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The SATs--A Short Introduction

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    The SAT is used to evaluate high school students (17-18 year olds) for admission to baccalaureate (bachelor's degree) programs at universities and colleges. The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is used to evaluate soon-to-be college/university graduates (22 year olds, typically) for admission into graduate programs (master's and doctoral degrees). You would never take both in any few months.
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    Inexpensive method for preparing for the SAT.

    1) Order the big blue book from the College Board or Amazon (or other) http://www.amazon.com/Official-SAT-S..._syf_dtl_top_3

    2) Google "Xiggi method" and follow the advice you find there

    Preparation has been shown to improve scores. However there is no evidence at all that "prep courses" such as Princeton Review work any better than a few weeks of regular self-study ("revision" in UK parlance) and practice.
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    It can be useful to know just what the curve is on each of the Subject exams. For example, if you find yourself omitting 1 out of every 5 questions on the Physics exam, you are in actuality doing quite well. So I provide the following in the hope of being useful.

    Raw to Scale Score Conversions from The Official Study Guide for All SAT Subject Tests from the College Board. These are from the actual Sept. 2005 test tables.

    These will, of course, vary from test period to test period (typically +-2), but are generally good guides.

    Raw Score = (#Correct Answers) - (#Incorrect Answers * .25)

    Test - Total Questions - Min. 800 raw score - Min. 700 raw score - Min. 600 raw score

    US History - 90 - 79 -64 - 45
    World History - 95 - 78 - 61 - 43
    Literature - 60 - 59 - 46 - 34
    Math II - 50 - 44 - 35 - 23
    Biology E - 80 - 77 - 61 - 43
    Biology M - 80 - 77 - 60 - 42
    Chemistry - 85 - 82 - 61 - 41
    Physics - 75 - 59 - 45 - 30
    Chinese w/ Listening - 85 - 80 - 61 - 42
    French - 85 - 75 - 59 - 42
    French w/ Listening - 86 - 75 - 61 - 45
    German - 85 - 83 - 68 - 54
    German w/ Listening - 87 - 87 - 69 - 52
    Italian - 82 - 78 - 64 - 44
    Japanese w/ Listening - 80 - 78 - 66 - 55
    Korean w/ Listening - 80 - 78 - 61 - 45
    Latin - 74 - 66 - 52 - 38
    Modern Hebrew - 85 - 81 - 75 - 65
    Spanish - 85 - 83 - 67 - 55
    Spanish w/ Listening - 85 - 82 - 70 - 57
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    Can we do SAT2 without SAT1?
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    Great Post!

    Regards,
    Pradeepthi Bommidala.
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    Do the best universities ask for more than one SAT result? and what would prepare me more well for SATs, A level Latin or Physics? ooh ye and how are Latin and physics percieved in America?
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    Can we do SAT2 without SAT1?
    The most competitive schools often require you to do both but there is no order in which you need to take them. They are independent of each other and can be taken in the order you prefer. It is probably optimal to take Subject exams (SAT II's) as soon as possible after completing supporting study in the subjects. The Reasoning exam (SAT I) is less affected by timing provided you have completed the appropriate mathematics training (typically this is geometry and two years of algebra in the U.S.). There is something to be said for delaying the SAT Reasoning exam for a bit as vocabulary is an important component of the exam and vocabulary tends to expand as one ages.

    Do the best universities ask for more than one SAT result? and what would prepare me more well for SATs, A level Latin or Physics? ooh ye and how are Latin and physics perceived in America?
    -- There is no need to sit the SAT Reasoning Exam (SAT I) (or ACT) more than once. Subsequent re-takes would be for your benefit only--if you get a higher score. However if you apply to a school that requires SAT Subject exams (SAT II's) you will need to take those at a separate sitting as you cannot take both kinds of SAT exams in the same session. (You can also re-take SAT Subject tests at your discretion.)

    -- Further study of either subject will prepare you well for either corresponding SAT subject exam. My understanding is that A-level content well exceeds the levels at which the Subject exams are aimed.

