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The Scholastic Assessment Test (commonly known as the SAT) is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. It assesses students’ skills in Reading. Writing and Math.

The purpose of the SAT, or any other standardized test, is to have a common metric that can be used to compare all applicants, regardless of their high school background. The alternative to the SAT is the ACT, and colleges will accept either test score.

Most students take the SAT in either Grade 11 or early Grade 12, and there is no limit to the number of times you are permitted to take the test. The SAT is usually held multiple times a year, though the test dates are a bit unpredictable in recent years due to COVID-19’s development.

From 2023 onward, the digital SAT will be offered to international candidates. US-based candidates will still be offered the paper-based test until 2024.

Do note that the Digital SAT will also be adaptive – which means students will be given different questions depending on how they perform. Read below for more details.

About The Format Of The SAT (Digital)

This test consists of two main sections: Reading & Writing and Math. Each section is further divided into 2 modules, to be adapted to the student’s level.

  • Module 1 (Non-adaptive) consists of a mix of easy, medium and hard questions.
  • Module 2 (Adaptive) consists of an easier variant (mix of easy + medium questions) and a harder variant (mix of medium + hard questions)

Depends on your performance in Module 1, you will be served with either the easier variant or the harder variant in module 2.

Your score range is greatly affected by which module is served in your adaptive stage.

  • If you are served with the easier module 2, your score will be in the range of ~200-600.
  • If you are served with the harder module 2, your score will be in the range of ~600-800.

Thus, if you are aiming for a high SAT score, you should aim to get almost all correct for your first module.

SectionSub-sectionDurationNo. of QuestionsType
Reading & WritingModule 132 minutes27Non-Adaptive
Module 232 minutes27Adaptive
Break (10 minutes)
MathModule 135 minutes22Non-Adaptive
Module 235 minutes22Adaptive
Total144 minutes (including break)98

Reading & Writing

This section is split into two modules:

  • Module 1 (Non-adaptive): 27 questions
  • Module 2 (Adaptive): 27 questions

In total, the Reading & Writing section is composed of 54 multiple-choice questions and the time allocated is 64 minutes.

You will be tested on the following topics:

  • Craft and Structure
    • Words in Context
    • Text Structure and Purpose
    • Cross-Text Connections
  • Information and Ideas
    • Central Ideas and Details
    • Command of Evidence (Textual, Quantitative)
    • Inferences
  • Standard English Conventions
    • Boundaries
    • Form, Structure, and Sense
  • Expression of Ideas
    • Rhetorical Synthesis
    • Transitions

Source: Reading and Writing Section Question Distribution


Similar to the Reading & Writing section, this section is also split into two modules:

  • Module 1 (Non-adaptive): 22 questions
  • Module 2 (Adaptive): 22 questions

In total, the Math section is composed of 44 questions. 33 of which are multiple-choice questions and 11 are student-response questions, and the time allocated is 70 minutes.

You will be tested on the following topics:

  • Algebra
    • Linear equations in one variable /two variables
    • Linear functions
    • Systems of two linear equations in two variables
    • Linear inequalities in one/two variables
  • Advanced Math
    • Equivalent expressions
    • Nonlinear equations in one variable and systems of equations in two variables
    • Nonlinear functions
  • Problem-Solving and Data Analysis
    • Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units
    • Percentages
    • One-variable data: distributions and measures of center and spread
    • Two-variable data: models and scatterplots
    • Probability and conditional probability
    • Inference from sample statistics and margin of error
    • Evaluating statistical claims: observational studies and experiments
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
    • Area and volume
    • Lines, angles, and triangles
    • Right triangles and trigonometry
    • Circles

Source: Digital SAT Math Content Alignment

SAT Test Dates (For International Students)

From 2023 onwards, there will be seven SAT test dates for international students annually instead of five.

These test dates are typically scheduled on the 1st/2nd Saturday of the month. Here are the SAT test dates released for 2023 from College Board, do note that the deadlines expire at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, US.

It’s best to complete registration early once you’ve decided on your test date as seats tend to fill up way before the registration deadline.

