SAT 2020 Exam Guide

The Scholastic Assessment Test or SAT (earlier known as Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a standard test established for students looking for admission into undergraduate schools. This exam, conducted by the College Board, evaluates the candidate based on their written, verbal and mathematics skills and is chiefly for applicants wishing to pursue undergraduate courses mainly in the US and Canada. For admission to a particular course, the SAT subject tests evaluate the knowledge and understanding of that particular subject. These tests are offered for subjects like Literature, History, Mathematics, Sciences and Foreign Languages. READ: SAT Exam Pattern 2020

SAT Exam Latest Update

CORONAVIRUS ALERT: The May SAT exams have been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The students who were scheduled to appear for the Makeup exams on March 28th,2020 should note that it has been canceled. The students who registered for these exams will receive refunds from the College Board. The SAT testing opportunities will be opened as soon as it is feasible to arrange for the exams. The exam scheduled for June 6th,2020 has not been canceled. The College Board will share additional information and details about the SAT administration in the days to come.

Quite recently, the College Board introduced the SAT in India. In 2018, they established an India Higher Education Alliance with several academic institutions for students wishing to join the top educational institutes in India. Students from India and around the world can now apply to universities within the Alliance, based on their SAT scores

SAT Exam Highlights

Exam NameSAT
SAT full formScholastic Assessment Test
Official Website
Known forUndergraduate courses in the US and Canada
Also accepted byThe United Kingdom and Australia
Conducted byThe College Board
Mode of ExamWritten-based examination
SAT Fee$96.50 without the essay and $113.50 with essay
Score Range400-1600 points
SAT ContactThe College Board National Office
-250 Vesey Street
-New York, NY 10281
-Phone: 212-713-8000

Why do people take the SAT exam?

Students looking for admissions into undergraduate programs in the US appear for the SAT. Most of the colleges in the US need the SAT scores for admissions into Under Graduate courses. A lot of schools also offer SAT scholarships based on the SAT results.

Types of SAT

SAT 1 is a general test, taken by students seeking admission to undergraduate schools and it evaluates the written, verbal and mathematical skills of the candidates. 

SAT 2, on the other hand, is a subject-specific test taken by students looking for admissions to a particular course. The SAT Subject Test examines your knowledge of a particular subject. If you are confused about SAT1 vs SAT2, pick one that best suits your requirements.


Most of the colleges in the US either accept SAT or American College Testing (ACT) for admissions to their undergraduate programs. It is therefore important to understand the requirements of the college you are applying to. Verify the requirements and then pick the exam you have to give, either SAT or ACT. Some colleges accept both these scores and you may find this article to be useful.

SAT 2020 Eligibility

The College Board, the conducting body, has not set the SAT eligibility criteria for students wanting to appear for the SAT exam. Read: SAT Tips & Strategies

1. Age Limit to Appear for SAT

There is no minimum or maximum age criteria fixed to be eligible for the exam. Studies have shown that most students who appear for the SAT are within the age group of 17 to 19.

2. How many times can I appear for the SAT exams?

As in the case of ACT, there is no limit on the number of attempts for the SAT. It can be taken any number of times.

3. Is there any specific eligibility criteria for SAT with respect to education?

There are no eligibility criteria specified by the College Board. However, this exam is mainly for high school students, who want to apply for undergraduate studies abroad. Students have to complete their high school education to apply for undergraduate courses.

What skills does the SAT Exam test?

The Mathematical, Critical Reading and Writing skills of the candidates are tested in the SAT exam. These skills are needed for the academic success of the student in college and therefore it is these skills that are evaluated in SAT.

SAT 2020 Registration

Students wanting to appear for the SAT are required to register themselves first. To register for SAT, both online methods and offline methods via mail are available. In the online method, candidates have to first create a login id on the official SAT website and then proceed with the registration process.

Online Registration (Steps)

  1. Go to the College Board official website.
  2. Create your account.
  3. Enter all the required details.
  4. Choose the exam and your nearest test centre.
  5. Upload a clear photograph of yourself
  6. Pay the application fee.

