THE SAT | How to Prepare

What is the SAT Exam?

The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student’s readiness for further education. Depending on where you apply, your SAT score can account to as much as 50% of the admissions decision.

What does the SAT Exam consist of?

There are four sections in the exam, as well as an optional essay. These sections consist of; Reading, Writing, Maths (No Calculator) & Maths (with Calculator). The total duration of the SAT exam is 3 hours, however if you opt in to do the additional essay, it is 3 hours 40 minutes. Not to worry though, they do offer a 5-minute break for every hour of testing.

The SAT Exam Breakdown:







65 minutes



Writing & Language

35 minutes



Math (No Calculator)

25 minutes



Math (Calculator)

55 minutes



Essay (Optional)

50 minutes


When you take the SAT, you’ll be given a total score between 400 and 1600. The average SAT Score is 1068, however, what counts as a good score for you, will depend on where you are looking to apply.  The higher your score is; the more options will be available to you!

It's also useful to remember that you can take the SAT exam more than once if you feel like you need to improve your score!

How to Prepare for the SAT:

A good thing to remember is that the more you want to improve, the more work you have to put into preparing for the exam.

Here are some of our tips in preparing for the SAT:

  • Create a study schedule that you are able to follow, being realistic about when and where you will be able to revise.
  • Become familiar with the test, the wording and style of questions asked may differ to what you are used to. It is important to sit the exam knowing what to expect!
  • Use a wide range of materials, you should look for websites and books that focus on specific areas of the SAT.
  • Remember to do the practice tests that are available online, as it is this way you can see where improvement might be needed.

Preparing for the SAT can be a stressful time, but don’t forget First Point are here to help!

This post was tagged in: college, sat, school, study, university, exam, america, prepare, academics, tips, help

Molly McKay
Molly McKay
Social Media Executive

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