Arshdeep123
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If you're planning to study an undergrad degree abroad-you have to take the SAT.When should a UK student take it (year group)? When is the earliest and latest time you could do take it (time frame)? And, how should you prepare for it?
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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Hey,

I am an international student studying in the UK. When I was applying to different universities worldwide, SAT for American Unis were done at A-level stage so I would advise you to apply to do them while your in your A-level stage, they normally sat around May.
In terms of Preparation SAT test your general skills. They are in 4 sections; Reading, Writing and Language, Maths with a calculator and Maths without a calculator. SAT compared to A-levels don't have specific classes as they are meant to test the skills gained throughout your school years.

Hope this helps.
Doreen-maria- Official Student Rep 😀
Last edited by University of Portsmouth Student Rep; 8 months ago
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Arshdeep123
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hey,

I am an international student studying in the UK. When I was applying to different universities worldwide, SAT for American Unis were done at A-level stage so I would advise you to apply to do them while your in your A-level stage, they normally sat around May.
In terms of Preparation SAT test your general skills. They are in 4 sections; Reading, Writing and Language, Maths with a calculator and Maths without a calculator. SAT compared to A-levels don't have specific classes as they are meant to test the skills gained throughout your school years.

Hope this helps.
Doreen-maria- Official Student Rep 😀
Thanks for your response. Just to confirm it should be take in Year 13 and not 12. Right? And, which SAT Prep programme would you recommend apart from Khan Academy?
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(Original post by Arshdeep123)
Thanks for your response. Just to confirm it should be take in Year 13 and not 12. Right? And, which SAT Prep programme would you recommend apart from Khan Academy?
I took mine in yesr 12. If you leave it until year 13, you risk only having one shot at the test where if you do it in year 12 you get many more attempts.
Khan academy I think is the only free one.
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Arshdeep123
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I took mine in yesr 12. If you leave it until year 13, you risk only having one shot at the test where if you do it in year 12 you get many more attempts.
Khan academy I think is the only free one.
What did you get if you don't mind me asking and what uni are you attending? When is the earliest and latest you could do take it? How did you prepare for it and how many months prior to the test did you start practicing?

Thanks!
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artful_lounger
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You only need to take the SAT if you are applying to undergraduate degrees in the US normally - I think a few Canadian universities also accept it (due to having a lot of American applicants) but I'm not sure if it would be required otherwise for them. You do not need to take it if you are studying in the US as part of a year abroad in a degree undertaken otherwise in the UK. The SAT would usually be taken for UK students in late year 12 and 13 or early year 13. I'd recommend trying to get a summer test date at the end of year 12 so you have time to see how well you do and decide if you want to retake it later (or to take SAT subject tests later).

The material on the main SAT is broadly GCSE level, although the questions have a very specific format which is like unfamiliar and unintuitive to UK students who haven't spent some time practicing it. Try the practice test on the collegeboard site, and maybe buy the SAT prep book (I got it for like £20 at Waterstones back when I took it). There's a lot of SAT prep material on the internet as well, I'd probably suggest avoiding paid content other than the collegeboard SAT prep book (since that has actual questions that match the exam format in it) though. Generally the main thing is that the math problems are often quite weird word problems which require you to spend a bit more time figuring out what it actually wants from you; there is also some test technique required for the multiple choice format which is less familiar for UK students since that testing format isn't so common here.

The subject tests are probably more around AS to A-level (I imagine skewed towards AS), however the specific topics may not correlate to the content of UK syllabuses that well. One specific example is that the US History test is likely unapproachable by anyone that hasn't studied US History in the specific format it's taught in US style syllabuses. Another is that I believe the SAT Math subject tests don't have any calculus content, although I think the Math 2 test has complex numbers (and maybe matrices), which are normally covered in the UK only in A-level FM. I'm not that familiar with these since I didn't sit any subject tests though...
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(Original post by Arshdeep123)
What did you get if you don't mind me asking and what uni are you attending? When is the earliest and latest you could do take it? How did you prepare for it and how many months prior to the test did you start practicing?

Thanks!
I got 1510 (800 maths and 710 reading). I did it once but then abandoned my us projects for money, so I’m going to a uni in the uk. I did it in June and I think I started practising maybe in March. Coronavirus has mucked up the dates so you need to check that(the requirement for SAT may have been removed if you’re applying for entry in 2021)
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Arshdeep123
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I got 1510 (800 maths and 710 reading). I did it once but then abandoned my us projects for money, so I’m going to a uni in the uk. I did it in June and I think I started practising maybe in March. Coronavirus has mucked up the dates so you need to check that(the requirement for SAT may have been removed if you’re applying for entry in 2021)
which uni were you planning on applying to- that's an exceptional score. Why didn't you get a full-ride scholarship?
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Arshdeep123
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You only need to take the SAT if you are applying to undergraduate degrees in the US normally - I think a few Canadian universities also accept it (due to having a lot of American applicants) but I'm not sure if it would be required otherwise for them. You do not need to take it if you are studying in the US as part of a year abroad in a degree undertaken otherwise in the UK. The SAT would usually be taken for UK students in late year 12 and 13 or early year 13. I'd recommend trying to get a summer test date at the end of year 12 so you have time to see how well you do and decide if you want to retake it later (or to take SAT subject tests later).

