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SAT Exam guide: must for all 9th grade students and their parents


Exam is a highly prestigious undergraduate entrance exam for the universities in the USA and Canada, this is a true test of the clarity of thoughts of the aspirant, judging only on his language capabilities through reading, writing and essay and analytical skills through basic mathematics.

This is by far the best tool to select the most suitable candidate for scholarship schemes as well apart from the academics and extra-curricular activities the aspirant is involved in.


The American College board is the custodian of this exam, and they make sure that the exams are conducted in free and fair means throughout the world multiple times in a year.


Reading, and Writing. Few colleges also asks for a 50 minute essay so the College Board has given a choice to write an essay as part of the exam. The time duration is 3 hours for the multiple choice questions from English language and maths and 50 minutes for the optional essay.

SAT exam has 52 multiple choice questions in evidence based reading section on long paragraphs, these are to be attempted in 65 minutes. PRO TIP: Increase your reading speed to upto 350+ words per minute to be able to do it in given time with ease.

Score range from 100 to 400.

Then it has 44 writing and language questions to be done in 35 minutes, These are trick questions and mostly based on your vocabulary and command over the technical aspects of the language. PRO TIP: work on your vocabulary to take it to 5000 words in your class X, reading practice and inquisitiveness for new words can help.

Score range from 100 to 400.

Then we have two papers in mathematics, one to be solved without calculator and other one allows the use of calculator for quick calculations because they are more focused on your methods and answers than your calculation skills.

Maths without calculator has 20 questions to be solved in 25 minutes whereas maths with calculator has 38 questions to be solved in 55 minutes.

Score range from 200 to 800

Total (400-1600) 155 Questions



They use a matrix to do scoring, there are four difficulty levels and hence four probabilities to get your marks, if you get the difficulty level 1 exam, the markings are done at matrix level 4 and vice versa, the idea is to stay fair, tougher the exam lenient the markings.

Language marks are allotted from the correct attempted questions through the matrix then multiplied by 10 to get the final marks, these are then added together and finally  we get our total out of 800.

For mathematics, these correct answers are added and directly checked from the matrix values corresponding to the marks attained.




The syllabus is the regular school mathematics and language, but since most of the SAT aspirants are eyeing for the high scholarships, it is necessary to be good in academics throughout to score high in SAT as well.


Critical Reading:

SAT contains three sections in critical reading

  1. Reading comprehension
  2. Sentence completion
  3. Paragraphs
    • Analysis questions
    • Command of evidence questions
    • Words in context questions


Writing section

SAT contains three sections in writing as well

  1. Expression of ideas
  2. Standard English conventions
  3. Essay



SAT Mathematics, although is all upto class X as taught in India, but few topics are covered from class IX as well as few others are from commercial maths etc. which are very basic maths but are usually taught in higher classes or professional courses in India but in USA these are part of the regular school curriculum. Here are some additional topics those are not part of NCERT textbooks upto class X and needs some extra focus from the students who opted for humanities or commerce after class X.

  1. Functions (XI)
  2. Linear inequalities (XI)
  3. Modulas (XI)
  4. Commercial Maths (Applied Maths)

Other topics includes your regular arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics.



The average SAT score range stays around 1000, but anything above 1200 is considered good by most of the colleges and universities to offer admission. But since we, at Polaris, are focusing on 100% scholarship and eyeing for the top colleges, we prepare out students for perfect 1600 score.



The Ivy leagues are asking for 95% or higher throughout in your academics, consider class IX, X and XI and XII along with the SAT score of 1550 or higher, creative writing skills in your essay and your extracurricular that must be in the field of your aspiration, e.g. if you want to be a software engineer, your activities should better be learning software or designing applications, with proven record, similarly someone going for a music school should be creating music and have already done some good work to be eligible for good scholarship. And finally your community service will get you much needed push to sail through the process and get your Ivy league ticket.

The probability of admission are anyways high even if you score less than 1550 in SAT and not so great in academics, but the sure chances of getting a good scholarship diminishes as your grades falls.



All the metro cities and regional centers are conducting SAT exam viz Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad to name a few, you can check your nearest center on College board website while registering for the exam.



All the aspirants must register for the exam well in advance, the test are conducted multiple times in a year, you always get a change to improve, but please understand the time line well in advance to not miss the college admission deadline while still writing the SAT exam.


We strongly recommend the students who, can afford the test fee, to write the June exam during their summer vacations after completing their class XI. Check results and you have two more chances to improve, first in October and then in December.

Since most of the colleges closes the application forms by end of December, the students writing SAT in March or May are most likely to apply in the sprint admission calander.


Check for the exam dates on the college board website for all these months:


  • March
  • May
  • June
  • October
  • November
  • December


Please get in touch with Polaris for more information or clarification.