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Suggestions and Tips that may assist you to take SAT Test better


The College Entrance Examination Board, now commonly known as the College Board, administered the first Scholastic Aptitude Test in June 1926 to 8,040 mostly male and probably all-white candidates. They were applying to private colleges, mainly in the Northeast. In the 2000-2001 test year, more than 2.1 million young men and women took the SAT I: Reasoning Test as part of the admissions process for more than 1,000 private and public institutions of higher education, 80 percent of the national total.

Much of the 1926 SAT exam resembled its modern counterpart. It included analogies, reading comprehension, and arithmetic. But the time limits differed. The verbal section of the 1926 version had 245 verbal questions, to be answered in 82 minutes or 20 seconds per item. The current verbal section, in contrast, gives students 75 minutes to answer 78 questions, or 58 seconds per item. The time limit difference between the 1926 and present math sections are also notable.

The format of the SAT has also changed. The verbal and math sections were not scored separately until l931. This was done to allow college admissions staff to weigh students' scores according to the college's curriculum. Mathematics questions were eliminated and then reappeared during the first two decades of the test.
National SAT scores rose to their highest levels in 1963. In the 1970s, the College Board conducted 38 studies and assembled a panel to learn the causes of the subsequent steady decline in scores. The Board's conclusions noted the changing composition of the college-bound population, lower school standards, and changing mores that affected students' motivation to learn.

In recent decades, the College Board modified the SAT to account for test-takers' different cultural and educational backgrounds, and to improve the reliability of test performance measures. In 1994, antonyms were eliminated, the verbal section contained a greater emphasis on reading, non-multiple-choice questions appeared on the math section, and calculators were permitted.

Despite the great changes in American society since the SAT was first administered, the College Board's aims held: to provide educational institutions with an honest measure of American students' abilities. To remain true to the College Board's founding principles, the SAT has been adapted to reflect the needs of students and the colleges they are preparing to enter. This is part of a larger procession of change toward greater access and equity in the American educational system.

SAT Preparation Tips
SAT is a standardized test required for admission to undergraduate programs in USA. 

To perform well on SAT, you need to work on a set of skills that the College Board does not mention in any of the materials that they send you: You need to be a good test taker.  That means recognizing that standardized tests like the SAT and ACT are different from the tests you are probably used to taking in high school over the years, for which you may often spend more time on difficult questions than you do on easy ones.

In the world of standardized tests, you are rewarded only for answering the most questions correctly, regardless of their difficulty.  You may lose points by spending more time on hard questions than one easy ones, or for methodically going through the test one question at a time.  Knowing how the tests work and how they are organized can save you a lot of anxiety (and a lot of points) when you sit down on test day.  Here are some tips:

Make sure you know the directions by heart
The instructions on the exam are always exactly the same.  Learn them beforehand.  That way you wonít waste time reading them on test day.

Keep your answer sheet clean
It sounds simple, but it is extremely important not to make mistakes filling out the answer grid.  When time is short, it is easy to get confused going back and forth.  But if you do, your answers will be wrong.  It is smarter to grid the answers in-groups rather than one question at a time.  This is how it works: Circle your answer to each question in the booklet as you figure it out.  Then transfer those answers to the answer grid in groups of five or more (until you get close to the end of a section, when you should grid in answers one by one- it will help you avoid running out of time.

Don't jump to conclusions
To separate the high-scoring students from the rest of the pack, the SAT test makers purposely include tempting wrong answer choices as traps.  The surest way to avoid falling for traps is to predict the answer before you look at the answer choices.  For example, if you are answering an SAT sentence Completion, donít just jump into the answer choices to see which one fits.  Instead, read the sentence, predict the missing word, and then scan the answer choices to see which one matches.

Don't answer all the questions in order
High scorers know that most SAT questions are arranged in order of difficulty.  They use this to their advantage by answering easy questions first, circling problems they donít have answers to, and moving on to the easier questions in the next section.  Later, when they have answered all the easier questions, they come back if they have time.

Guess answers
Test makers often talk about the guessing penalty on the SAT.   This is a misnomer.  It is really a wrong-answer penalty.  Guess right, and you gain.  Guess wrong and you lose points.  The fact is, if you can eliminate one or more answers as definitely wrong, you will turn the odds in your favor and actually come out ahead by guessing.  With practice in advance of the test day, you will learn that it is often east to eliminate several of the multiple-choice answers.

Time yourself & maintain speed
The ACT and SAT give you a lot of questions in a short period of time.   To get through a whole section, you canít spend too much time on any one question.  Keep moving through the test at a good speed.  Skip harder questions, and  return to them if you have time.

Look for quick points if you are running out of time
Some questions can be answered quickly.  For instance, some reading questions will ask you to identify the meaning of a particular word in the passage.   These can often be answered correctly, at the last minute, even if you havenít read the passage pertaining to it.

Best books for SAT preparation
Most of the books and CD's available in the market are designed for US students. They focus more on problems faced by American students rather than International students. Some of the popular books are:

10 Real SAT's (US $17.95)

The book from the makers of SAT. It is the only book which offers real SAT questions and practice tests. 

One-on-One with the SAT (Compact Disc) (US $29.95)

A practice tutorial and test series from College Board for students who are more comfortable with the computer. 

The salient features are:

  1. The Board is a national nonprofit membership association whose mission is to prepare, inspire, and connect students to college and opportunity, with a commitment to excellence and equity.
  2. The Board is composed of more than 4,200 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves more than three million students and their parents, 22,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. A board of trustees composed of 31 members, seven of whom are ex officio, governs the College Board.
  3. The SAT is given seven times a year at thousands of testing centers throughout the world.
  4. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school.
  5. About half the students who take the SAT do so twice--in the spring of their junior year and fall of their senior year.
  6. Today, nearly 80 percent of four-year colleges and universities use test scores in admissions decisions.
  7. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the best way to predict freshman year grade point average is to use a combination of SAT scores and the high school grade point average.