The material on the main SAT is broadly GCSE level, although the questions have a very specific format which is like unfamiliar and unintuitive to UK students who haven't spent some time practicing it. Try the practice test on the collegeboard site, and maybe buy the SAT prep book (I got it for like £20 at Waterstones back when I took it). There's a lot of SAT prep material on the internet as well, I'd probably suggest avoiding paid content other than the collegeboard SAT prep book (since that has actual questions that match the exam format in it) though. Generally the main thing is that the math problems are often quite weird word problems which require you to spend a bit more time figuring out what it actually wants from you; there is also some test technique required for the multiple choice format which is less familiar for UK students since that testing format isn't so common here.

The subject tests are probably more around AS to A-level (I imagine skewed towards AS), however the specific topics may not correlate to the content of UK syllabuses that well. One specific example is that the US History test is likely unapproachable by anyone that hasn't studied US History in the specific format it's taught in US style syllabuses. Another is that I believe the SAT Math subject tests don't have any calculus content, although I think the Math 2 test has complex numbers (and maybe matrices), which are normally covered in the UK only in A-level FM. I'm not that familiar with these since I didn't sit any subject tests though...
Thanks! Very useful! What was your score if you don't mind me asking and where are you currently studying at?
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(Original post by Arshdeep123)
which uni were you planning on applying to- that's an exceptional score. Why didn't you get a full-ride scholarship?
I was intending to apply to all the very good unis so caltech, MIT, Columbia also Chicago. They don’t really offer scholarships apart from for sports so there was no opportunity for a scholarship and the financial aid wouldn’t work for me either so :/. Where do you want to apply?
For reference I applied to these universities not because the others aren’t good, it’s just if I was to cross the Atlantic to go to uni, I wanted to make it worth it, as in I knew I’d get a better education there. This and the lack of financial aid for some is why I didn’t apply To say Boston, NYU, UMichigan or the Cal colleges
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Arshdeep123
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I was intending to apply to all the very good unis so caltech, MIT, Columbia also Chicago. They don’t really offer scholarships apart from for sports so there was no opportunity for a scholarship and the financial aid wouldn’t work for me either so :/. Where do you want to apply?
For reference I applied to these universities not because the others aren’t good, it’s just if I was to cross the Atlantic to go to uni, I wanted to make it worth it, as in I knew I’d get a better education there. This and the lack of financial aid for some is why I didn’t apply To say Boston, NYU, UMichigan or the Cal colleges
Did you apply or did you see no option for financial aid so you never applied?
And, if you did apply what were the responses like
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(Original post by Arshdeep123)
Did you apply or did you see no option for financial aid so you never applied?
And, if you did apply what were the responses like
I didn’t apply. The financial aid just didn’t seem like it would work for me.
But as a success story, I know someone who got into Princeton with a very good amount of financial aid but as an important point at another prestigious that they got into they didn’t get financial aid.
So basically people assume financial aid is offered instantly but they have to like you so you can get an offer but no financial aid.
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Arshdeep123
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I didn’t apply. The financial aid just didn’t seem like it would work for me.
But as a success story, I know someone who got into Princeton with a very good amount of financial aid but as an important point at another prestigious that they got into they didn’t get financial aid.
So basically people assume financial aid is offered instantly but they have to like you so you can get an offer but no financial aid.
oh ok
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Arshdeep123)
Thanks! Very useful! What was your score if you don't mind me asking and where are you currently studying at?
I took the old format SAT so my score was out of a different total. I didn't go to study in the US since I realised I could only afford to go to a state school and where I am in-state didn't have a good state school (except for forestry and agriculture which I didnt want to study). I studied at Exeter here for a while.
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Arshdeep123)
Thanks for your response. Just to confirm it should be take in Year 13 and not 12. Right? And, which SAT Prep programme would you recommend apart from Khan Academy?
Hey,

I used Khan Academy mostly for studying on my own but also my school offered a short training that would take us through the exam, parts thats its divided in and types of questions (prep materials).
As per the responses I would agree with doing it earlier so in your year 12 so you have get your results and see how it goes and so that you are ready for applications.

Hope this helps.
Doreen-maria- Official Student Rep 😀
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