Here in Canada, we hear all kinds of things about education in the United States. In addition to a different curriculum and Ivy League Schools, the topic of the SAT frequently pops up. So, what is the SAT, and why does it matter? We’ll answer all your questions about the SAT for Canadian students.
What is the SAT?
The SAT is a standardized test issued by the College Board and taken by students in the United States. It isn’t mandatory, but many post-secondary schools in the United States require applicants to complete the SAT. The SAT is a test composed of two sections: a literacy section and a numeracy section. The SAT is loosely based on the American curriculum and takes 3 hours to complete. There is also an optional essay that takes 50 minutes to write.
How is the SAT Graded?
Each of the two sections (literacy and numeracy) is graded independently. Students can receive a minimum of 200 points and a maximum of 800 points on each section. This makes for a maximum score of 1600 points. The optional essay (if completed) is graded twice, each by a different reader. Each reader grades the essay on a scale of 1 to 4 in the areas of reading, analysis, and writing.
Is the SAT for Canadian Students?
While Canadian students can take the SAT, it is only required for admission to colleges and universities in the United States. If you plan on studying in the United States after graduating, make sure to check the admission requirements of the post-secondary schools you’re interested in. Many will require you to take the SAT, so it’s a good idea to complete it.
Some universities in Canada are willing to view SAT scores as a supplement to a regular transcript. This is usually a requirement for American students looking to come to Canada, but Canadian students are welcome to submit their SAT scores as well. SAT scores are recognized internationally too. If nothing else, the SAT is a great way to gauge your literacy and numeracy skills, so it’s worth a try!
Is There an Age Restriction?
There is no age restriction for writing the SAT. Anyone can write the SAT if they wish, no matter how young or old. However, if a student writes the SAT before entering high school, they will have their SAT score erased upon entering high school.
How Much Does the SAT Cost?
For residents of the United States, the SAT costs $52 without the optional essay portion and $68 with the essay portion included. Canadian students are required to pay an extra $43 as a regional fee, so the total cost of the SAT for Canadian students is $95 (or $111 with the essay). There are sometimes registration fees and test center fees on top of that as well.
When Can I Write the SAT?
The SAT is offered a few times per year. It’s always on a Saturday, so the dates vary from year to year. For the 2020-2021 school year, the soonest date is December 5 with a registration deadline of November 24. Following that, there are test dates on March 13, May 8, and June 5.
How Many Times Can I Write the SAT?
You can write the SAT as many times as you wish. Most universities recommend you write the SAT twice for a chance at a better score, but writing the SAT more than twice is usually viewed negatively. Some schools allow you to report only your highest SAT score, but some require you to report all of your SAT scores.
Where Can I Write the SAT?
There are many SAT test centers across Canada. You can use the test center locator on the College Board website to find the SAT test center closest to you. In BC, there are test centers in most major cities and towns, so you’re free to choose the most convenient location. Test centers vary depending on the date of the test, so make sure to check for each specific date.
How Do I Prepare for the SAT?
The College Board website provides a collection of SAT practice tests for students to try. These give students a feel for what the real SAT will be like and allow for focused studying. Khan Academy has also paired up with the College Board to provide free online practice tests and study tools.
Independent study is great, but students can always benefit from the guided aid of a tutor. Our twisted tutors are well equipped to help you prepare for each component of the SAT. We can provide you with effective study techniques and help you build the confidence you need to conquer the SAT. On top of that, you’ll acquire valuable life skills that will make your post-secondary journey much more rewarding and successful. Check out our SAT tutoring page for more information!
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