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All about the SAT and Passing with Flying Colors

The Scholastic Aptitude or Assessment Test is now known as the SAT Reasoning Test and is an examination that all high school students are needed to take to get into college. The SAT is conducted by the Educational Testing Service but it’s the College Board that computes the results of the test.

The Components of the SAT
There are three primary parts that make up the SAT: critical reading and writing and lastly, mathematics. Each part is further divided into three sub-sections. There are ten sub-sections all in all, with one sub-section made up of questions that are included for experimental purposes. This particular sub-section can belong to any of the three major parts of the SAT and results are excluded from the overall score.

Majority of the questions in the SAT provide students with multiple choices for their answers. The SAT takes five hours to complete. Questions are arranged according to their level of difficulty.

SAT Schedules, Candidates, and Fees
The SAT is administered to students seven times a year. It is in the months of February and July to September that there is a hiatus for SAT takers. The schedule also alternates between March and April in administering the test. Students who wish to take the SAT will be assisted by their respective schools in registering for the test.

If, however, such assistance is unavailable for a student, he may register by mail, telephone or online correspondence. Registration must be done at least three weeks prior to the preferred SAT testing schedule. The SAT costs approximately $40 to $50 although fees vary for international test takers.

SATs are administered on a Saturday but students who have valid reasons for requesting to take the test on a Sunday instead may always request for a change in test schedule to the appropriate authorities. Approval however depends on a case to case basis. Test takers with certain disabilities are given allowances to take the test with comfort. Again approval for such privileges depends on a case to case basis.

How SAT Scores are Tallied
A scale of 200 to 800 is used for each section, bringing the total score for SAT to 2400. One raw point is given whenever a student provides the right answer but 1/4th of a point is subtracted from the student’s score whenever he provides the wrong answer. The scoring system is set up in such a way that a student won’t benefit if he were to randomly guess the answer.

How to Get It Right on the SAT Essay Question
The first part of the test that you will be asked to answer is the essay category and which represents 30% of the final score for the Critical Writing category of the SAT. The essay question is typically general and philosophical in nature. To effectively answer the essay part, students are usually advised to use various sources for their answer by citing situations and drawing examples from their personal life, history, the arts and so forth.

Tips on Preparing and Taking the SAT
Study at least six months prior to your preferred testing date. As the SAT tests you on the knowledge you’ve gained throughout the years, make sure that you don’t overlook any important subject in your review. For best results, create an outline to review for the SAT methodically and efficiently.

Avoid cramming. This can cause you to experience added stress and anxiety about the upcoming SAT. If you wish to study on the night before your testing date, you can simply review the main principles of each subject matter. Do your best to enjoy a good night’s sleep before the exam.

In the critical reading section, your vocabulary and ability to comprehend the text provided are being tested. If you’re finding it difficult to determine the right choice in vocabulary questions, cross out what you feel are immediately inapplicable to further narrow your choices. For reading comprehension questions, skim the text provided to get the gist then look up details when you have the time.

In the critical writing question, it’s all about finding the choice that completes the sentence or thought in the clearest possible way.

As for math questions, consider using variables if you feel unable to solve a problem. For grid-in questions, it’s important to provide an answer even if you’re unsure of it because this won’t be counted against you.


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