Some SAT questions are easy and some are hard, but most questions are of medium difficulty. On average, students answer 50 to 60 percent of questions correctly.

Even though each new SAT is constructed to meet precise content and statistical specifications, some minor differences may occur between different editions of the test. For example, some forms might be slightly more difficult or easier than others and the ability level of test-takers varies at different administrations. However, the equating portion of the SAT equalizes these differences and ensures the continuing comparability of all SAT scores.

The best ways to get ready for the SAT I are to take challenging academic courses and to read widely outside school throughout your school years. Taking the PSAT/NMSQTģ is another excellent way to get ready.

Preparation for the SAT II: Subject Tests varies for each test. For example, some Subject Tests (such as American History, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics) are best taken as soon as the course ends so the information is still fresh in your mind. You'll do better on other tests, like Writing and the language tests, after several years of study.

Before taking the SAT I: Reasoning Test or the SAT II: Subject Tests, familiarize yourself with the organization of the test, the types of questions that are included, and what to expect on test day.

Test Dates

Test Dates Test Registration Deadlines *
U.S. Regular U.S. Late International Early International Regular
October 8, 2005 SAT & Subject Tests Sep. 7, 2005 Sep. 14, 2005 N/A Sep. 7, 2005
November 5, 2005 SAT & Subject Tests Sep. 30, 2005 Oct. 12, 2005 Sep. 7, 2005 Sep. 30, 2005
December 3, 2005 SAT & Subject Tests Oct. 28, 2005 Nov. 9, 2005 Oct, 12, 2005 Oct, 28, 2005
January 28, 2006 SAT & Subject Tests Dec. 22, 2005 Jan. 4, 2006 Dec. 7, 2005 Dec. 22, 2005
April 1, 2006** SAT only Feb. 24, 2006 Mar. 8, 2006 N/A N/A
May 6, 2006 SAT & Subject Tests Apr. 3, 2006 Apr. 12, 2006 Mar. 15, 2006 Apr. 3, 2006
June 3, 2006 SAT & Subject Tests Apr. 28, 2006 May 10, 2006 Apr. 12, 2006 Apr. 28, 2006
* U.S. dates are postmark dates; International dates are receipt dates.
** On April 1, only the SAT is offered, and only in the U.S., U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico.

  1. Sunday administrations will occur the day after each Saturday test date for students who cannot test on Saturday for religious reasons.
  2. The Language Tests with Listening are offered in November only. The final administration of the ELPT was January 22, 2005.
  3. For students testing outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Puerto Rico: Web registration, and telephone re-registration must be received by the international deadline dates listed above.
  4. Mailed registration materials must be postmarked by the U.S. deadlines.
  5. Mailed international registration materials must be received by the international deadlines.


Test Fee
SAT Reasoning Test $41.50
SAT Subject Tests
(add the $18.00 Basic Registration Fee to the total fee for the Subject Tests):
        Language Tests with Listening
        All other Subject Tests
$ 8.00
Services Fee
Late registration fee $21.00
Standby testing fee $36.00
Change test, test date, or test center fee $20.00
Scores by Web Free
Scores by Phone $11.00
Extra score report to a college or scholarship program (in addition to four score reports included at no charge on the Registration or Correction Form)

The registration fee for the SAT is $41.50.

Because the fees for SAT Subject Tests differ, an $18 basic fee is added to the total for all subjects taken, and it covers sending score reports to up to four colleges and scholarship programs.

Additional service fees for the Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) and the Student Answer Service (SAS) are refundable. The fee for each additional score report is also refundable. Payment must be made in U.S. dollars.


SAT Reasoning Test $41.50
SAT Subject Tests
Basic registration fee

Language Tests with Listening
All other Subject Tests

add $19.00
add $  8.00
Registration Services (add to total test fees)
Late registration fee $21.00
Re-registration by telephone $10.00
International processing fee (for students testing in countries other than the United States, U.S. territories, and Puerto Rico) $21.00
Security surcharge to test in India and Pakistan $21.00
Standby testing fee $36.00
Change test, test date, or test center fee $20.00
Score Reporting Services
Extra score report to a college or scholarship program (in addition to the four score reports provided free of charge on the Registration Form or on the Correction Form) $  9.00
Retrieval fee for archived scores $17.00
(additional fees may apply)
Telephone rush reporting service $26.00
(plus $9.00
for each report)
Telephone additional reports $10.00
(plus $9.00
for each report)
Scores by Phone $11.00
Additional Services
Question-and-Answer Service $24.00
Student Answer Service $10.00
Copy of your answer sheet $10.00
Additional Fees
Mulitple-choice Score Verification $50.00
Essay Score Verification $50.00
Check returned for insufficient funds $20.00
($15.00 in Idaho,
Louisiana, and Utah)

Mode of payment:

  1. CreditCard Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  2. Bank Draft (Dollar not Indian Rupees)
  3. Check Drawn on a U.S. Bank
  4. United States Postal Service Money Order
  5. International Money Order
  6. UNESCO Coupon
  7. Postal Reply Coupon

Registering for SAT

1. By Fax (Credit Card required): Fill up the form and write your credit card number in the space provided and fax the form to : 001 609 683 1234. Please don't forget to add $5 extra to the test fee for fax registration.

2. Online Registration (Credit Card required): Fill up the form online and mention your credit card number. This is the easiest way to register for SAT.

See Also..............................................................................................
Test Modules | Sample Questions | Score Pattern

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