What is SAT ?

SAT : Scholastic AptitudeTest

The College Entrance Examination Board, now commonly known as the College Board, administered the first Scholastic Aptitude Test in June 1926 to 8,040 mostly male and probably all-white candidates. They were applying to private colleges, mainly in the Northeast. In the 2000-2001 test year, more than 2.1 million young men and women took the SAT I: Reasoning Test as part of the admissions process for more than 1,000 private and public institutions of higher education, 80 percent of the national total.
Much of the 1926 SAT exam resembled its modern counterpart. It included analogies, reading comprehension, and arithmetic. But the time limits differed. The verbal section of the 1926 version had 245 verbal questions, to be answered in 82 minutes or 20 seconds per item. The current verbal section, in contrast, gives students 75 minutes to answer 78 questions, or 58 seconds per item. The time limit difference between the 1926 and present math sections are also notable.
The format of the SAT has also changed. The verbal and math sections were not scored separately until l931. This was done to allow college admissions staff to weigh students' scores according to the college's curriculum. Mathematics questions were eliminated and then reappeared during the first two decades of the test.
National SAT scores rose to their highest levels in 1963. In the 1970s, the College Board conducted 38 studies and assembled a panel to learn the causes of the subsequent steady decline in scores. The Board's conclusions noted the changing composition of the college-bound population, lower school standards, and changing mores that affected students' motivation to learn.
In recent decades, the College Board modified the SAT to account for test-takers' different cultural and educational backgrounds, and to improve the reliability of test performance measures. In 1994, antonyms were eliminated, the verbal section contained a greater emphasis on reading, non-multiple-choice questions appeared on the math section, and calculators were permitted.
Despite the great changes in American society since the SAT was first administered, the College Board's aims held: to provide educational institutions with an honest measure of American students' abilities. To remain true to the College Board's founding principles, the SAT has been adapted to reflect the needs of students and the colleges they are preparing to enter. This is part of a larger procession of change toward greater access and equity in the American educational system.
Features of SAT
The Board is a national nonprofit membership association whose mission is to prepare, inspire, and connect students to college and opportunity, with a commitment to excellence and equity.

  • The Board is composed of more than 4,200 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves more than three million students and their parents, 22,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. A board of trustees composed of 31 members, seven of whom are ex officio, governs the College Board.
  • The SAT is given seven times a year at thousands of testing centers throughout the world.
  • Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school.
  • About half the students who take the SAT do so twice--in the spring of their junior year and fall of their senior year.
  • Today, nearly 80 percent of four-year colleges and universities use test scores in admissions decisions.
  • Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the best way to predict freshman year grade point average is to use a combination of SAT scores and the high school grade point average.
Some SAT questions are easy and some are hard, but most questions are of medium difficulty. On average, students answer 50 to 60 percent of questions correctly.
Even though each new SAT is constructed to meet precise content and statistical specifications, some minor differences may occur between different editions of the test. For example, some forms might be slightly more difficult or easier than others and the ability level of test-takers varies at different administrations. However, the equating portion of the SAT equalizes these differences and ensures the continuing comparability of all SAT scores.
Question Types

