Scoring

  • Approx. 600 students achieve perfect scores every year – one in every four thousand students

  • The mean SAT score is around 1510, with almost equal break-downs between Critical Reading, Math, and Writing

The sat more scoring1
The SAT: More Scoring

  • Although the SAT is necessary but not sufficient, all American universities publish the range of admitted SAT scores for any given year.

  • See Top 20 American Universities by 50% Range Admitted SAT Scores – 2008for more information.

The sat preparing
The SAT: Preparing

  • SAT preparation a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States

  • 97% of American students will have under-taken some kind of SAT preparation before they take the test

  • The majority of college-bound students take the SAT more than once.

The sat preparing1
The SAT: Preparing

  • The SAT is offered six times each year:

    • Early June

    • Early October

    • Early November

    • Early December

    • Late January

    • Early May

The sat preparing2
The SAT: Preparing

  • Because most university applications are due by January of the upper-sixth year, students currently in the lower-sixth who want to file applications at American universities will have to take the SAT in either October, November, or December.

The sat don t forget sat iis
The SAT: Don’t Forget SAT IIs

  • SAT II Subject Tests offered in five subjects: Math, Science, Language, History, and Literature.

  • Twenty available tests

  • One hour

  • Knowledge-based.

  • Two or three tests usually required

  • Best taken at end of year after AS/A2 exams.

The sat cultural differences
The SAT: Cultural Differences

  • UK test-takers are at a cultural disadvantage relative to their American peers.

    • Example: ‘Absolute value’ is a fifth-form concept in the US, but a sixth-form concept in the UK. As such, Absolute Value is covered on the SAT but unfamiliar to those who stopped taking math at the GCSE level.

  • Importance of preparation!

The sat preparation materials
The SAT: Preparation Materials

  • The best:

    • The Official SAT Study Guide: published by the College Board.

The sat preparation materials1
The SAT: Preparation Materials

  • But wait, there’s more!

    • The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition. To be released July 21, 2009.

The sat preparation materials2
The SAT: Preparation Materials

  • The rest:

    • Princeton Review

    • Barron’s

    • Kaplan

    • Gruber’s

  • Why not?

The sat fun fact 3
The SAT: Fun Fact #3

  • Nowhere in the Official SAT Study Guide asks mathematical questions on Mode (a Descriptive Statistic, along with Mean and Median). But questions of Mode have appeared on recent real SAT Reasoning Tests.