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About Scholastic Assessment test (SAT)

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What is the SAT?

An overview of the (Digital) SAT exam

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a standardized test widely used in admissions to US universities. The SAT comprises four compulsory sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no calculator) and Math (with calculator). These four sections are scored out of a total of 1600.

You have also probably heard that College Board will soon make the SAT digital.

So what is changing?

You will take the SAT on a laptop or tablet. The test will be shorter, about 2 hours instead of 3. The new test have shorter reading passages instead of a few long texts and you’ll be allowed to use your calculator on the entire math section and there’s a calculator built right into the digital testing application. 

Format

An insight into the SAT exam

Students testing outside the U.S. will first take the digital SAT in Spring 2023. So, you will have plenty of time to prepare and get familiar with the digital test. 

Section

No. of questions

Total time (min)

Evidence-based Reading & Writing

96

100

Reading sub-test

52

65

Writing and language sub-test

44

35

Math

58

80

No-calculator sub-test

20

25

Calculator sub-test

38

55

Who needs the SAT

 US Universities

All first-year applicants

Most transfer applicants

NUS medicine & NUS dentistry

Applicants with IB Diplomas

NUS law

Applicants with a C grade or lower for:  

H1 General Paper; or

H2 Knowledge & Inquiry

SMU & UNISIM

Applicants without any of the following:

A-Level / IB

NUS High Diploma

Polytechnic Diploma

Reading

52 Multiple Choice Questions testing critical reading and thinking skills across four genres: history, literature, natural science and the social sciences.

Writing

44 Multiple Choice Questions testing fundamental conventions of grammar and effective use of the English language.

Math

38 Questions allowing the use of a calculator and 20 without. The main topics tested are algebra, functions, data analysis and geometry.

We recommend that students start preparing for the SAT at least 3 months prior to the exam.

Registration

How do I register for the SAT?

1

Sign in to your free College Board account or register for a new account.

2

Provide your full name and other identifying information — this must be exactly the same as seen on your photo ID.

3

Choose to register for the SAT with or without the Essay. (Update: The SAT Essay is no longer offered after June 2021.)

4

Upload a photograph that meets the College Board’s specific photo requirements.

5

Make payment, and check out. Click here to learn more about testing fees.

6

Print out your Admission Ticket. Make sure you bring it with you on Test Day!

Where can I take the SAT?

Universities in the US will consider both academic and non-academic factors in making their admissions decisions. You are required to demonstrate competency and skill in both of these regards.

Academic requirements

Final Year Grades

IB; or A-Levels; or APs / SATs; or GPA

Reference Letter

You will need one teacher recommendation that speaks to your academic abilities. This would ideally be someone who has taught you recently (JC1 / JC2 or Grade 11 / 12).

Academic Honors

Applications require accomplishments that are academic in nature (eg: Honor Roll / Olympiads / Research Experiences).

Testing

Some courses (Law / Medicine / Oxbridge applicants) will require special admissions tests such as the LNAT or BMAT / UCAT.

Non-academic requirements

Super-curricular Accomplishments

These activities demonstrate to universities that you are exploring your chosen subject outside of the classroom with genuine passion and curiosity.

UCAS Personal Statement

This is a short essay of roughly 500 words. This essay will require you to state your intended course of study at university, why you wish to pursue this interest, and how you have already meaningfully engaged with this subject previously.

Here are some of the SAT testing centres in Singapore. Note that not all test centres are available for all dates. Click here for the latest information.

Dulwich College Singapore

71 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8,
Singapore 658966

Furen International School

345 Old Nelson Road,
Singapore 758692

Global Indian International School

27 Punggol Field Walk,
Singapore 828649

NPS International School

10 Chai Chee Lane,
Singapore 469021

Stamford American International School

1 Woodleigh Lane,
Singapore 357684

When can I take the SAT?

