Article

SAT: Frequently Asked Questions

SAT FAQs
  • Nitin
  • 25 Jan, 2020

Every year, thousands of students take the SAT test to apply to US Colleges. While not all the top colleges and universities in the world require students to take the SAT; however, submitting SAT scores certainly helps them make their Admissions case stronger. Since there are no eligibility criteria for the SAT, students from 9th standard to post-graduation take up the SAT exam to evaluate their strength and weaknesses.

The SAT, owing to its large acceptance and thousands of test takers every year, holds a great value in terms of analyzing students’ aptitude and skills. Thus, SAT aspirants often have a bunch of questions that constantly nag at the back of their minds. Here, we have compiled a list of such questions that every SAT aspirant must have answers to.

Q 1. Why do I need to have the SAT scores?

A. Each college and university has its own admission criteria by which it shortlists students for various undergraduate programs. A Standardized Test like the SAT test is one of those criteria that evaluates students’ skills and potential in addition to all the other application requirements.

Q 2. How many times can I take the SAT test?

A. You can take up the SAT test as many times as you want. The SAT test is conducted 6 times in India and 7 times in the US (March SAT) and it doesn’t have the restriction of appearing again. However, you should prepare for the SAT test well before taking up the exam.

Q 3. What is the validity of the SAT test?

A. The SAT scores are valid for 5 years; however, it is not a good idea to submit SAT scores that are more than 2 years old. 

Q 4. If I have taken the SAT multiple times, will I have the option to send the SAT scores of my choice?

A. Yes, you can send the SAT scores of your choice via logging into the College Board official website and select the “Score Choice” option.

Q 5. Will I get the scholarship in the colleges and universities after clearing the SAT test?

A. First of all, you must understand that the SAT is a skills-assessment test that evaluates students’ aptitude and logical thinking ability. It is one of the criteria used to admit students. A number colleges and universities across the globe offer scholarships and financial aids to students. These scholarships are based on merit considering various factors and having good SAT scores is one of them. Hence, clearing the SAT alone doesn’t guarantee a scholarship; however, it can surely help increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

Q 6. What did you learn or realize right after taking the SAT test?

A. One of the best things that you could learn via taking the SAT test is that you need to have a smart approach to ace the test. You can’t just memorise a large amount of syllabus in a short time before the examination. You must understand things to give your best in the examination. Another important thing is you should always be pretty serious about taking the SAT test. No matter if you are planning to take the test again later on. All your SAT scores from various attempts will be visible when you finally apply to colleges. Hence, if you score fewer marks in your first attempt, make sure you give your best in the next attempt to improve your average score.

Q 7. What is a good SAT score?

A. Well, it’s a tricky question considering the fact that there are thousands of SAT takers across the globe. Each SAT taker has a different level of intellect and skills.

  • Like any other test, the SAT percentile will tell you how good you were based on all SAT students’ performance in the test. For instance, if you got 80 percentile score, it means you did better than the 80% of the total students who took the same SAT test. Now, you should know that the SAT is divided into two parts where each part, Reading Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Maths, is of 800 marks. Together, it makes the SAT test of 1600 maximum marks. You can get to know the average, good and bad SAT scores based on the students’ performance in the previous years. This will give you an idea of the SAT score deviations.
  • We have also given you examples of a few US Colleges' SAT Score Requirements

SAT 2019 Percentile

SAT Composite Score (1600 Max)

Students’ Percentile

SAT Composite Score (1600 Max)

Students’ Percentile

1550 - 1600

99+

1050 - 1100

49 to 58

1500 - 1550

98 to 99+

1000 - 1050

40 to 49

1450 - 1500

96 to 98

950 - 1000

31 to 40

1400 - 1450

94 to 96

900 - 950

23 to 31

1350 - 1400

91 to 94

850 - 900

16 to 23

1300 - 1350

86 to 91

800 - 850

10 to 16

1250 -1300

81 to 86

750 - 800

5 to 10

1200 - 1250

74 to 81

700 - 750

2 to 5

1150 - 1200

61 to 74

650 - 700

1 to 2

1100 - 1150

58 to 67

600 - 650

1 to -1

600 and below

-1

 

Examples of US College SAT Score Requirements

University

25th Percentile SAT Score

75th Percentile SAT Score

Average SAT Score

Harvard University

1470

1600

1540

MIT

1480

1590

1520

Stanford University

1450

1590

1520

Northwestern University

1480

1580

1510

University of California Berkeley

1330

1540

1440

Carnegie Mellon University

1430

1560

1490

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

1380

1530

1450

Harvey Mudd College (HMC)

1450

1570

1510

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

1360

1540

1420

University of California Irvine

1120

1370

1250

University of Arizona (UA)

1050

1290

1170

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

1310

1480

1390

University of Michigan (UM, U-M)

1370

1530

1450

University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)

1240

1450

1350

University of Wisconsin Madison (UW)

1280

1470

1370

Q 8. How long does it take to get the SAT score?

A. Students often have this query! Usually, the SAT officials take 13 days to release the SAT multiple-choice scores after the SAT test conducted. If you have taken the SAT Essay as well, you will get your Essay score after two to five days of SAT multiple-choice scores. In a nutshell, you will receive your SAT score within 20 days of the test. However, if you have taken the SAT test in June, you will have to wait for around five weeks to get your SAT scores.

Q 9. What are some good SAT applications for Android and iPhones?

A.

App

Developer

Platform

Daily Practice for the SAT®

The College Board

iPhone and Android

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

iPhone and Android

Ready4 SAT

Ready4

iPhone and Android

The Grading Game

mode of expression. LLC

iPhone

SAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards

Varsity Tutors

iPhone and Android

 

Q. 10. What is the average SAT scores in the last 10 years?

A. Here is the list of average SAT scores in the last 10 years:

Year

Math

Critical Reading

Writing

2009

514

499

492

2010

515

500

491

2011

514

497

489

2012

514

496

488

2013

514

496

488

2014

513

497

487

2015

511

495

484

2016

508

494

482

2017

527

533

2018

531

536

2019

531

528


(Note: The old SAT used to have three sections namely Critical Reading, Writing and Math. However, in 2016, the SAT was redesigned and combined the Critical Reading and Writing sections into one. Now, the test has two sections called Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math.)

 

Please check out the Questions on Alma Matters Forum relating to SAT and other topics related to US Colleges.

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