SAT Question Papers - Previous Year Papers and How to Answer

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Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 14, 2023 12:40 PM IST

The SAT exam is a paper-based test conducted by the College Board and is crucial for getting admission to the test taker's desired university.  So, when it comes to SAT preparation, one cannot be 100% ready without practising some sample papers. It is better not to compare these tests with the typical ones the candidates have taken during their high school.

The best way to excel in the SAT examination is to solve some SAT question papers. It will not only help candidates understand the SAT exam pattern but also prepare them mentally for the big day. The more one can polish their skills with those practice papers, the higher the chances of getting astonishing scores. 

SAT Question Papers: What are they?

SAT Question papers are nothing but the previously asked questions on the SAT exam. The SAT exam is a paper-based test taken along with a set of candidates in a classroom. The questions asked on the SAT exam are going to change every year, but the format will be the same.

The more one can polish their skills with those practice papers, the higher the chances of getting astonishing scores. Another thing is that make sure you have adequate time in hand to practise for your SAT examination as practising more and more will help to ease anxiety and increase performance.

How to Make the Best Out of SAT Question Papers?

Here are some tips to use while practising the SAT question papers to excel in the examination.

Use High-Quality Practice Papers

As earlier said, the SAT exam is different in its own way as it presents concepts quite differently - sometimes twisted and unfamiliar that ends up confusing the candidates.

So, to excel in this test, the students are required to have the highest quality resources or the best books. It is important to learn the patterns of the questions at the same time. The best reliable source of getting high-quality practice papers is the College Board, as using incompetent resources will end up creating more confusion about the concept.

Be Ruthless Towards Mistakes

Every mistake made should be taken as another key point to focus on while practising the papers. Understand why you missed out on a question, as if you make the same mistakes again and again, it will end up holding back the score. 

Mark every question you find difficult to solve during practice, look for its answer and understand the concept. Again take a new test and repeat the process. 

Trace Your Weakness

As the candidate is practising more than two papers, they will understand where they need more help. Spend time on those areas and retry again. Also, focus on the topics and areas you find difficult to deal with. Keep on drilling yourself on those specific types of questions to develop your own strategy.

Avoid Careless Errors

Double or triple-check your paper before submitting or reviewing the answer sheet. Often students fail to understand the question and write incorrect answers. It is advisable to re-read the questions as well to avoid getting fewer marks. Make sure to check spellings, sentence structure, and grammar thoroughly. Always keep 5-10 minutes in hand to revise the paper.

Methods to Take Practice Test

There are two methods through which a candidate can opt for SAT practice papers or prepare for the examination - online and offline mode. These modes include practising via mobile applications, practice exams at school, tutoring (online and offline), books, and more. This is beneficial in a way as there will be less paper waste making your test preparation more environmentally friendly. 

Reliable Source to get SAT Prep Resources

CollegeBoard gives the best and most reliable preparation resources including - Question of the day, Sample Questions, Tutorials and Practice Tests for the SAT. For this, you are not required to log in or give any kind of additional information. CollegeBoard also gives a plethora of test-taking strategies or SAT preparation tips

Benefits of Taking SAT Question Papers

There are numerous benefits one can get by solving practice papers for the SAT examination. Some of the benefits of taking SAT question papers are:

  • Helps in Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Practising SAT test papers will help the candidate to focus on his or her weaknesses. This is the biggest advantage of choosing practice test papers as a source to excel in the examination.
  • Get the Hold of it: Once the candidate has practised at least two-three test papers, he or she will realise that it is getting easier for them to get the hang of it. The SAT exam pattern and the SAT syllabus will start looking familiar resulting in better results.
  • Time Management: Most of the time students fail to manage time while writing their papers. Sometimes they end up half of their time writing the first two-three questions, then suddenly rush towards the last ones with no time in hand. However, if the student has practised the papers efficiently, the candidate himself or herself gets accustomed to the time, generating time management skills.
  • Get Comfortable With Tools: Taking practice exams indirectly helps you to get comfortable with your testing tools. More precisely, your practice work will majorly help your comfort with the calculator section in the SAT Math exam. It is vital to use the same calculator in the practice work that the candidate is planning to take on the official SAT examination.

As the candidates prepare themselves for the examination day, they can benefit from scoring performances as well. Candidates should start preparing for SAT exams at least two months earlier to give themselves adequate time to get familiar with the exam pattern and work on them efficiently.

Want to score high on your SAT? Enhance your knowledge on the test ber referring to the related reads:

What to Do After Taking the SAT and ACT Exams?

Here's How You Can Improve Your SAT Score

What is a Good SAT Score & How is it Calculated?

SAT vs. ACT: What is the Difference & Which One is Right For You?

Apply to the Best Universities Abroad with Experts!

FAQs on SAT Question Papers

Is the SAT Math section tough?

No, the SAT Math section is not that tough. The Trigonometry part can be tough, but the word problem questions are relatively easy. With regular practice, even the tough subjects can be conquered. Students must refer to the best maths books for SAT to understand the basic concepts and practice ample questions to solidify preparation.

What type of questions come in SAT exam?

The SAT question papers consist of sections including SAT Reading, SAT Writing & Language, Math (with a calculator), and Math (without a calculator). All of these sections come as multiple-choice questions. Students are required to just choose the correct answer.

Which type of questions are asked in the reading section of the SAT question papers?

The following questions are asked in the reading section of the SAT question papers:

  • Big Picture Questions

  • Little Picture/Detail Questions

  • Inference Questions

  • Function Questions

  • Vocabulary in Context Questions

  • Analogy Questions

  • Author Technique Questions

  • Evidence Support Questions

  • Data Reasoning Questions

How many MCQs are present in the SAT question paper?

There are 154 multiple choice questions that come in the SAT question paper. The multiple choice questions come in sections - SAT Reading, SAT Writing and Language, Math (with a calculator) and Math (without a calculator).

Is Maths compulsory for SAT exam?

Yes, Math is mandatory if you want to sit for the SAT exam because the SAT consists of Reading, Writing and Language, and Math tests. The only optional test was an essay, which candidates can decide whether to sit for it or not. However, it has been scrapped now.

Is it possible to prepare for the SAT in three months by taking multiple SAT question papers?

Yes, it is possible to prepare for the SAT in three months by taking multiple SAT question papers. This is because SAT question papers help you try and test different strategies to get an idea of what to expect on 'D-Day’. These are replicated tests based on the actual exam pattern that help applicants learn how to manage their time effectively.

How should a ninth grader prepare for SAT question paper?

If you are in Class ninth and want to sit for SAT exam, then it is advised to take SAT question paper at least twice. Starting SAT preparation ninth standard is quite early but it will be a good practice. You can be familiar with the SAT Math and SAT English sections early on and plan for each section later.

Who has scored the highest in the SAT exam till now?

At first, Bill Gates scored 1590 out of 1600, which is one of the best SAT scores. After that, from Colorado, Hari scored 1600 on the SAT exam, the highest score ever recorded in the history of SAT exam. Apart from this, he also secured a perfect score of 36 on the ACT as well.

How many practice questions should I do a day?

There is no such exact number of how many SAT questions you should solve a day. Typically taking one practice test every 10 hours of prep is most effective for SAT aspirants. Try to solve as many questions as you can to polish your skills.

What should I keep in mind while writing answers for SAT question papers?

There are a few things that students should keep in mind while answering the SAT questions. First of all, read all the questions carefully and try to understand what the question is asking. Secondly, do not forget about the time. Do not take much time while writing only one answer. Keep your copy clean visibly.

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