Being able to study in tertiary institutions abroad demands some basic requirements to gain admission. These include standardized tests such as SAT or ACT depending on the school you’re applying to. Here’s what international college students taking SAT need to know about the exam.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test made by The College Board is a college entrance exam used to evaluate student applications. This exam tests students’ aptitude in math, reading, and writing though the writing section is becoming optional.
Reading Section: This section asks students to interpret passages and identify vocabulary definitions. It contains 52 questions and lasts for 65 minutes.
Math Section: Math covers a wide range of topics, including geometry, algebra, and data analysis. The Math section without the use of a calculator contains 20 questions and lasts for 25 minutes. The section with the use of a calculator contains 38 questions and lasts for 35 minutes.
Writing Section: includes an essay and questions on grammar, sentence and paragraph structure. Each section is worth 200-800 points containing 44 questions which are to be answered in 35 minutes. The essay section which is optional contains 1 question and is to be written in 50 minutes.
When to take the SAT test
The SAT is offered seven times a year; in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December. For those who live outside the United States, the exam is taken four times a year; in March, May, October, and December. The SAT is 3 hours long but if you’re taking it with an essay, it will take 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Each section of the SAT is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale with your total being the sum of your section scores. The highest possible SAT score is 1600 but if you take the essay, you will receive a separate score. It is vital for international college students taking the SAT to know this so they can prepare adequately for each section.
SAT or ACT?
Most colleges and universities accept scores from both the SAT and ACT and do not favour one test over the other. To decide if either or both exams are ideal for you, you can take a timed full-length practise test of each type. The way you handle time pressure and your most challenging questions can help you decide which test to take.
As a standardized test which serves as a common data point colleges use to compare all applicants, it measures a student’s readiness for college. Practice makes perfect so here are some things you can do to prepare adequately for the test.
- Register at least 3 months before the test date.
- Create a study schedule based on your needs.
- Study the main concepts in each test section.
- Make maximum use of online resources to help with studying.
- Take at least two timed practise tests before test day.
Click here for scholarships for Africans