Three types of verbal questions are used on the SAT I:
  • analogies (19 questions)
  • sentence completions (19 questions)
  • critical reading (40 questions)
Analogy questions measure your:
  • knowledge of the meanings of words
  • ability to see a relationship in a pair of words
  • ability to recognize a similar or parallel relationship
Sentence completion questions measure your:
  • knowledge of the meanings of words
  • ability to understand how the different parts of a sentence logically fit together
Critical reading questions measure your:
  • ability to read and think carefully about a single reading passage or a pair of related passages
Three types of math questions are used on the SAT I:
  • five-choice multiple-choice (35 questions)
  • four-choice quantitative comparison (15 questions that emphasize the concepts of equalities, inequalities, and estimation)
  • student-produced response (10 questions that have no answer choices provided)
Math concepts you should know:
  • Arithmetic: application problems involving simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; percent; data interpretation (including mean, median, mode); odd and even numbers; prime numbers; divisibility
  • Algebra: negative numbers; substitution; simplifying algebraic expressions; solving word problems; simple factoring; linear equations; inequalities; positive integer exponents; roots of numbers; sequences
  • Geometry: area and perimeter of a polygon; area and circumference of a circle; volume of a box, cube, and cylinder; Pythagorean Theorem and special properties of isosceles, equilateral, and right triangles; 30° - 60° - 90° and 45° - 45° - 90° triangles; properties of parallel and perpendicular lines; simple coordinate geometry; slope; similarity; geometric visualization
  • Other: logical reasoning; newly defined symbols that are based on commonly used symbols and operations; probability and counting
Rules & Regulations

The College Board and Educational Testing Service® (ETS®) strive to report scores that accurately reflect the performance of every test taker. Accordingly, ETS has established standards and procedures for administering tests that give all test takers equivalent opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, and prevent some test takers from gaining an unfair advantage. To support these objectives, ETS reserves the right to cancel any test scores when, in its judgment,
  • a testing irregularity occurs,
  • there is an apparent discrepancy in photo identification,
  • a test taker engages in misconduct, or
  • the score is invalid for another reason.
Reviews of scores by ETS are confidential. When, for any of these reasons, ETS cancels a test score that has already been reported, it notifies score recipients that the score has been canceled, but it does not disclose the reason for cancellation unless authorized to do so by the test taker. This does not necessarily apply to group cases.
Testing Irregularities refer to problems with the administration of a test. When testing irregularities occur, they may affect an individual or groups of test takers. Such problems include, without limitation, administrative errors (such as improper timing, improper seating, defective materials, and defective equipment); improper access to test content; and other disruptions of test administrations (such as natural disasters and other emergencies). When testing irregularities occur, ETS may decline to score the test, or cancel the test score. When it is appropriate to do so, ETS gives affected test takers the opportunity to take the test again as soon as possible, without charge.

