In the past few years, the SAT, Scholastic Assessment Test, has become tougher and longer, making it necessary for students to prepare well in advance for it. SAT is a mandatory requirement by colleges in the United States for admissions into four-year undergraduate degree programs and in determining financial aid for students. SAT is used as a predictor of success and performance.
SAT is administered by the College Board and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test basically measures critical thinking skills and academic readiness and has to be completed in three hours and forty-five minutes. SAT is divided into three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. The score ranges from 200 – 800 for each section. Thus, the lowest score once can get is 600 and the highest score is 2400. The reading section covers passage based reading and sentence completion. The mathematics section covers multiple choice and student produced response. The writing section is divided into the following: improving sentences, improving paragraphs, identifying sentence errors, and the essay.
SAT subject tests are also a requirement by some colleges for admission into specific programs or courses. Additional to the SAT, some students take specific subject tests to show their qualifications and skills for certain courses. SAT subjects tests are available in the following fields: US History and World History, Mathematics (level 1 and level 2), Literature, Science subjects including Biology, Physics and Chemistry, and Spanish, French, German, Italian, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Students with a low budget can prepare for the SAT and SAT subject tests via free of cost tutorials and courses offered on various websites, and free online SAT practice tests. Official SAT practice tests online give students the opportunity to take the real test in the required time frame of three hours and forty-five minutes, and they also give scores with detailed answers and step-by-step explanations. As the College Board website states “Taking the SAT Practice Test is a stress-free (and free) way to find your strengths and weaknesses on the SAT”. The College Board website offers an online course complete with quizzes, immediate scoring on essays, and 10 official practice tests. Students also have the option of doing printable SAT practice tests.
Students can also prepare for the SAT subject tests free of cost or at an affordable cost. Practice tests for SAT mathematics, world history, literature, biology, physics, chemistry practice test and so on, are also available online.
Many websites offer features and tools such as videos and animated illustrations to teach students how to solve problems in the reading, mathematics and writing sections. Also, there are various strategies and tips provided by experienced SAT tutors online. In a test format such as the SAT, where time constraint is a major factor, there are different strategies and specific techniques students should know in order to solve the questions correctly and efficiently, and complete the test in the required time. Again, students need not worry as many websites provide these resources free of cost and additional materials are available at a minimal cost.