Table of Contents


What is the SAT?


SAT Contents


How to Prepare for the SAT

What is the SAT?

Are you interested in continuing your studies at a university in the United States? If so, most institutions in the US will require you to submit an SAT or ACT score as a component of your application. Additionally, many institutions outside of the US are accepting SAT scores as part of their application process. Since there is so much variability in testing requirements across all institutions, you need to check all of the universities that you are interested in applying to first! For those of you who are already familiar with the SAT, consider checking this blog instead where we dig into the differences between the SAT and ACT.

The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is one of the major tests in the US that is used to evaluate academic ability. You can retake the SAT as many times as you like, and you can take the test in most countries and territories around the world, not just in the US. Before registering for the SAT, you need to carefully check what policy the institution you are applying to has on test scores. For most institutions, they just require you to send your highest scores. However, some institutions require you to send ALL of your test scores, including your lowest ones. There are also some institutions that allow you to super score your SAT scores. Superscoring means that the institution will take the highest section score of all taken tests to make the highest possible score for your application. Lastly, the institution of your choice might require you to add the essay section to your SAT. 

Regardless of what scoring policy the institution may have, your SAT score alone is not the deciding factor in the college admissions process. Rather, your application is viewed as a whole taking into account your high school grades, extracurricular activities, and the essays required by the university. It is important to continue putting effort into your schoolwork and extracurricular activities. However, if your grades or extracurricular participation are not the most attractive component of your application, the SAT might be a good opportunity to make up those weak points and make your application stronger. 

For more information on the SAT, please visit the College Board’s official website here!

SAT Exam Content

table of SAT breakdown

The SAT has two sections, Reading & Writing and Math, with a total score of 1600 (each section has a maximum possible score of 800). The entire Reading & Writing section and most of the Math section are multiple-choice questions. You are to choose one answer out of four possible answers for all of the multiple-choice questions. In addition to multiple-choice questions, the Math section has student-produced response questions where you must write your answers as opposed to selecting an answer. 

It is important to note that when taking the SAT, the easy questions appear at the beginning and gradually get harder as you progress in the exam. Additionally, the SAT uses advanced English vocabulary, so familiarizing yourself with these more complex words will help you read faster and comprehend the material better. By setting aside ample time to prepare for the SAT, you’ll be able to overcome these obstacles and get a high score.

How to Prepare for the SAT 

Unlike English Language Proficiency Tests such as the TOEFL, the SAT is not designed to measure English proficiency. Rather, it is a test to measure academic ability, so if you take the time to properly prepare for it, a high score is definitely possible. Studying for the SAT varies from person to person, but we recommend that you spend at least 1-2 years preparing for it. American high school students also spend around the same length of time preparing for the SAT. You can also consider taking a free SAT lesson with us to see if SAT tutoring is beneficial for you by clicking here.

With that said, here is a simple 3-step guide to prepare for the SAT!

Step 1: Check the average SAT score of accepted students in the university of your choice. 

For some of you, you might not have that one university you are set on attending, and that is completely fine. However long that list is, look around and find out what the average SAT score is for accepted students. A good place to start checking would be the school websites. Once you find that number, that should give you an idea of what score you should be aiming for on the SAT. 

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the SAT format

In order to achieve your target score, you must familiarize yourself with the test format. SAT practice tests or practice problems are a good place to start. By familiarizing yourself with the test format and the types of questions you will be asked, you can spend less time on each question and increase your percentage of correct answers. You might also want to consider getting an SAT preparation book so that you can have more practice learning the pattern of the questions and just get a better feel for the test itself. Also, if you are just beginning to prepare for the SAT, focusing on quantity over quality is more important to steadily improve your score. The secret is just spending a lot of time preparing for the exam. 

Step 3: Overcome your weak points!

After you have solved a lot of questions and have a good understanding of the format and types of questions, you can then begin to focus on your weak points. For example, Japanese students tend to get high scores on the Math section of the SAT because it is the same content they learn up to their third year of junior high school. However, they often get lower scores in the Reading & Writing section. In order to get a high score, it is necessary to know what kinds of questions you are making mistakes on, understand why you are getting them wrong, and solve similar problems repeatedly.

By following those 3 steps and with enough time, you will be prepared for the SAT. Of course, there are many more detailed strategies to prepare for the SAT, but that can be explained in great detail in a different article. 

Here at DIG International, we help every student, just like you, prepare for the SAT and many other standardized tests. Our staff will develop and propose courses that meet your level and goals. However, don’t just listen to us, consider reading experiences from our own students here. Also, you can always sign up for a free lesson here before deciding to commit to us.

***Please see our website here for all of the preparatory services that we provide!