Identification discrepancies. When ETS or test center personnel judge that there is a discrepancy in a test taker's identification, the test taker may be dismissed from the test center or, ETS may subsequently decline to score the test, or cancel the test score.
Misconduct. If, in ETS's judgment, there is misconduct in connection with a test, ETS may dismiss the test taker from the test center, decline to score the test, or cancel the test score. Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
  • obtaining improper access to the test, a part of the test, or information about the test
  • referring to, looking through, or working on any test, or test section, other than during the testing period for that test or test section 
  • using any prohibited aids in connection with the test
  • taking food or drink into the test room
  • leaving the test room without permission
  • attempting in any manner to remove from the test room any part of a test book or any notes relating to the test
  • attempting to give or receive assistance, or otherwise communicate in any form with another person about the test, during the test administration
  • attempting to take the test for someone else
  • creating any kind of a disturbance
  • failing to follow any of the test administration regulations contained in the Bulletin, given by the test supervisor, or specified in any materials Invalid Scores. ETS may also cancel scores if, in its judgment, there is substantial evidence that they are invalid for any other reason. Before canceling scores pursuant to this paragraph, ETS notifies the test taker in writing about its concerns, gives the test taker an opportunity to submit information that addresses the concerns, considers any such information submitted, and offers the test taker a choice of options. The options include voluntary score cancellation, a free retest, or arbitration in accordance with ETS's standard Arbitration Agreement. In addition, the test taker is sent a copy of the booklet, Why and How Educational Testing Service Questions Test Scores, that explains this process in greater detail. (Any test taker may request a copy of this booklet at any time.)
Note: The retest option is not available outside the United States and Canada. The arbitration option is available only for tests administered in the United States.
Scholarships. Most of the scholarships available from the colleges and scholarship programs listed in the Bulletin, or in Code Lists: Test Centers and Test Score Recipients, are restricted to U.S. residents or children of employees of the scholarship sponsors. For more information, contact the colleges and scholarship programs in which you are interested.
Confidentiality. Your test scores are confidential. Except for certain state scholarship and guidance programs and government-sponsored scholarships such as the Presidential Scholars Program, your scores are sent only to the institutions you have specifically designated. You can stop the automatic reporting of your test scores. If you do not want your scores released to the U.S. government or one or more educational institutions, scholarship programmes etc, please write to:
College Board SAT Program
P.O. Box 6200
Princeton, NJ 08541-6200
The best ways to get ready for the SAT I are to take challenging academic courses and to read widely outside school throughout your school years. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT® is another excellent way to get ready.
Preparation for the SAT II: Subject Tests varies for each test. For example, some Subject Tests (such as American History, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics) are best taken as soon as the course ends so the information is still fresh in your mind. You'll do better on other tests, like Writing and the language tests, after several years of study.
Before taking the SAT I: Reasoning Test or the SAT II: Subject Tests, familiarize yourself with the organization of the test, the types of questions that are included, and what to expect on test day.
In India, SAT is conducted at the following cities: Bangalore, Calcutta, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kodaikanal, Mumbai, Mussoorie, New Delhi, and Pune.
Test Dates Test Registration Deadlines *
U.S. Regular U.S. Late International Early International Regular
October 8, 2005 SAT & Subject Tests Sep. 7, 2005 Sep. 14, 2005 N/A Sep. 7, 2005
November 5, 2005 SAT & Subject Tests Sep. 30, 2005 Oct. 12, 2005 Sep. 7, 2005 Sep. 30, 2005
December 3, 2005 SAT & Subject Tests Oct. 28, 2005 Nov. 9, 2005 Oct, 12, 2005 Oct, 28, 2005
January 28, 2006 SAT & Subject Tests Dec. 22, 2005 Jan. 4, 2006 Dec. 7, 2005 Dec. 22, 2005
April 1, 2006** SAT only Feb. 24, 2006 Mar. 8, 2006 N/A N/A
May 6, 2006 SAT & Subject Tests Apr. 3, 2006 Apr. 12, 2006 Mar. 15, 2006 Apr. 3, 2006
June 3, 2006 SAT & Subject Tests Apr. 28, 2006 May 10, 2006 Apr. 12, 2006 Apr. 28, 2006
* U.S. dates are postmark dates; International dates are receipt dates.
** On April 1, only the SAT is offered, and only in the U.S., U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico.


  • Sunday administrations will occur the day after each Saturday test date for students who cannot test on Saturday for religious reasons.
  • The Language Tests with Listening are offered in November only. The final administration of the ELPT was January 22, 2005.
  • For students testing outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Puerto Rico: Web registration, and telephone re-registration must be received by the international deadline dates listed above.
  • Mailed registration materials must be postmarked by the U.S. deadlines.
  • Mailed international registration materials must be received by the international deadlines.
The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) is going to be offered on November 2, 2002, and January 25, 2003 at designated test centers, and on April 22, 2003 at participating schools in the U.S., U.S. territories, and Puerto Rico. If you wish to take the ELPT in April, tell your counselor or English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher by February 14, 2003.

Intended Testing Group

Students whose best language is not English; who attend U.S. high schools, or who have studied in an international school where courses are taught in English; have completed two to four years of English language instruction in an English as a Second Language program or in English enrichment courses; and/or students who speak a language other than English at home or work.