SAT Test Date* 

Deadline for Registration Changes, and Regular Cancellation

Mar 11, 2023 (Digital)

Feb 24, 2023

May 6, 2023 (Digital)

Apr 21, 2023

June 3, 2023 (Digital)

May 19, 2023

Students taking the digital SAT who need to borrow a device from College Board will need to register and request their device earlier than the registration deadline, to allow time for international shipping.

IvyPrep’s Test Preparation System

Track Your Progress And Improve Your Scores

Empowering you with greater autonomy with an online learning platform that identifies your areas for improvement and recommends areas of focus to achieve tangible results.

SAT Scoring

Superscores

Superscoring is the process by which colleges consider your highest section scores across all the dates you took the SAT.

Schools will take your highest section scores, forming the highest possible composite “superscore”.

May

Verbal Score: 760

Math Score: 700

Total Score: 1460

May

Verbal Score: 760

Math Score: 700

Total Score: 1460

October

Verbal Score: 720

Math Score: 750

Total Score: 1470

Which courses should I apply to?

1

Make payment via an AXS station or at the RELC EB office (only from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm on October 1, 2021). Registration before the standard deadline costs SGD 362, while registration before the late deadline (October 15, 2021) costs SGD 482. Click here for a guide on how to pay via AXS.

2

Oxford University and Cambridge University will only accept one application to either university. You cannot apply to both.

Courses in the veterinary science, medicine or dentistry fields which limit you to four courses on the UCAS, instead of the usual five.

Deciding on a course of study

There are over 50,000 undergraduate courses at more than 395 providers in the UK, so it’s important you do your research. What would you like to study? What would you like to achieve after university? Is being located in central London important to you? These are some important questions to ask as you decide which courses to apply to. To learn more:

Look at the UCAS subject guides to understand what the different subject areas have to offer — including graduate destinations, entry requirements, and personal statement tips.

Browse the UCAS search tool for inspiration on the types of courses you can study — you can use the subject filters to narrow your search.

What score do I need?

Here are the average SAT scores of successful applicants to top-tier universities.

Ivy League Universities

Average total SAT scores

Yale University

1550

Harvard College

1520

Columbia University

1520

Princeton University

1520

University of Pennsylvania

1510

Brown University

1510

Dartmouth College

1500

Cornell University

1480

Top private universities

Average total SAT scores

California Institute of Technology

1560

University of Chicago

1540

Vanderbilt University

1530

Stanford University

1520

MIT

1520

Johns Hopkins University

1510

Northwestern University

1510

Carnegie Mellon University

1500

Top public universities

Average total SAT scores

Georgia Institute of Technology

1520

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1500

UC, Berkeley

1450

University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor

1450

University of Virginia

1420

UC, Los Angeles

1400

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

1390

Score Percentiles

What score should I aim for?

The SAT gives you a percentile ranking for your overall score (out of 1600) as well as for each of the two sections: Evidence Based Reading and Writing, and Math. Your percentile rank tells you how you did on the SAT compared to other test-takers.

For most competitive universities, we recommend trying to score at least within the 90th percentile.

Composite score range

Percentile ranking

1550–1600

99+

1500–1550

99 to 99+

1450–1500

97 to 99

1400–1450

94 to 97

1350–1400

91 to 94

1300–1350

87 to 91

1250–1300

81 to 87

1200–1250

74 to 81

1150–1200

67 to 74

1100–1150

58 to 67

1050–1100

49 to 58

1000–1050

39 to 49

Which courses should I apply to?

1

Make payment via an AXS station or at the RELC EB office (only from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm on October 1, 2021). Registration before the standard deadline costs SGD 362, while registration before the late deadline (October 15, 2021) costs SGD 482. Click here for a guide on how to pay via AXS.

2

Oxford University and Cambridge University will only accept one application to either university. You cannot apply to both.

Courses in the veterinary science, medicine or dentistry fields which limit you to four courses on the UCAS, instead of the usual five.

