How To Prepare for The SAT

Preparing for the SAT involves familiarising oneself with the test content, honing skills through practice with sample questions and mastering effective test-taking strategies. The SAT assesses critical reading, writing, and mathematical abilities. To excel, candidates should immerse themselves in reading diverse texts, practising grammar and vocabulary, and refining mathematical concepts. Regular timed practice tests aid in familiarising with the format and pacing. Effective strategies include time management, skimming passages for key information, and eliminating incorrect answer choices. Moreover, seeking guidance from tutors or utilising online resources can provide invaluable support in achieving optimal performance on the SAT.

How long does the SAT take?

The digital SAT consists of two sections: Math and Reading and Writing. Students are allocated 64 minutes to complete the Reading and Writing section, which consists of two 32-minute modules, and 70 minutes to complete the Math section, comprising two 35-minute modules. It totals 2 hours and 14 minutes.

What subjects are on the SAT?


The Reading, Writing, and Math sections are each split into two modules of equal length, with a 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing section and the Math section. The initial module of each section comprises a varied mix of easy, medium, and difficult questions. Depending on students' performance in the first module, the difficulty level of the second module will be adjusted accordingly.


Most of the questions are in multiple-choice format, although some of the math questions require you to input the answer rather than select it.


There is no penalty for guessing on any questions; if you are unsure of the answer, it is preferable to make an educated guess rather than leaving the response blank.

What is a good SAT score?

A good SAT score typically falls within the range of 1200 to 1600. The Scholastic Assessment Test is a standardised test widely used in the United States for college admissions. It consists of two main sections: Reading/Writing and Math. Each section is scored from 200 to 800 points, with a maximum total score of 1600.


In addition to the main sections, there is an optional essay component. The SAT Essay is scored separately on a scale of 2 to 8 points, with a maximum score of 24. While the essay score is not included in the overall SAT score, it can still be an important factor for some colleges, particularly those that require or recommend it.


Ultimately, what constitutes a "good" SAT score depends on the specific colleges or universities to which you're applying. Different institutions have different average score expectations, and some may place more emphasis on certain sections over others. It's essential to research the average SAT scores of the schools you're interested in to gauge where your scores stand in comparison. Additionally, factors such as your academic background, extracurricular activities, and personal achievements also play a role in the college admissions process.

How to check SAT scores?

After completing the test, the College Board's team scans the answer sheets and subsequently notifies students of their scores. If you've registered for the SAT online or through the mail but have created a personal account on the College Board, you'll receive an email containing detailed instructions on accessing your online score report once scores become available.


Students who haven't set up online accounts will receive paper score reports. Alternatively, if desired, SAT scores can be obtained via phone, albeit incurring an additional fee.


Your score report comprises your total score alongside a comprehensive breakdown of scores for each section. Furthermore, it illustrates how your scores compare with those of other test-takers – the higher your score, the more favourable your results relative to others.


However, your primary concern lies in determining the SAT's highest score pertinent to your preferred college. You could use the BigFuture for the college score comparisons.

How many times can you take the SAT?

There is no set limit to the number of times one can take the SAT. Candidates are permitted to retake the exam multiple times without restrictions. Engaging in early preparation significantly enhances the likelihood of improvement with each attempt. This flexibility allows individuals to strive for their best score increasing their prospects for admission to their desired academic institutions.

SAT Digital 2024 Preparation Tips

Early SAT Preparation

Begin your SAT preparation well in advance to allow ample time for studying and practice.

Early preparation helps in familiarising yourself with the exam format and content, reducing last-minute stress.


SAT Exam study plan

Develop a structured study plan which outlines what topics you need to cover and when.

Allocate specific time slots for each section of the SAT, focusing on your weaker areas while revising strong ones.


More Attention in Class for SAT Prep

Actively engage in your school classes, as the material covered often overlaps with SAT content.

Take thorough notes and clarify doubts during class to strengthen your understanding of key concepts.


Practice & Practice to Crack SAT

Regularly practise with official SAT practice tests to become familiar with the exam format and timing.

Analyse your performance to identify areas for improvement and adjust your study plan accordingly.

Utilise resources such as SAT prep books, online courses, and tutoring to enhance your skills and confidence.

SAT 2023 Preparation Strategy

SAT Preparation Tips for Reading and Writing Section Tips


This section encompasses reading and writing and consists of approximately 54 multiple-choice questions. It evaluates understanding in areas such as Craft & Structure, Information & Ideas, Standard English Conventions, and Expression of Ideas. To excel in the SAT exam, consider the following preparation tips for the Reading and Writing (RW) Section:


  • Carefully peruse the passage to locate answers.

  • Employ reasoning to substantiate conclusions drawn from the passage.

  • Ensure that answers are derived solely from the passage.

  • Utilise time judiciously by attempting the maximum number of questions from one passage before moving on.

  • Emphasise facts, ideas, details, and perspectives presented in the passage.

