What is the SAT?

The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions to undergraduate courses in the United States It gauges your critical thinking skills you will need for academic success in college and assesses how well you analyze and solve problems.

The current SAT Reasoning Test is administered in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. It has a validity of five years although most good colleges prefer recent scores that are not more than 2 years old.

SAT consists of three major sections : Mathematics, Critical Reading and writing There is one more experimental section which can be if either type and will be known to the students.

Critical Reading
  • Two 25 minute sections
  • One 20 minute section
  • Sentence completion
  • Reading Comprehension (short & long passages)
  • Two 25 minute sections
  • One 10 minute section
  • Multiple Choice
  • Grid-Ins (no answer choices & you
    must figure the answer on your own)
  • One 25-minute essay
    (always the first section)
  • One 25-minute section
  • One 10-minute Section
    (always the last section)
  • Error Identification
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Paragraph Improvement
  • One 25 minute section
  • Can be Critical Reading, Math,
    or Writing
  • Does not count toward score

Each section received a score on the scale of 200-800. Total scores are calculated by adding up scores of the three sections and hence can range from 600 to 2400. Your scores tell college admission staff what you did compared with other students who took the test.

Average SAT takers
Critical Reading

Generally speaking, scoring close to the mean (average)—about 500 on critical reading, mathematics & writing respectively tells you that you scored as well as about half of the students who took the test. Each institution will have its own range of scores that it considers good fit for its students.

An average score is acceptable for most colleges and universities. However, some of the top colleges will expect you to achieve a SAT score of 2,100 or more. Generally a score above 2,100 puts you in the 90- percentile, meaning that you scored better on the test than 90% of test-takers.

There are no official benchmarks given by the colleges as to what the minimum SAT score should be but some unofficial estimates of the SAT score required at various colleges have been compiled for your preparation.


Harvard University
2200 or above
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2200 or above
Princeton University
2200 or above
Rice University
2200 or above
Stanford University
2200 or above
University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)
2050 or above
University of southern California (USC)
2050 or above
New York University (NW)
1950 or above
University of Colorado-Boulder
1850 or above
University of Texas-Austin
1850 or above
University of Houston
1850 or above

The SAT Subject Tests (or popularly known as SAT IIs) is the collective name for twenty multiple-choice standardized tests given on individual subjects. A student typically chooses which tests to take depending upon college entrance requirements for the colleges to which he or she is planning to apply. Every test is now a one-hour time test.

SAT subject tests relevant for engineering aspirants:

  • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1
  • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics level 2
  • SAT Subject Test in Chemistry
  • SAT Subject Test in Physics

Average (mean) SAT takers in SAT Subject Tests

Mathematics Level 1: 596
Chemistry : 630
Mathematics Level 2 : 639
Physics : 647

Why should I appear for the SAT?

If you dream of doing your B.Tech / B.E. from a US University / Colleges, SAT is almost always essential as a key admission criterion. While universities also demand your credentials at school level and letters of recommendation from your school teachers, there might be differences in assessment in various schools in different countries. SAT provides the universities a standardized score.

Most selective colleges recommend applicants to submit scores for any two SAT Subject tests. Engineering colleges typically require Chemistry or Physics and prefer Math Level 2. A handful of the most competitive colleges, such as MIT, Harvard University and Princeton University, still require three Subject tests in addition to the three sections of the SAT. It is important to consult the colleges' websites to find out more information about subject test requirements. Remember, your scores are not the only information colleges use in their admission decisions They may also consider your high school record, essays, recommendations, interviews, and extracurricular activities.


Other than being required for admission to US universities, the SAT is important for the following reasons :

  • Many scholarships require a minimum SAT score
  • Many universities, especially state universities, will offer academic scholarships for students with a certain GPA and a minimum SAT score.
  • The SAT is a great way to set you apart from the college admissions crowd. Having a high SAT score will allow you to separate out from the thousands of other people applying to college.

Why to pursue an engineering career in the US?

  • Better, latest & most advanced research facilities.
  • Emphasis given to all round personality development along with college studies.
  • Application based teaching—Concepts & methods taught are practical and relevant to the industry.
  • More opportunities for research, higher studies or jobs.

When and where is the SAT conducted?

The SAT is offered six times a year in India, in October, November, December, January, May and June. The test is typically offered on the first Saturday of the month. For exact dates please refer Candidates may either take the SAT Reasoning Test or up to three SAT Subject Tests on any given test date.

Candidates wishing to take the test may register online at the College Board's website:// by mail. To register by mail, you need a SAT Registration Booklet, which is available at your school counselor's office. The Registration Form and return envelope are included in the SAT Registration Booklet. For more details students can contact US Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) or visit their website In India, SAT is conducted at the following cities : Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kodaikanal, Kolkata, Mumbai, Mussoorie, New Delhi and Pune.

The SAT Reasoning Test costs Rs. 3600 (approx.) if you are appearing for it in India ($43 for a US student). For the SAT Subject tests, students pay a Basic Registration Fee of Rs. 800 (appprox.) and Rs. 320 (approx.) per test.

Students receive their online score report approximately three weeks after administration of the test (six weeks for mailed, paper scores). When & how should I start preparing for the SAT?

Because the SAT is the most important test for college admissions in the US, it is always best to start preparing as early as possible. This allows more preparation time to achieve score goals.

Most good colleges require the students to send in their applications with Sat scores by November / December of their class XII year. This implies that a student should appear for the October or November. Ideally a student should appear for the May /June SAT so that they have sufficient time to complete their college applications including essays, recommendations & transcripts from teachers, filling up of forms etc. This means a student should start the actual SAT preparation before the beginning of class XI as there are no distractions such as school homework, projects, exams or any other school activities. In fact, to develop a strong foundation a student should start clearing the basic fundamentals from class IX & X itself as most of the questionsare based on the concepts taught in IX & X. To help students excel in SAT, MASTERJEE has various programs available depending on which class the student is studying in.