If you’re a student planning to pursue undergraduate studies in the United States of America (USA), then you’ll need to sit for the SAT as part of the admissions process.
The SAT is a standardised test run by the College Board, which is used to assess an applicant’s suitability and readiness for undergraduate courses in the USA. 7 test dates are available for international students and you can sign up for as many test dates as you want.
As of March 2023, the SAT will now be fully digital for all international applicants including students in Singapore. The total time allocated for the test is 2 hours and 14 minutes, with individual time limits for each section and 10 minute breaks between sections.
The SAT comprises 2 main sections: Reading & Writing, and Math. Each section is further divided into 2 modules which will adapt to the student’s performance level. Module 1 has questions across a mix of difficulties, whereas Module 2 will have an easier or more challenging set of questions depending on how well you perform for Module 1. The possible range of scores you can get is adjusted accordingly as well.
While the SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600, it is not based on raw scores. Instead, you are assessed based on a distribution curve according to the performance of other candidates in your testing cohort.
So how should you prep for the SAT to ensure you achieve the SAT scores you need to enrol in the college of your choice? Read on to find out more.
Understand each Section’s Demands
Before sitting for the SAT it’s important to know what to expect from each section of the exam, as well as the time limit for each section. This will help you plan out your pre-exam prep schedule, as well as improve your time management during the exam.
SAT Reading & Writing
SAT Reading & Writing is split into Module 1 with 27 questions, followed by Module 2 with another 27 questions. The total time allocated for this section is 64 minutes and key competencies tested are Craft and Structure, Information and Ideas, Standard English Conventions, and Expression of Ideas. These cover reading comprehension skills as well as writing and communication skills.
SAT Math was previously split into calculator and non-calculator sections. However moving forward, calculators will be allowed for all sections of the SAT Math paper. This 70-minute section is split into Module 1 with 22 questions, and Module 2 with another 22 questions. 33 of these questions will be MCQ, while 11 will be student-response. Key mathematical concepts tested include Algebra, Advanced Math (e.g. nonlinear functions), Data Analysis (e.g. statistics and probability), Geometry, and Trigonometry.
Time your study sessions
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the demands of each section of the SAT, you can move on to exam prep proper. On top of improving your content knowledge, you should also be timing yourself to see if you can finish mock SAT papers within the respective time limits. This gives a realistic gauge of how you should manage your time during the exam, as well as reveal your weak spots if you find yourself spending too much time on a particular subject, section, or question type.
Seek out SAT resources and coaching to tackle your weaknesses
There’s no shortage of resources available to help you tackle the SAT. Apart from the official College Board website, you can see out everything from practice questions to online coaching right here with Gateway+.
Our SAT preparation course prepares students in Singapore thoroughly for all compulsory sections of the SAT through our diagnostic test, section-based lessons and practice sets, and a full-length mock test to gauge your readiness for the real thing. Signing up for our course gives you access to over 80 lessons on the best strategies, techniques, and approaches for the SAT, as well as community support and monthly Q&A sessions with a seasoned SAT test prep coach. All of this and more is available at a fixed price so you can sign up once and gain access immediately.
Students planning to sit for the SAT soon can also enrol in our exclusive group prep class. In 12 hours over 4 days, we’ll cover all of the necessary content knowledge and strategies needed to score well in each of the 4 test sections.
Excel at SAT prep and more with Gateway+
Apart from SAT test prep, our range of test prep and admission courses includes other major admissions tests such as the ISAT, UCAT, and MCAT. Sign up for a 14-day FREE TRIAL today to find out how our platform can help you excel in your admissions tests and gain admission to the university of your dreams.