SAT Test DatesRegistration DeadlineDeadline for Changes
March 11, 2023 February 24, 2023February 24, 2023
May 6, 2023April 21, 2023April 21, 2023
June 3, 2023May 19, 2023May 19, 2023
August 26, 2023August 11, 2023August 11, 2023
October 7, 2023September 22, 2023September 22, 2023
November 4, 2023October 20, 2023October 20, 2023
December 2, 2023November 17, 2023November 17, 2023

SAT Score Guide

The SAT does not focus on raw scores—i.e. the number of questions each student got correct. Instead, the SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600. The scaled scores allow for consideration of the difficulty of each test, as some tests might be harder than others. Hence, the raw scores are scaled to fit a normal distribution curve, and the scores of a student thus reflect on how he/she is compared with other students who have appeared for the test.

You’ll have one score for Math, on a 200-800 scale, and one score for Reading & Writing, also on a 200-800 scale.

What is considered a good SAT score then? The answer lies pretty much on which college you are applying to. Read our SAT score guide for more insights on this topic.

Should You Take The SAT Or The ACT?

Most universities accept both SAT scores and ACT scores — there is absolutely no added advantage in taking one test over the other. The purpose of both tests is similar – to have a standardized score to measure college readiness.

Thus, when deciding which test to take, students often want to know which one is ‘easier’. This is also a trap, as both tests are designed to be tricky in their own way. The bottom line is to take the test that you are more comfortable with, and can score better in. Read our break-down of the SAT and ACT for more information.

At Prep Zone, we recommend all students to take both a full-length diagnostic test for the SAT and ACT. After which, our trainers will review the student’s performance and recommend the appropriate test.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I cancel my SAT scores?

If you feel like you have performed poorly after finishing the test, you can cancel your scores immediately without waiting to get your results. Should you need some time to consider score cancellation after leaving the test centre, you have until the Thursday after your test to submit your request. However, take note that the cancellation form must either be physically mailed or faxed over. Furthermore, once your request to cancel scores has been submitted, your scores cannot be reinstated or reported to you.

How early should I register for the SAT?

The registration deadline is typically a month before the test date (e.g. a test on May 8 will have a registration deadline of April 8). To avoid disappointment, you are advised to register as early as possible to secure your preferred test date. Should you wish to change your test date later on, change fees are currently waived.

Related Article: SAT Test Dates

How early should I start my SAT preparation?

While most students start preparing for the SAT at least 3 months before their test date, you should attempt a diagnostic test as early as possible to get a gauge of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you are looking to do a diagnostic and also get some advice on how to move forward, Prep Zone offers a free diagnostic test. Depending on the discrepancy between your diagnostic score and desired score, a clearer timeline can be set on when to start formally preparing for the SAT. It is important to consider how much time you have per week to dedicate to SAT prep, as this will affect your prep timeline.

Can I use a calculator?

For the digital SAT, a built-in calculator is given alongside the test-taking application, to be used throughout the entire math section.

What are some good resources to use for prep?

The College Board offers 8 free full-length tests on their website for students to get a feel for what to expect on test day. These can either be downloaded from the College Board website or completed online on Khan Academy. The latter option will allow you to receive personalized practice recommendations to help you focus on weaker topics.

At Prep Zone, you will receive a copy of a Tutorverse book, which contains both topical practices and full-length passages and tests. In addition, our students will have access to comprehensive notes and materials and an additional 20+ practice tests to guide them in their SAT prep.

How important are my SAT scores?

While colleges and universities do consider multiple factors when making admissions decisions, your standardized test scores are still a crucial part of your application. These scores serve as a good benchmark for your academic ability, and higher scores mean you have more college options and scholarship opportunities. That being said, your high school transcript, GPA, personal essays, extracurriculars, and interviews are also considered alongside your SAT scores.

Register For A Trial Class Today!

With a comprehensive SAT course syllabus, flexible schedules and a team of veteran SAT trainers, Prep Zone Academy is proud to be one of Singapore’s best SAT training teams since 2006. Our training course is instrumental to helping many students achieve top SAT scores every year.

To see the Prep Zone difference for yourself, register for a trial class with our top trainers today. Simply fill in the form below and we will get in touch to schedule a suitable time slot. The trial lesson is available both online and in-person (Orchard).

Please note that all trial class slots are subjected to availability.

For further inquiries, call us at +65 6812 9999.


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