Registration by Mail (Steps)

  1. Refer to ‘The Student Registration Guide for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests’, which is available at most schools.
  2. The guide contains a registration form and a return envelope.
  3. The filled-in form has to be sent along with a demand draft.
  4. The USIEF is the local representative of SAT in India. The mailed forms will be sent to their regional office.

Read more: SAT Exam Registration

SAT Slot Booking

Since SAT Test Centers only have a limited number of seats, it is better to book your slot in advance to avoid any last-minute difficulties.

How to Cancel SAT Exam?

Irrespective of how early you cancel your SAT exam, you will not get a full refund on the fees paid. A refund of $10 will be given if the test is canceled five days in advance. 

How to Postpone or Reschedule SAT Exam Date?

For an extra fee of $30, the SAT exam date change can be done. This can be done from your SAT account by sending a date change request.

SAT Admission Ticket

After successful registration, you must download the SAT Admission Ticket from the official website. Remember to verify the details mentioned in the admission ticket and get the mistakes rectified at the earliest.

SAT Exam Fees

 Here is a detailed description of the SAT Fee levied.

  • For taking only the SAT exam, the fee is $47.50 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee.
  • Non-U.S. Regional Fee for students giving SAT Test in India is $49, so the total SAT fee is $96.50
  • For the SAT exam with Essay, the fee is $64.50 + Non-U.S. Regional Fee. So, the total fee for the SAT exam with Essay is $64.50 + $49 = $113.50
  • For subject tests, an additional $26 as a basic subject test fee is charged
  • For SAT subject tests, some additional fee might be required

SAT Cancelation Fees

Canceling your SAT Registration is quite a costly affair as you only get a refund of $10 irrespective of the type of SAT exam opted for. Cancellations are accepted until a maximum of five days before the test date. It is recommended to opt for rescheduling the exam than to cancel the exam itself.

SAT Rescheduling Fees

Candidates who want to change their SAT Test Centre or SAT Test Date or change between SAT and SAT Subject Tests have to pay an extra $30. The rescheduling fees charged are as under:

Date/Test Centre Change Fee$30
Late Registration Fee$30
Register by Phone$15
Waitlist Fee$53

How to get fee-waiver for SAT?

Students in 11th and 12th grades in the US or US territories are eligible for SAT Fee Waiver. Non-resident US Citizens are also eligible for fee waivers. However, the SAT Subject Test fee waivers are available for students in grades from 9-12.

SAT Scholarships

One of the biggest challenges of studying abroad is the high cost of living and the tuition fees to be paid in foreign currency. Due to these reasons, not many can afford to study abroad and they prefer to settle for a much cheaper alternative. However, now there are plenty of scholarships a student can choose from. The details of the Scholarship are mentioned on the official website of every college along with other fellowships and grants awarded to deserving students regularly. Students can avail education loans from financial institutions for studying abroad.

SAT 2020 Exam Dates

The SAT is of two types – SAT General and SAT Subject Tests. Candidates are advised to register for their SAT exam well before the SAT registration deadline. The table contains the test dates for the SAT General Test and SAT Subject Test.

Test DateTest AvailableSAT Registration Deadline
March 14, 2020SAT TestFebruary 14, 2020
May 2, 2020-SAT Test
-SAT Subject Test
April 3, 2020
June 6, 2020SAT Subject Testn/a

When is the right time to give my SAT exam?

The SAT Exam is conducted several times a year. It is recommended to pick an exam date 3-4 months before their application deadline, to avoid last-minute challenges. Candidates can choose from the various SAT Test Centers located across major cities in India.