    -- Both are well-respected disciplines that are considered indicative of a serious student. Doing well in at least one high school course in physics is desirable, even almost expected, by competitive colleges in the U.S., and demonstrating mastery doing will on the Subject exam would be well-received. Latin is a rarer subject for U.S. high school students, far more often taught at private prep schools, but is also well-regarded. Doing well on both exams would demonstrate a versatility favored by many U.S. schools with a liberal arts curriculum (that is to say most schools).
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    Can someone tell me what is the equivalent difficulty level of SATs and SAT II in the UK?
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    I'm in 5th Year (Scotland) doing 5 Highers (Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry & Computing). I'm looking to apply at Stanford etc in future what SAT's should I be looking to do and when should I register to do them ? Thanks for any advice in advance
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    What course do you want to take? From the kind of subjects you're taking for A level, I'm assuming you're taking an math-related subject, in which case I would recommend you to take math level II and physics. I took those two to apply for engineering.
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    Hi I'm in year 12 and will be studying Maths, Further Maths, Economics and either Physics or Latin for A level. I'd like to apply for some American Universities (Stanford is the dream ) and I'd like some advice as to which SAT IIs to take, what is the best preparation for SATs and SAT IIs and what equivalent exams does the UK have in terms of difficulty.

    I'd like to apply for Economics, but am thinking of applying for Engineering as well

    Thanks in advance!
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    Your second point first: applications to most universities in the U.S. are made to the school as a whole, not a particular major. For example you would apply to Stanford, not to Stanford Engineering, and be competitively evaluated against all other Stanford applicants. Schools will inquire as to your particular interests and some attention will be made to that, but not much. "Undecided" is perfectly acceptable, too. The idea is for you to decide your focus after a year or two of higher education. It also frequently permits the pursuit (with effort) of two disparate disciplines, although both engineering and economics simultaneously would be a real stretch.

    Having said that, I will add that this is not the case at all schools. At some universities you do apply to a particular division or "college" (such as Columbia's engineering school SEAS). Best to check with each school as to correct procedure.

    Given your current course of study I would suggest subject tests in Math (Math level II, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT_Sub...matics_Level_2) and either Physics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT_Sub...est_in_Physics) or Latin. All three would be best as it would demonstrate diversity, but if only two, Physics over Latin if you have any interest in engineering. (There is no subject test in economics.) You can take up to three at any one sitting, at your discretion.

    Continued study is the best prep for Subject tests, but full sample tests can be found here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Real-SAT-II-Su.../dp/0874475996

    Online sample tests can be found here: http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice...st-preparation

    SAT I (Reasoning test) full samples can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Official-SAT-S...dp_ob_title_bk. The best way to prepare is to practice on full sample tests in advance.

    On-line Reasoning test questions can be found here: http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice...tice-questions

    These should be completed and submitted by January, earlier if possible. There are test dates in October, November, December, and January. Remember: you cannot take both the SAT I and Subject tests on the same date.
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    Here are a few tips (critical reading section tips); I managed to score a 2260 in the exam and an 800 in the reading assessments. Here you go:

    - For the reading questions, write a three word summary of each paragraph.

    - if its a question about a sentence, read the sentence before, the asked about sentence, and the sentence following before answering.

    - if its a paragraph question just read over the note

    - and if its a whole passage question, dont look back
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    This is potentially a stupid question; but do we still need our A Levels if we take the SATs...? Or do they require both?
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    (Original post by alexa.hysteria)
    This is potentially a stupid question; but do we still need our A Levels if we take the SATs...? Or do they require both?
    Yes, you will still need to submit your school grades alongside your SAT scores.
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    This may have been asked before, but when is a good time to 'officially' take the test? For Fall 2013 entry?
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    Hi, I'd rather go to uni in England, but if I could get into an Ivy League US college I would definitely consider it. However, I don't want to spend ages preparing for SATs, so I am going to do a practice one without any preparation. What sort of score would I need to be getting now, in order to get a good enough score with practice to get into an Ivy League College? Thanks in advance!
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    Question for the mods, is there an SAT/ACT thread where you post questions and discuss applications?
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    (Original post by warndog)
    Hi, I'd rather go to uni in England, but if I could get into an Ivy League US college I would definitely consider it. However, I don't want to spend ages preparing for SATs, so I am going to do a practice one without any preparation. What sort of score would I need to be getting now, in order to get a good enough score with practice to get into an Ivy League College? Thanks in advance!
    To be a competitive international applicant - who remember, need much higher scores than domestic US applicants as the competition is tougher and places fewer - you'd need to be looking at 2250+ at the bare minimum for the SAT for the best colleges, if not 2300+ ideally.
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    The collegeboard site only displays one date for SAT I in the UK at the moment which is 2nd June.

    Will there be a later date available soon to take the SAT I or is this going to be the only date this year???

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Updated: November 14, 2013
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