Doing well on the SAT is an important step in the process of applying to a university in the United States. Juniors and seniors often take the SAT more than three times in order to achieve their target score and be admitted to their dream university. Though this four-hour test can be daunting especially for international students, lots of resources are available to help students prepare for and take this exam in their home country.
The SAT is a standardized exam which US universities use to assess applicants. The exam is paper-based and tests students in three main areas: reading, writing and math. The SAT Reading section has 52 questions and a time limit of 65 minutes. The SAT Writing and Language section is made up of one section with 44 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 35 minutes. The mathematics portion of the SAT is divided into two sections: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator. In total, the SAT math test is 80 minutes long and includes 58 questions: 45 multiple choice questions and 13 grid-in questions. Finally, there is an optional Essay section that some but not all colleges require. The Essay section is 50 minutes long and allows students to show their writing, reading, analysis skills to prospective colleges.1 More information about what is inside the test can be found on the College Board website at https://goo.gl/7NmmNk. Rather than assessing the content that a student knows, the SAT evaluates how well the student analyzes information and the problem solving skills that should be learned in high school. Furthermore, SAT scores are known to be reliable predictors for student success at the university level.
This exam is globally recognized and is offered internationally in October, December, March, and May. In Lima, Peru, the SAT is offered at three different locations throughout the city: at Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt in La Molina, and at Markham College and the International Christian School of Lima in Miraflores. Students can register online for the exam by creating an account on the College Board website (https://www.collegeboard.org/) and choosing an open test center for the date they plan to take the exam. The College Board website is a useful tool which tells students and parents about the breakdown of the test, reminds test-takers of what to bring on test day, and offers practice tests and daily test questions to help students familiarize themselves with the exam form. A month after the test, students will receive their scores via email and their Collegeboard account. Finally, through the College Board website, students can send their official scores to their prospective universities.
By Maria Panaggio Guidance Counselor at ICS-Lima
1“Inside the Test.” SAT Suite of Assessments, CollegeBoard, 31 Jan. 2017, collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/inside-the-test.