If you are thinking about obtaining a scholarship to study in the United States, you are sure you know about the existence of the SAT, but do you really know what it is?
Many students have thousands of questions about this exam so we have decided to publish this post in order to explain what the SAT consists of, where you can do it, what is the cost of doing it, why it is important to get a good score and other issues that may arise before introducing yourself
The SAT is the standardized test needed to access US universities, it would be the closest thing to other contry’s selectivity
The SAT assesses your ability to analyze and apply your knowledge in an agile manner. It is divided into two sections: The first of reading and writing and the second of mathematics.
For the Reading and Writing section, academic texts from various disciplines of natural and social sciences are included. The texts, as well as the vocabulary, are very similar to the most common materials used in university careers. In the part of Reading, the ability to understand what the author wants to say in the texts is evaluated. In the Writing part the questions combine the ability to detect errors or correct sentences and the ability to help the author to reorganize ideas effectively.
The Mathematics section focuses on 3 main areas: algebra (30% of problems), data analysis (30%) and the rest are advanced concepts and others (polynomials, trigonometry, statistics, etc.). Calculators are allowed only in a specific section of the exam. This part reflects the mathematical knowledge acquired in the school. Mathematical problems are based on basic concepts but it is necessary to think very quickly. The mechanics of the exam is different from the one done in math exams in Spain.
Essay or writing is an optional section within the exam. It lasts 50 minutes and is presented at the end of the exam. It consists of the student analyzing the argument of an author. We recommend you also do this optional part, at least once.
The maximum score is 1,600 points. Each of the sections (Mathematics and Reading / Writing) is scored according to a scale of 200 to 800 points.
At least we advise you to get 1,000 points, even if that note is a little below the average (which is around 1,100). With 1,000 points there will be universities that could consider your admission. Below 1,000 things get a little more complicated and academic scholarship options are lower.
On the other hand, each case is very personal and is treated differently with what is not possible to generalize. If you are a student who wants to apply for an academic scholarship or get a good grade, then you must exceed at least 1,200 points.
For some time the SAT no longer punishes for answering incorrectly the questions. In the event that you are not sure of the answer to any question, it is best not to leave it blank.
The duration of the test is 3 hours, 100 minutes for the part in reading and writing and 80 minutes for the part of mathematics.
The SAT exam can be done in many cities internationally. In Spain right now you can present yourself in 10 cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Coruña, Tenerife, Murcia, Marbella, Bilbao, Seville.
The SAT costs around 80 euros. The registration in the exam allows sending the results to four universities or American institutions free of charge. Keep in mind that you will have to pay additional fees if you decide to change the date of the exam or if you register late, or if, after having done the exam, you have to send the note to a new site that you would not have registered.
There are 4 calls that take place always on the same dates: March, May, October and December.
If you have passed the deadline to register or decide to change the exam date, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the exam making the payment of $ 1 and you will enter a waiting list. Then on the day of the exam you should be in the exam center as soon as possible to guarantee access to it. If you finally enter you will be charged the total registration plus an additional fee for having made the registration outside the registration period. If you do not agree to the exam because there are no seats in the exam center you will only be charged the initial $ 1.
We recommend you prepare it two years in advance to carry out a good preparation and get the best possible grade.
The ideal is to take the exam in 1st year of Bachillerato, in this way if you have a low score you could repeat it. Most students do it more than once to improve the first score.
The SAT does not evaluate the knowledge acquired during Baccalaureate, it is rather a reasoning test, understanding and mental agility. That is why the best year to introduce yourself for the first time is 1st year of Bachillerato, because this way you can repeat it and they will save you the best grade you have achieved.
You can repeat it as many times as you want until you get a good score according to your goals. On average, students take the test three times.
First of all we recommend that you read and understand what the exam consists of, what is most valued when doing it and what you must train to obtain the best grade.
Once this step is taken, the most advisable thing to prepare for the SAT exam is that you practice previous exam models. In this way you can measure the difficulty of previous years and correct the possible failures that you may have.
Many students complain about the scarce offer that exists in the Spanish academies to prepare the SAT. Thanks to our AGM partner, we have a service called Test Prep to help you prepare the SAT and also the TOEFL. The service has private classes via internet so you can move forward without leaving home and at any time of the day. These courses are prepared exclusively for non-American students taking into account that they do not have prior SAT knowledge.
In general, performing the SAT is an essential requirement to study in the United States. Any student or athlete who wants to apply for a scholarship in the USA. You must do it. In addition, the SAT score serves American universities to, among other things, make the difference between all students.
In addition, the importance of the SAT in the following cases must be taken into account:
Academic Scholarships: Obtaining a very good result in the SAT opens the possibility to receive academic scholarships that can range from $ 1,000 to $ 30,000 per year (sometimes even more), depending on the result and the university. Many universities have published a scale with the amounts they offer depending on the result, so that the best result, usually more money in scholarships. Many times these scales are also combined with the GPA (middle grade) of the school.
Sports scholarships: Performing the test is necessary to achieve eligibility in the organizations that regulate college sports, since both the NCAA and the NAIA require the SAT as one of its most important requirements. If you do not meet these academic requirements you will not be able to train or compete, and therefore you will not be able to receive sports scholarships.
Admission processes at TOP universities are very complex and with more requirements than other universities, so it is highly recommended that you seek professional help for this type of process. Without very high results in the SAT and in the Subject Tests, your chances of getting admission will be even lower, so you have to have real obsession in the preparation of the SAT and the Subject Tests. Take SAT courses, hire consultants for the Subject Tests, start with a lot of time and be very strict with all your preparation.
If you are an athlete, the required results will vary depending on the Division in which you want to compete
In order to compete in Division I universities, the required result will depend on the average grade of the baccalaureate. The higher this average is, the lower score is needed in the SAT. The NCAA uses a table where it details the necessary result, although we must be careful with this table since the NCAA makes its own calculation of the average of the baccalaureate, not counting some classes. The minimum average grade in high school to compete is a 2.3 on the American scale that usually equals an average of 6 out of 10 in Spain. But as we have commented previously, the calculation of the NCAA average is not direct.
To be able to compete in Division II universities. As of August 2018, the way to measure the SAT is going to resemble that of DI with a table that combines the average grade of high school and the SAT. The difference with Division I is that they will ask students for a minimum grade point average in Bachillerato of 2.2 to compete.
To be able to compete in NAIA universities: the necessary result is from 860 to April 2019 exceptionally and from then on the required grade will be 970. We recommend in this case to get at least 970, and as in NCAA Division II, only the Reading and Writing & Math sections count.
To be able to receive academic scholarships: each university can request a different grade … for example, in some universities they can ask for more than 1,050, while in others, especially the universities with the highest Ranking, more than 1,300. The academic scholarships depend on several factors besides the SAT, since they always value the average grade of the school, other academic characteristics, and the personal profile of the student.