What are SAT and SAT Subject Tests? When should you take them? How should you prepare for them? And when should you apply with scores? If these questions have been bugging you for a while, read on…
SAT is an entrance exam for admission to undergraduate programs of most universities and colleges in the US. Administered by the College Board, this paper-based exam is conducted in centres across India in the months of October, December, March and May. SAT tests you on English reading and writing, mathematical and analytical skills. We recommend that students write the optional essay too. The Reading, Writing and Language, Math and the Essay components of the test together last for 3 hours and 50 minutes. SAT is scored on a total of 1600.
The complete score report is available online 15 days after the test date. Most colleges require you to send them official score reports directly from the College Board website. College Board sends your scores to four colleges free of cost. You can choose these colleges at the time of registration or up to 9 days after your test date. If you wish to send your scores after 9 days, there is an additional fee. Once colleges receive your scores, they may take anywhere from a week to a month to process your application and reach an admission decision.
Typically, Indian students start preparing for the SAT right after Class 10. Depending upon individual capability, students take 3 months or more to become exam-ready. It is not unusual for students to take the SAT twice in order to improve upon their scores. In any case, you should be ready with your application along with SAT scores at least 6-8 weeks before the college’s deadline.
SAT Subject Test
Update: College Board will discontinue SAT Subject Test and Optional SAT Essay from June 2021 onwards
SAT Subject Test is meant to check your knowledge of a particular subject at a high school level. It is held in 5 general subject areas—English, history, languages, mathematics and science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). Each subject test is a 1 hour-long paper-based exam with multiple choice questions and a maximum score of 800. You can take up to 3 subject tests in a sitting. However, you cannot take the SAT and subject tests together on the same day.
Your subject test scores help colleges get an insight into your academic background and achievement in a specific subject area. Some colleges require or recommend that you take SAT subject test if you are applying to their programs. In India, subject tests are held on specific days in October, November, December, May and June. Subject test scores are available within 15 days of taking the test.
College Board sends your scores to four colleges free of cost. You can choose these colleges at the time of registration or up to 9 days after your test date. If you wish to send your scores after 9 days, there is an additional fee.
If you are aiming for top 20 colleges in the US, then we strongly recommend that you take the subject test related to your field of interest.