  • Recognise that passages may involve identifying errors or comprehending the theme.

  • Given the time constraints, consider answering questions while reading the passage, potentially skimming if necessary.

  • Read the first question, then the corresponding paragraph to find the answer.

  • Scrutinise questions thoroughly to discern the requirements for answering.

  • Each question is structured to assess grammar, word choice, and sentence structure.


SAT Preparation Tips for Maths Section


The Maths section of the SAT, comprising 44 questions, of which 33 are multiple-choice and 11 require independent answers, is the subsequent component. It encompasses Algebra and Functions, Geometry, Statistics and Probability, and Data Analysis. In this section, candidates may use a calculator for both parts. Here are tips for preparing for the SAT Maths section:


  • Enhance speed and accuracy in the Maths section.

  • Select a reputable Maths SAT preparation book and solve as many questions as possible.

  • Proficiency in problem-solving with efficiency and precision is measured in the Maths section.

  • Acquire an understanding of mathematical concepts, principles, and relationships.

  • Occasionally, identifying incorrect answers may be more advantageous than selecting the correct one, potentially saving time.

  • Familiarise yourself with formulas as these questions may pertain to graphs, linear equations, or solution analysis.

  • As there is no penalty for incorrect answers in the SAT, endeavour to answer as many questions as feasible.


These SAT preparation tips can benefit those committed to their SAT readiness, adopting a step-by-step approach to mastery. It's not mandatory to prepare for the SAT section by section; instead, individuals can commence from areas where they perceive weaknesses. The key is to establish an SAT preparation strategy and adhere to it consistently.

SAT Top Preparation Books 2024

Self Study: With a wealth of prep books, mobile apps, and online resources available, many students choose to prepare for the test independently. This method offers convenience and flexibility, allowing individuals to tailor their study schedule according to their preferences. Moreover, it is economical as there are many free preparatory materials. However, maintaining motivation and accurately assessing one's strengths and weaknesses can pose challenges without external guidance.


Online Programmes: Investing in a reputable online SAT preparation programme can yield significant benefits, particularly if the content is tailored to the individual's needs. However, due to the relatively recent emergence of online SAT prep, identifying a high-quality programme may prove challenging. It is imperative to research the offerings to ensure value for money thoroughly.


Preparation Courses: Participating in a structured SAT preparation course can provide the necessary accountability and support for those struggling with motivation. Nonetheless, such courses may lack the level of personalisation required by some individuals and tend to be more costly.


Private Tuition: Engaging a professional SAT tutor can be immensely valuable. Tutors are adept at devising personalised study plans based on the student's current abilities and target scores. Moreover, they play a crucial role in maintaining motivation throughout the preparation process.



SAT Reading & Writing Section Best Books:

For those aiming to excel in the SAT Reading & Writing section, immersing oneself in classical novels, literature, and unabridged books is invaluable. Not only does this practice enhance reading speed, but it also fosters a deeper understanding of contextual nuances within passages. 

A highly recommended resource is "The Critical Reader: The Complete Guide to SAT Reading, 3rd Edition."


SAT Math Section Best Books:

Similarly, for the SAT Math section, grasping conceptual clarity through high school textbooks is indispensable. 

Supplementing this with problem-solving resources such as "500 New SAT Math Problems" by Dr. Steve Warner and 

"800 Math Workbook New Edition" by Dr. Jang's SAT can significantly bolster preparation.


In addition to these recommended materials, students should explore further resources that align with their learning styles and available study time. By tailoring their approach to their existing knowledge base and schedule, students can maximise their readiness 


To excel in the SAT, focus on mastering the subjects tested, utilise practice tests for skill refinement, manage your time effectively during the exam, and implement stress reduction techniques. This holistic approach enhances subject proficiency, sharpens test-taking abilities, optimises time allocation, and cultivates a calm mindset for success on the SAT.

Who needs to give the SAT?

Karan gupta consulting

Top Universities in the US

Even if there may be some options for students who are not planning to give the SAT, if you want to study at a well-ranked university like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and University of California, the SAT is indispensable. Find more about studying in the US here.​

Karan gupta consulting

Top Universities in the Canada

Similar to the US, there may be a few universities in Canada which can allow you to apply for a bachelors program without the SAT but if you want to enrol at the best universities in the country like the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia or McGill University, a good SAT score is required. Find more about studying in Canada here.

Karan gupta consulting

Top Universities in the Singapore

Like the US, most bachelors programs in Singapore under NUS, SIM, or Nanyang University require SAT as a part of their application requirements. Find more about studying in Singapore here.


1600 is the highest score on the SAT that you can score.

You should ideally study for at least 3- 4 months. This depends on your ability to grasp information and the time you can dedicate to studying and practicing. 

This depends on your preferences but the Math section where you can’t use the calculator can be challenging to many people.

chat close Book an Appointment
Karan Gupta Whatsapp