SAT 2020 Syllabus

The SAT syllabus is based on the courses studied in school. The preparations for the SAT should be simple for students who are proficient in school. The syllabus includes:

Writing Section

  • SAT writing has three sections
  • Essay section – 25 mins
  • Multiple choice sections – 25 mins and 10 mins

Critical Reading Section

  • SAT contains three critical reading sections
  • Reading comprehension – 25 mins
  • Sentence completions – 25 mins
  • Paragraph-length critical reading – 20 mins

Math Section

  • SAT contains three Math sections
  • Algebra and functions – 25 mins
  • Geometry Statistics – 20 mins
  • Probability and Data analysis – 20 mins

SAT Exam Pattern

  • Total: 154 Questions
  • Duration: 3Hrs with 50 minutes of extra time for Essay (optional)
  • Total Score: 1600

Read more: SAT Exam Syllabus

SAT Scores

The SAT exam is divided into two sections- Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. These two sections marked against a 200-800-point scale, with a maximum score of 1600. On the other hand, SAT Subject Test scores are measured on a scale of 200 to 800. Apart from this, there are also additional subscores reported on a 20-80 scale. The scores of a student are in comparison with other students who took the exam. Visit SAT Score Reporting for a detailed understanding of how scores are calculated in the SAT.

SAT Score Range: What is a Good SAT Score required for Colleges?

An average SAT score is close to 1000. Any score over 1200 is seen as a good SAT score. The maximum score in SAT is a perfect score of 1600. Since the candidate receives his scaled scores, a good understanding of the SAT scaled scores and percentiles is necessary. For a detailed understanding of What a good SAT Score is: read the following.

How to Send SAT Scores to Colleges?

There are two ways to send SAT scores to colleges – i) at the time of registration ii) after the official scores are released. Candidates are given four free Score Reports while registering for the SAT test. The SAT scores can be sent up to nine days of taking the test after which a fee of $12 is applicable for every university/program they choose.

Fee Waivers during SAT Score Reporting to Colleges

The College Board offers SAT fee waivers/scholarships for students from economically weaker sections and low-income families. These allow a student to send his/her SAT score to the colleges of their choice for free of cost. However, the eligibility criteria are subject to regular changes. You can always get in touch with the College Board representative or read about the criteria on their website and apply accordingly.

Sending SAT Scores: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Log into your College Board account
  2. Look for the option ‘Send Scores’.
  3. Choose ‘Send Available Scores Now’ (for sending scores immediately) or click on ‘Send Scores When Available’ (if scores are yet to be declared or you are yet to sit for the exam)
  4. Add recipients by choosing your shortlisted colleges. You can search for them by giving the name of the college and the state name.
  5. Verify all the recipients and personal details, and then pay the final amount

SAT Score Validity Period

The SAT scores are valid for 5 years unless there are modifications in the SAT criteria. Most candidates do not wait for so long instead they take new tests and apply to the desired colleges. An additional copy of the scorecards can also be obtained for a sum of $ 9 (433.224 INR).

SAT Score Verification

In SAT Score verification process, your entire score is reevaluated and the sections are rechecked. You can opt for this option if you are not satisfied with the scores or if you got less than what you expected. Sometimes, your essay may be illegible or blank when viewed online. In such cases too, the expected SAT score can be less. There are three options under SAT score verification:

  • Multiple-choice hand score verification
  • Essay score verification
  • Multiple-choice and essay score

You should submit the verification request within five months from the SAT test date. Carefully read through all the instructions given in the verification form and then pay the applicable verification fees. The fees are reduced for students with a fee waiver. You will get a letter with the new scores within five weeks of submission of the request. Your verification fees will be refunded in case of changes in the SAT score due to irregularities in the scoring or scanning process.

SAT Score Cancellation

If you ever feel the need to cancel your SAT scores, here’s how you can choose to do it:

  1. At the test centre: You can cancel your test right at the Exam centre, in case you feel that you did not perform well. You can fill in the ‘Request to Cancel Test Scores’ form and submit it to the Exam Supervisor. You have to ensure to submit this before you leave the test centre.
  1. At home: If you have second thoughts about your performance after you reach home, you can still cancel your test, but you need to submit it by 11:59 PM (IST) of a Wednesday after the test date. You can submit your cancellation request by filling up the ‘Request to Cancel Test Scores’ from the College Board website and send it via mail/fax.

