The sat is not a test of intelligence, it's really just a test of endurance. This is sat stands for scholastic assessment tests and it used to be called the scholastic aptitude test just for clarification. So a very quick brief we're just gonna go through the five w's push-off exactly who what when where why and how is the sat. Then we're going to talk a little bit about the best books best practices how to prepare for sat, how to create a study plan.

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The sat should be taken by anybody who is interested in applying to the us or canada for college, not every college requires it but a lot of colleges require the sat or the act which is an alternative option. The sat as you can tell from the name is a standardized test. It basically tests your aptitude for English both in terms of writing and critical reading as well as basic high school level math. What it is not is a test of intelligence, the sat is not a test of intelligence. it's really just a test of endurance and aptitude. What I mean by that is the more you practice and the more you familiarize yourself with the test itself, the better chance you'll have it doing it.

So it doesn't measure how smart you are or even how academically gifted you are. Honestly it just really measures how well you can take a test when to start preparing for sat. Ideally, you should take it either in your 10th or 11th standard or even in your 12th standard. The reason I suggest taking it earlier is because by the time standard, by the time you finish your board exams you have enough of a math background to be able to handle most of the questions on the test. In addition if you take it once and you feel like you need another try or you feel like you can do better, you can always take it again.

So, in my opinion, the earlier you can finish off the testing the better but it's totally fine if you have to wait till the 12th standard to take it, as well it's just about getting it done and doing it well. Where should you take the sat usually in a lot of different countries they have testing centers. People who feel like they're a little bit better at english or reading or writing or comprehension opt for the sat why do colleges ask you to take it? it's because if you imagine I was icsc an isc board you may be ssc or state boards somebody else maybe ib somebody else may be coming from malaysia. So they still need some metric to compare all of these systems and so the sat becomes this universal common metric that these colleges have to kind of have as a quick determiner of whether you have a basic aptitude again. It's not a test of intelligence, it just checks whether you tick off the boxes of this basic aptitude test, how should you take the sat.

Okay so in order to register for the sat, you need to make sure that you go to college board's website college board is a global accredited website, that's what administers the sat as well go to college board's website create a college board profile, fill out the application form at the end of the application form. Usually, in the us they happen every month and in international locations, they happen about five times a year. So you should try and plan ahead so that you are registered well enough in advance to take the test. Once you've registered for your testing center and your date, you at the end have to pay the application fee, Now the application fee along with the basic fee and international fee together is about 117 dollars. I believe which is on the expensive side. They do allow fee waivers for u.s citizens and people in very very special circumstances.

So you can write to the college board or talk to your college counselor in school. if you feel like you still need the assistance um there's different ways. it's unfortunate that it's not fee waivered across the board but they kind of have to do that to be able to maintain all the testing centers.

So that we have all of that out of the way let's talk about the test, itself the test has three sections to in it has a writing section, a critical reading section, and a math section. The writing section comprises two components optional essay and it's a bunch of questions that are all multiple choice. Around 44 questions that are testing your grammar writing skills and a little bit of your vocabulary. The second section is the critical reading section and the critical reading section is basically testing your reading comprehension. They have some sentence completions and they also have paragraph level critical analysis. So it's testing how well you absorb material but not just rectify it. it tests how well you really understand the material. so I think actually for a lot of students there is a little bit of a disadvantage because our education system maybe don't emphasize the importance of critical thinking when it comes to english.

So definitely pay a little bit more attention to the section when you're preparing for the sat. Also the critical reading section has about 52 multiple choice questions. The math section is about 57 questions and there's two sections. The first section is a no calculator section and the second section is a calculator section. So for the first section they won't allow you to take out your calculators but for the second one they will. It's just because they're trying to test different aptitudes in math. So the questions are usually around algebra and functions geometry and statistics and probability and data analysis. Usually, most board exam portions will cover that but if you feel like you need a little bit more extra assistance of course definitely use the prep books. The structure of the test has these three components and some of the sections repeat and it's about a three hour long test. So as you can imagine it's not easy to stay focused for those three hours plus the essay section. A lot of it is just practicing and practicing the endurance of the test.

In my opinion before taking any exam whether it's a get up school exam later then you probably have some sort of study plan which means you're taking tests before in school and all of that. You should have a study plan for the sat in my opinion it should look a little bit like this first step. Take a diagnostic test there's enough tests available on the internet you can just download one for free and there usually will be an answer key also available on the internet, just take it don't cheat take the exam and see how well you do without doing any preparation. Based on that you'll understand which section is your strong point and which section is your weak point. What you have to work on second after doing the diagnostic test.

I would recommend that you take some books to prepare for the sat the official guide for the sat is this big fat book that really really helps. It has 10 practice tests and it gives you a really general sense of how the test is structured. I would recommend definitely buying that and then for each section there are also section specific books. The books that I used were barons which I think is excellent for general preparation and you can get both the barons holistic book as well as one specifically for writing reading and math. I also used kaplan and mcgraw-hill and I've heard really good things for this new version about two other books. There is the black book and there's also the specific subject books by erica meltzer.

Now you don't need all of these books to prepare you can choose whichever one and look at your strength areas for me. I needed to work a little bit more in the math section, english came more naturally to me but my younger brother for example, he needed a little bit more help on the english side. So he worked a little harder on the english. It just really depends on what you need for your strengths for the preparation. And the study part a lot of it is your schoolwork and a lot of it is this but more than studying for the sat. It really really really is important to practice the sat. If you can do it just taking as many practice tests as you can even more important when you take the practice tests try your best to simulate the actual testing conditions. Because it's very different when you're sitting on your bed and getting distracted and when you have to take an exam for three hours straight. The official guide has a lot of tests. Khan Academy also has a lot of tests.

You can do it yourself I used to set alarms on my phone and just you know do the tests repeatedly, probably took around 20 practice tests before doing the exam. I know that sounds like a lot but once I have done those then felt so ready because there aren't that many questions. They can ask you know there's basically it's once you get used to this pattern you'll get used to how to answer the test as well.

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