The SAT Reasoning Test is an examination instituted by College Board in the United States in 1901. It originally examined students on their readiness for university academics by testing their knowledge of English, French, German, Latin, Greek, history, mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Over the decades, the SAT was restructured several times. In its present form, it examines students on their ability in Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.
Today, the test is required for admission to the majority of four-year bachelor degrees in the United States. The examination contains 160 multiple-choice questions across Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing along with a short essay and 10 ‘grid-in’ maths questions. The test takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete and demands both stamina and academic knowledge from students.
The SAT is marked out of 2400 points, with only 300 students annually receiving a ‘perfect score’ out of 2 million test-takers globally. While the knowledge tested by the examination is similar to that of GCSE examinations, the structure, pace, and style of the SAT is very different from U.K. examinations. Many students require extensive practice and preparation in order to familiarise themselves with the SAT and earn the highest possible score. Ultimately, the SAT is only one piece of a student’s application to university in the U.S., but it constitutes an important picture of one’s academic ability and potential.
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