To assess both your understanding of spoken and written standard American English and how well you will function in a classroom where English is spoken
  • 84 multiple-choice questions that concentrate on practical and academic use of English
  • Test time is one hour (about 30 minutes listening and 30 minutes reading)
  • Two listening sections: one testing your ability to identify an appropriate continuation of a short conversation, and another requiring you to answer questions based on short dialogues, announcements, and narratives
  • One reading comprehension section that tests your ability to read prose passages from published materials as well as everyday materials such as advertisements, timetables, signs, and forms
Section of Test Approximate Percentage of Test
Listening   17
Reading    50
Listening   33
Scores Required
Total scores on the 901-to-999 scale; listening and reading sub scores on a 1-to-50 scale as well as reading and listening proficiency ratings.
Test Fee
SAT Reasoning Test $41.50
SAT Subject Tests
(add the $18.00 Basic Registration Fee to the total fee for the Subject Tests):
        Language Tests with Listening
        All other Subject Tests

$ 8.00
Services Fee
Late registration fee $21.00
Standby testing fee $36.00
Change test, test date, or test center fee $20.00
Scores by Web Free
Scores by Phone $11.00
Extra score report to a college or scholarship program (in addition to four score reports included at no charge on the Registration or Correction Form)
The registration fee for the SAT is $41.50.
Because the fees for SAT Subject Tests differ, an $18 basic fee is added to the total for all subjects taken, and it covers sending score reports to up to four colleges and scholarship programs.

Additional service fees for the Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) and the Student Answer Service (SAS) are refundable. The fee for each additional score report is also refundable. Payment must be made in U.S. dollars.
Test Fees
SAT Reasoning Test $41.50
SAT Subject Tests
Basic registration fee

Language Tests with Listening
All other Subject Tests

add $19.00
add $  8.00
Registration Services (add to total test fees)
Late registration fee $21.00
Re-registration by telephone $10.00
International processing fee (for students testing in countries other than the United States, U.S. territories, and Puerto Rico) $21.00
Security surcharge to test in India and Pakistan $21.00
Standby testing fee $36.00
Change test, test date, or test center fee $20.00
Score Reporting Services
Extra score report to a college or scholarship program (in addition to the four score reports provided free of charge on the Registration Form or on the Correction Form)

$  9.00
Retrieval fee for archived scores $17.00
(additional fees may apply)
Telephone rush reporting service

(plus $9.00
for each report)
Telephone additional reports

(plus $9.00
for each report)
Scores by Phone $11.00
Additional Services
Question-and-Answer Service $24.00
Student Answer Service $10.00
Copy of your answer sheet $10.00
Additional Fees
Mulitple-choice Score Verification $50.00
Essay Score Verification $50.00
Check returned for insufficient funds $20.00
($15.00 in Idaho,
Louisiana, and Utah)
Mode of payment:
  • CreditCard Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Bank Draft (Dollar not Indian Rupees)
  • Check Drawn on a U.S. Bank
  • United States Postal Service Money Order
  • International Money Order
  • UNESCO Coupon
  • Postal Reply Coupon
Registering for SAT
  • By mail: Obtain the "SAT Information Bulletin" available free with USEFI offices or from collegeboard website at Fill in the form, get the draft made (if you are not paying by credit card), and use the envelope provided with the form to mail these to:College Board SAT ProgramPrinceton, NJ 08541,USA
  • By Fax (Credit Card required): Fill up the form and write your credit card number in the space provided and fax the form to : 001 609 683 1234. Please don't forget to add $5 extra to the test fee for fax registration.
  • Online Registration (Credit Card required): Fill up the form online and mention your credit card number. This is the easiest way to register for SAT.
Test Centres
City Centre Code Place
 Bangalore   63-100   Bishop Cotton Boys' School
 Calcutta  63-120  Assembly of God Church School
 Calcutta  63-127  USEFI
 Chennai  63-175  USEFI
 Cochin  63-130  Sacred Heart College
 Hyderabad  63-131  Little Flower Jr. College
 Kodaikanal  63-166  Kodaikanal International School
 Mumbai  63-108  Sir J.J. GirlsHigh SChool
 Mumbai  63-107  Teachers' Training School
 Mussoorie  63-190  Woodstock School
 New Delhi  63-200  American Emb. School
 New Delhi  63-202  USEFI
 Pune  63-235  Poona University