SAT examination is a test that can affect the future of a student as its reputation is a little fearsome. However, in reality, the challenge of getting a good score is not an insurmountable one even though it is true that international students need to prepare a lot for the test.
If the students are given enough time for preparation and can understand the marking scheme, they can master all sections like the English grammar, aptitude, writing and mathematics section.
The test paper is set in such a way that well-prepared students can get a good SAT score and if the applicants start their preparations well before the test day, all the questions they face will be familiar to them.
Reasons why Indian students feel SAT be a difficult test:
The pressure of Time: Applicants are given only a limited time to take the test which means that even if the students know all the answers, the pressure they have due to time can push them to make some mistakes. Applicants get only about 75 seconds per question in the reading section and 48 seconds per question in the writing section.
Facing New Concepts: Mostly, the questions included in SAT examination are topics from high school classes but occasionally some questions are put in the SAT exam that is beyond the scope of high school learning and this happens mostly with maths concepts. Students also face the problem of fading the concepts from memory and thus, students are suggested to revisit all the mathematics concepts in the Calculator and No Calculator section.
Slow Reading of Passage: SAT usually includes excerpts from texts that are published in journals or books in the passage section and it is found that at least one passage is excerpted from a historical source text. The passages included are written in a high-level language and can be tough to read and comprehend mainly for those who are non-avid readers. Thus, students must work on reading old passages to make sure that they read at a fast pace during the exam.
Why is SAT easier?
While comparing SAT with other exams such as IIT JEE or NEET, SAT is a lot easier and here are a few factors behind claiming SAT is the easiest exam.
No Need for Memorization: SAT is a test which does not require students to memorize concepts compared to most exams which are famous for making students memorize a lot of concepts. The formulas are mostly mentioned in the Maths Section and most importantly, the Reading and Writing sections are based on comprehension and grammar.
Multiple Choice Questions: SAT requires more brain work than hand work and the main portion of the exam does not have any free-response questions. All the questions are multiple-choice except for a few grid-in questions which means that the answers to the questions are right in front of the eyes of the students.
Predictable Pattern: The sections in SAT exams are arranged in the same order every year which is the Reading, Writing and Language, Maths No-calculator and then Maths Calculator paving way for a predictable structure which helps the students in the test preparation.
Key tips that will help the candidate prepare for the SAT test:
Reduce Time Pressure: By developing efficiency-boosting strategies, the time pressure can be reduced. For instance, if the students learn to read the passages more efficiently, they will have ample time to spend in other sections. Students will face time constraints in the Maths section as they get only 25 minutes for 20 questions in the No Calculator Section and 55 minutes for 38 questions in the Calculator Section. It is better to move on to the next question will it is taking too much time.
Learn How to Eliminate: It is not entirely possible to know the correct answers to all the questions on the SAT as students do not have enough time left to solve the problem on which they are stuck. Thus, the process of elimination becomes handy in such situations and this can be done by critically looking at all the options and crossing out those that do not make sense or are not supported by the given passage. The elimination strategy will help the students to get good scores even if the correct answer is not known.
Take Practise Tests: The reason behind students becoming overwhelmed by the test is that they have never seen or practised the test and going unprepared makes the concepts seem new even if they have learned them in high school. By taking plenty of practise tests, this can be reduced and those who take the official SAT practise tests find it easy to answer the questions well within their abilities. This also helps in increasing their efficiency in the reading and writing section.
Examining and Refining Mistakes: One must take a practice test so that they can familiarize themselves with the pattern and know the recurring mistakes. Through this analysis, students can refine those mistakes which make them most likely to score in the examination.
There is no generalizing on whether the SAT examination is easy for Indian students as every student has a different baseline level of expertise in SAT subjects. However, methods such as taking plenty of practise tests and examining and refining weak concepts can help the students in securing good SAT scores.