Here are the details for Fax and over-night mail service:

  • Fax: (610) 290-8978
  • Overnight U.S. Postal Service Express Mail (the US only): SAT Score Cancellation, P.O. Box 6228, Princeton, NJ 08541-6228
  • Overnight mail service or courier (US or international): SAT Score Cancellation, 1425 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ 08618, USA

SAT Result

The SAT is scored for a total of 2400 (from 600 to 2400) and your score is available for three weeks after the exam. Subject wise scores range from 200 -800, with 200 being the minimum and 800 the maximum score. Colleges have an established selection criterion for admission based on scores.

Here is how you can access your SAT Results

  • Click on ‘My Organizer’ after login
  • Select the ‘SAT scores option on the left side panel
  • Click on ‘Access My Scores’
  • Enter your registered username and password
  • Scroll down to see the option ‘My Test Scores’

SAT Cut-Off

The College Board does not set any SAT cut-offs for students. Most top colleges/ universities do not keep any specific cut-offs, instead, candidates are expected to fall within a certain range. However, there are exceptions. Know more about SAT Results and Scores 2020.

Countries accepting SAT Score

The SAT Exam is accepted in several universities worldwide and each university follows a different selection criterion. The SAT is quite popular for undergraduate courses in the USA and Canada. The scores are also accepted by a few colleges in the UK and Australia. Check out the countries accepting SAT Score.

Colleges accepting SAT Score

As discussed, the SAT Exam is mainly for admission into undergraduate courses in universities all over the world.

SAT 2020 Preparation Tips

Candidates with a good SAT score are generally good readers and have a good command over the English language and have good practice solving multiple questions in a short period. As the SAT is quite similar to the other exams, students can either choose the option of self-study or attend coaching classes for preparations.

A self-study is a good option but you need to be well motivated and self-disciplined. And it is a cheaper alternative to attending coaching classes. However, if you prefer a classroom environment, then joining a coaching institute makes sense. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to study, pick an option that best suits your needs.

Here is the detailed information on SAT 2020 Preparation Tips

What are the best books to prepare from for SAT Exam 2020?

No matter if you prefer self-study or coaching institutes, you still need a few of the best books to prepare for the SAT Exam 2020. These sets will help you cover the entire syllabus and give you ample practice materials. Using these materials will also help you gauge your level of preparation.

SAT Question Paper / Sample Paper

Practicing from SAT Sample papers is a good way to prepare well for the exam. Not only will you be able to evaluate your performance but this will also equip you for the exam day. 

SAT Test Centers

The SAT is conducted at most major cities across India –close to 50 institutes, across 30 major cities in India. To find the nearest SAT test centre, view the entire list of SAT Test Centers, here. 

SAT Exam Day Tips

Reach your exam centre well on time so that you have enough time to calm yourself down before you enter the examination hall.

Read through SAT Exam Day Tips to be well prepared for the exam day.

Also read: SAT Exam Redesign 2016

Important FAQs regarding SAT

Go through the detailed SAT-based FAQs for your understanding.

Q. For how long is my SAT score valid?

A. The SAT score is valid for 5 years, from the date the SAT Results are declared.

Q. Can I apply for the SAT exam after 12th?

A. There is no specific age limit to be eligible for the SAT exam. However, as the SAT is for admission to undergraduate programs, it is recommended to appear for SAT while in standard 11 or 12.

Q. Is the SAT examination conducted in the US and Asia the same?

A. Both, the SAT exams are the same They are conducted in English and have the same number of questions. However, The College Board uses different versions of the same test is administered in a single day.

Q. Do Indian colleges accept admissions based on the SAT scores?

A. Indian Universities affiliated with the India Higher Education Alliance, accept the SAT scores for admissions. To view the list of the Indian academic universities accepting SAT scores, click here.

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