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If you want to pursue college studies in the U.S. after high school, you need to apply for undergraduate study. A student usually takes four years to complete the undergraduate degree in the United States. There are over 1,800 accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer four - year bachelor's degree programs in a number of fields. The first two years of undergraduate study ( the freshman and the sophomore years respectively) are usually a general course of study. By the third year (called the junior year), students begin to specialize in their field. The specialized field that the student selects is known as his or her “major”. In the fourth year, which is the final year (called the senior year) the student continues with his or her major subjects.

Tests Required For Admission To An Undergraduate Program The SAT in 2016

The College Board will be making content, format, and scoring changes to the SAT in 2016. The redesigned SAT test will prioritize content that reflects the kind of reading and math students will encounter in college and their future work lives. It is scheduled to be first administered, in India, in May 2016.

New SAT Structure
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Math
  • 65-minute Reading section
  • 35-minute Writing and Language section
  • 25-minute No Calculator section
  • 55-minute Calculator section
  • 52 Questions (Reading)
  • 44 Questions (Writing and Language)
  • 20 Questions (No Calculator)
  • 38 Questions (Calculator)
Score Range 200-800 200-800
Test scores represent an important measure of your academic progress and are a significant factor in gaining admission to the universities of your choice. Higher scores also serve as a springboard enabling you to qualify for the much needed scholarship money.
The Reading Test

This is a 65 minute section containing 52 questions. All Reading Test questions are multiple choice and based on passages. Some passages are paired with other passages. Informational graphics, such as tables, graphs, and charts, accompany some passages— but no math is required. Prior topic-specific knowledge is never tested. The Reading Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section. When you take the Reading Test, you’ll read passages and interpret informational graphics. Then you’ll use what you’ve read to answer questions.

Some questions ask you to locate a piece of information or an idea stated directly. But you’ll also need to understand what the author’s words imply. In other words, you have to read between the lines.

The Reading Test always includes
  1. One passage from a classic or contemporary work of U. S. or world literature.
  2. One passage or a pair of passages from either a U. S. founding document or a text in the great global conversation they inspired. The U. S. Constitution or a speech by Nelson Mandela, for example.
  3. A selection about economics, psychology, sociology, or some other social science.
  4. Two science passages (or one passage and one passage pair) that examine foundational concepts and developments in Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics.
The Writing and Language Test

This is a 35 minute section containing 44 questions. To answer some questions, you’ll need to look closely at a single sentence. Others require reading the entire piece and interpreting a graphic. For instance, you might be asked to choose a sentence that corrects a misinterpretation of a scientific chart or that better explains the importance of the data.

The passages you improve will range from arguments to nonfiction narratives and will be about careers, history, social studies, the humanities, and science. Some questions ask you to locate a piece of information or an idea stated directly. But you’ll also need to understand what the author’s words imply. In other words, you have to read between the lines.

What the Writing and Language Test Measures

  1. Command of Evidence
  2. Words in Context
  3. Analysis in History/Social Studies and in Science
  4. Expression of Ideas
  5. Standard English Conventions
Math Test

The Math test has a No Calculator section containing 20 questions to be solved in 25 minutes and a Calculator section containing 38 questions to be solved in 55 minutes. Most math questions will be multiple choice, but some — called grid-ins — ask you to come up with the answer rather than select the answer. Some parts of the test include several questions about a single scenario.


The Math Test will focus in depth on the three areas of math that play the biggest role in a wide range of college majors and careers:

  1. Heart of Algebra, which focuses on the mastery of linear equations and systems.
  2. Problem Solving and Data Analysis, which is about being quantitatively literate.
  3. The Math Test also draws on Additional Topics in Math, including the geometry and trigonometry most relevant to college and career readiness.Passport to Advanced Math, which features questions that require the manipulation of complex equations.
What the Math Test Measures

The Math Test is a chance to show that you:

  1. Carry out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and strategically.
  2. Solve problems quickly by identifying and using the most efficient solution approaches. This might involve solving a problem by inspection, finding a shortcut, or reorganizing the information you’ve been given.
Conceptual Understanding

You’ll demonstrate your grasp of math concepts, operations, and relations. For instance, you might be asked to make connections between properties of linear equations, their graphs, and the contexts they represent.


These real-world problems ask you to analyze a situation, determine the essential elements required to solve the problem, represent the problem mathematically, and carry out a solution.

Calculator Use

Calculators are important tools, and to succeed after high school, you’ll need to know how — and when — to use them. The Math Test – No Calculator portion of the test makes it easier to assess your fluency in math and your understanding of some math concepts. It also tests well-learned technique and number sense.

Grid-In Questions

Although most of the questions on the Math Test are multiple choice, 22 percent are student-produced response questions, also known as grid-ins. Instead of choosing a correct answer from a list of options, you’ll need to solve problems and enter your answers in the grids provided on the answer sheet.

SAT Essay

The redesigned SAT Essay asks you to use your reading, analysis, and writing skills. The SAT Essay is a lot like a typical college writing assignment in which you’re asked to analyze a text. Take the SAT with Essay and show colleges that you’re ready to come to campus and write. Students are expected to read a passage, explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience, support your explanation with evidence from the passage.

  1. It’s optional — but some schools will require it.
  2. You have 50 minutes to complete your essay.
  3. You won’t be asked to agree or disagree with a position on a topic or to write about your personal experience.
What the SAT Essay Measures

The SAT Essay shows how well you understand the passage and use it as the basis for a well-written thought-out discussion. The two people who score your essay will each award between 1 and 4 points in each of these three categories:

Reading: A successful essay shows that you understood the passage, including the interplay of central ideas and important details. It also shows an effective use of textual evidence.

Analysis: A successful essay shows your understanding of how the author builds an argument by:

  1. Examining the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and other stylistic and persuasive techniques
  2. Supporting and developing claims with well-chosen evidence from the passage

Writing: A successful essay is focused, organized, and precise, with an appropriate style and tone that varies sentence structure and follows the conventions of standard written English.

The New SAT Scoring

The new SAT will return to the 1600-point scale, with the Math and Reading sections scored between 200 and 800, and the optional essay evaluated separately. The ¼-point penalty for wrong answers is discontinued.

SAT-II : Subject Tests

Some colleges require SAT-II Subject Tests for admission and/or placement in freshman-level courses. Each Subject Test measures one’s knowledge of a specific subject and the ability to apply that knowledge. Students should check with each institution for its specific requirements. In general, students are required to take three Subject Tests.

Subject Test results can be added to your portfolio to support your competency in academic areas, even if the tests are not required by colleges to which you are applying. Colleges use Subject Test scores, in combination with other information.

Subject Tests are given in the following areas: Literature, U.S. History, World History, Mathematics level IC, Mathematics level IIC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Spanish, Italian, modern Hebrew, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English language proficiency. Three SAT-II Subject Tests may be taken on any one test date.

Test Structure: Each test has its own structure, but all are multiple choice and are of one-hour duration.