Yocket Undergrad
on 25 May, 2016

The SAT Test

Students planning to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in the United States must take one Reasoning test. The most common and most recognized of those is the SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The SAT is in majority a multiple-choice based examination. For every multiple choice question you get correct, you score 1 point. You lose 0.25 points for each incorrect answer.

The following aspects are tested in the SAT:

  • Critical Reading: In these sections you are tested on Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.
  • Writing: In these sections you are tested on Essay-writing and Identification of Grammatical Errors.
  • Mathematics: In these sections you are tested on basic Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics.

Each of these three has a scaled score of maximum 800 points and a minimum of 200 points.

The SAT test is a 3 hour 45 minute endeavor (Yes, you get breaks in the middle) which consists of 10 sections.

  • A 25-minute essay
  • Two 25-minute Math Sections
  • One 20-minute Math Section
  • Two 25-minute Critical Reading Sections
  • One 20-minute Critical Reading Section
  • One 25-minute Writing Section
  • One 10-minute Writing Section
  • One 25-minute Unscored Section which could be Critical Reading, Math or Writing.

The exam always starts off with the essay but the other sections can be in any order. This is designed so people giving the SAT in the same room will be giving different sections at the same time.

Why does my exam have an Unscored Section?

SAT likes to test new questions on its students and this is their way of doing so. It helps them ensure that future exams are fair to all types of students. It also helps to keep the level of the SAT steady. You and your friend in the same room may have different Unscored Sections.

IMPORTANT - You will not know which of your sections in Unscored so keep your concentration for every single section.


Rishi got four Math Sections in his SAT exam and Sakshi got 3 Writing Sections in her SAT exam. Rishi slacked off in his last section because he thought that the last one was Unscored. When Sakshi saw her third Writing Section she didn’t break her flow and kept solving at the same pace. Rishi got a 660 in his Math Section and Sakshi got a 780 in her Writing Section. Why? Because Rishi’s Second Math Section, which he did really well on, was his Unscored Section. Sakshi made a few mistakes but she would do well regardless of which section was Unscored.


Myth: You must attempt all questions! Guesswork works!

This is not true. Unlike most other exams, the SAT has negative marking for wrong answers. If you can narrow it down to two or three answers then maybe a guess may work. But if you have no idea what the question is asking or how to solve the question, leave it and move forward! You would rather get a 0 than have an 80% chance of a -0.25.

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