Deciding on a course of study

There are over 50,000 undergraduate courses at more than 395 providers in the UK, so it’s important you do your research. What would you like to study? What would you like to achieve after university? Is being located in central London important to you? These are some important questions to ask as you decide which courses to apply to. To learn more:

Look at the UCAS subject guides to understand what the different subject areas have to offer — including graduate destinations, entry requirements, and personal statement tips.

Browse the UCAS search tool for inspiration on the types of courses you can study — you can use the subject filters to narrow your search.

Section percentiles

Differences

SAT vs ACT

Both tests are accepted by most universities in the US. However, as they have slight differences, it is recommended that candidates should take the test they would fare better in.

Should you be unable to decide which test might be more suitable for you, a good way to gauge your expertise is to attempt a full length practice test for both.

IvyPrep offers free diagnostic tests for both the SAT and ACT. Upon completion of the tests, a detailed score report would be generated to assist with your decision in which test you should sit for.

SAT

ACT

Scoring

Composite score of 400–1600

Scoring

Composite score out of 36 (average of all 4 sections)

Format

Paper and Pencil

Format

Computerized

Dates

Offered five times a year:

March

May

August

October

December

Dates

Offered seven times a year:

February

April

June

July

September

October

December

Math formulas

Geometry formulas are provided

Math formulas

To be memorized

Calculator policy

Allowed in one Math sub-section

Calculator policy

Allowed in Math section

Science section

No

Science section

Yes

Which courses should I apply to?

1

Make payment via an AXS station or at the RELC EB office (only from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm on October 1, 2021). Registration before the standard deadline costs SGD 362, while registration before the late deadline (October 15, 2021) costs SGD 482. Click here for a guide on how to pay via AXS.

2

Oxford University and Cambridge University will only accept one application to either university. You cannot apply to both.

Courses in the veterinary science, medicine or dentistry fields which limit you to four courses on the UCAS, instead of the usual five.

Deciding on a course of study

There are over 50,000 undergraduate courses at more than 395 providers in the UK, so it’s important you do your research. What would you like to study? What would you like to achieve after university? Is being located in central London important to you? These are some important questions to ask as you decide which courses to apply to. To learn more:

Look at the UCAS subject guides to understand what the different subject areas have to offer — including graduate destinations, entry requirements, and personal statement tips.

Browse the UCAS search tool for inspiration on the types of courses you can study — you can use the subject filters to narrow your search.

Should I take the SAT or the ACT?

The types of questions in each section of the SAT and the ACT vary. Ultimately, the best way to know which test is a better fit for you is to attempt both. Click here to schedule a free SAT and/or ACT Diagnostic Test.

The key differences in concepts tested on the SAT and the ACT are here:

SAT

ACT

Reading

Questions are always in chronological order; a number line is provided. You are given approx. 13 minutes per passage.

Reading

Questions are not in chronological order — being able to remember the location of exact details in passages gives you an advantage. You are given approx. 8 minutes per passage.

Writing

More focused on questions about writing style, language precision and vocabulary.

Writing

More focused on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and big idea questions.

Math

Focus on Algebra, along with other topics such as Data Analysis and Modeling.

Math

Wider range of Mathematical concepts — such as logarithms, graphs of trigonometry functions, and matrices.

Science

No Science section. Scientific data and passages present in Reading and Writing sections.

Science

Comfort with scientific terms and experience gathering scientific data from charts and graphs will give you a greater advantage on the ACT.

Essay

No longer offered after June 2021.

Essay

Analyze three perspectives on an issue and present your own.

Score Conversion

SAT Composite score

ACT Composite Score

1570–1600

36

1530–1560

35

1490–1520

34

1450–1480

33

1420–1440

32

1390–1410

31

1360–1380

30

1330–1350

29

1300–1320

28

1260–1290

27

1230–1250

26

1200–1220

25

1160–1190

24

1130–1150

23

1100–1120

22

1060–1090

21

1030–1050

20

990–1020

19

960–980

18

920–950

17

880–910

16

830–870

15

780–820

14

730–770

13

690–720

12

650–680

11

620–640

10

590–610

9