SAT Test Prep

I have more than 10 years of experience in helping students with their SAT test prep and it has always been my endeavor to ensure that you achieve your desired result in the first attempt. The SAT exam underwent a change of format in 2016 and the new SAT is scored on a band of 1600 points. Students who score above 1290 are among the top 10% of test-takers globally and I am proud to say that most of my students score above 1300 points in the SAT exam.

My students are consistently among the top scorers and it gives me immense joy to know that I have played a part in writing their success story. There are various aspects about SAT test prep that you should be aware of and I will try my best to give comprehensive answers to all your questions. So let us have a detailed discussion about the SAT examination:

What is the SAT exam?

The SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test. It is an aptitude test taken by students who want to go abroad for under-graduate studies. It is mandatory to have a SAT score if you are planning to apply for an under-graduate program from a university in USA. Additionally, several universities in a few other countries also require a SAT score to consider your application for admission.

Which organization conducts the SAT exam?

The SAT is an exam conducted by College Board, an organization based out of USA. It has a collaboration with Khan Academy to provide learning resources, a fast-growing and very popular e-learning company.

What is the pattern of the SAT exam?

The SAT exam is divided into five sections including the essay. There are two sections based on verbal reasoning and two based on mathematical reasoning. The reading comprehension section consists of five long reading passages with 10-11 questions per passage while the writing and language section consists of four medium-length passages with 11 questions each. These questions are mostly based on grammar.

On the other hand, the mathematical section with no calculator consists of 5 questions where you will have to key-in the answer. These are also called ‘Grid-In’ questions. The mathematical section with a calculator has 8 of these ‘Grid-In’ questions.

You do not need to memorize any formulas as a formula sheet will be given to you for reference at the beginning of the exam. A detailed break-up of the sections is given in the table below:

Section Sub-Section Questions Time (minutes)
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Reading Comprehension 52 65
Writing and Language 44 35
Mathematics Math (without Calculator) 20 25
Math (with calculator) 38 55
Essay (optional) 1 50
Total 155 (with essay) 230


How is the SAT exam scored?

The SAT exam is score out of 1600 points with 800 points each for the verbal and mathematical sections. The lowest score you can attain is a 200 in each section, totalling up to 400 and the maximum possible score is of course a perfect 1600. The essay is scored on three parameters (reading, analysis and writing) on a separate scale of 8 points for each parameter. Following is a brief break-up of the scoring:

Section Sub-Section Min Score Max Score Scoring Range
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Reading Comprehension 100 400 100 – 400
Writing and Language 100 400 100 – 400
Mathematics Math (without calculator) N/A N/A 200 – 800
Math (with calculator) N/A N/A
Essay (optional) Reading 2 8 2-8
Analysis 2 8 2-8
Writing 2 8 2-8


How much do I need to score on the SAT exam?

A score of 1290 on the SAT exam will put you in the 90th percentile, which means that you have fared better than 90% of test-takers. In order to maximize your chances of admission into top-tier universities, you should have a score of more than 1450, while a score in the range of 1300-1450 will be competitive to apply to other good universities.

For how long is the SAT score valid?

Your SAT score will remain valid for a period of 5 years from the date of your exam.

How many re-attempts are allowed for the SAT exam?

There is no limit on the number of times you can attempt the SAT. College Board is happy to let you have as many attempts as you want in order to secure your desired score.

What are the documents that I need to carry with me for the exam?

You should take the following document with you for the SAT exam:

  • A valid original passport / Aadhar Card
  • Admission Ticket
  • Two pencils and erasers
  • An approved calculator

Is the SAT a computer-delivered test or a paper-delivered test?

The SAT is a paper-delivered test.

How often is the SAT exam conducted?

The SAT is held 7 times a year in USA and 5 times a year in most other countries including India.

How can I book the SAT exam?

You can book the SAT by visiting the official website of College Board and creating an account for yourself. Subsequently, you can fill the application form, select the date and location and pay the application fee.

Where can I take the SAT exam?

The SAT exam is organized in major metropolitan cities all over the world and you can take at a centre near you. The exam usually takes place on a Sunday and the examination centre is a school. This is because huge infrastructure is needed to accommodate the large number of candidates.

What is the exam fee?

The registration fee for the SAT exam is USD 47.50 and an additional USD 17.00 is to be paid for the optional essay. Though it is advisable for you to write the essay as certain universities take it into consideration while evaluating your application.

In how many days will I get the result?

Your official score report will be released within 2-3 weeks after your test and if you write the essay, then your essay score will reach you within 3-5 weeks after writing the test.

How much time should I devote to my SAT test prep?

You should devote 3-4 months to your SAT test prep if you follow a proper study plan and dedicate 2-3 hours to study every day. If your school timings are hectic and you are not able to dedicate enough time to practice because of projects and assignments, then it may take longer depending on your study plan.

How do you conduct SAT test prep classes?           

I will ask you to take a diagnostic mock-test before we start SAT test prep classes and I will help you prepare a study plan based on your current level of conceptual understanding. We will have classes 2-3 times a week depending on how well you are able to follow the study plan and how much time you are able to devote to solving questions on a daily basis.

Moreover, I will monitor your progress based on bi-weekly mock-tests and give you feedback to strengthen your weak areas. I will ask you probing questions to help you uncover your biases and assumptions, thereby increasing your timeliness and accuracy. In this manner, it will take around 3-4 months to prepare for the SAT exam.

Where do you conduct SAT test prep classes?

I conduct online SAT test prep classes using platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc. and I also conduct in-person classes at my home office in Karapakkam, Chennai.


What preparation material should I buy to study for the SAT exam?

You can buy the Official SAT Study Guide to practice questions. Moreover, if you enrol for my SAT classes, I will mail you preparation material that I have compiled after extensive research and we will use that material in class and for practicing questions. For further practice and to take mock-tests, Khan Academy is the best globally and we will be using their tests and questions extensively in the quest to score 1300+ on the SAT exam.

Where can I get more details about your classes?

You can read the FAQs I have posted here and you can also reach out to me via e-mail or phone for further details. If you are in Chennai, you are most welcome to visit me at my home office in Karapakkam, for which I have provided the address and Google Maps link in the Contact Me section.

I hope that I have answered most of your questions regarding GMAT test prep and that you have a good amount of clarity about the structure of the exam, how to prepare for it and where your score is applicable. Please click here to find out more about me and you can read my other articles below: