SAT Question Papers - Previous Year Papers and How to Answer

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Samarpita Goswami
Updated on May 01, 2023 8:10 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?

The SAT question papers consist of previous questions asked on the SAT exam. This exam is taken in a classroom with other candidates and is paper-based. Although the questions change annually, the format remains the same.

 Practising with these question papers can help improve one's skills and increase their chances of achieving high scores. It is recommended to set aside enough time for practice to reduce anxiety and improve performance on the actual SAT exam.

How to Make the Best Out of SAT Question Papers?

The SAT test papers are essential tools that boost the confidence of students and help them in evaluating themselves. They help them to focus on their weak areas which will improve their performance. Practising at least one to two papers is mandatory for the overall understanding and getting the hang of the exam. So here we highlight the ways to make the best use of SAT test papers:

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 which 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

Solving practice papers for the SAT examination can offer numerous benefits to students. They are: 

  •  Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: One of the most significant advantages of taking SAT question papers is that it helps candidates identify their strengths and weaknesses. By focusing on areas of weakness, candidates can improve their performance in the actual exam. 

  • Becoming Familiar: Practising at least two to three test papers can help students get a better understanding of the SAT exam pattern and SAT syllabus, resulting in better results.

  • Time Management: Students often are unable to manage their time well in the examination hall. Sometimes they utilise more time than required in the first half of the question paper which leaves them no room for the next half. However, proper practice of question papers helps students get enough time to manage them. 

  • Get Acquainted with Various Tools: Taking practice tests acquaints students with various testing tools at their disposal. Precisely, practising papers will help you be comfortable in SAT Math exam calculator section. It is essential that the same calculator is used while the candidate is planning to take the SAT exam.

With the candidates preparing themselves for the test day, they can benefit from scoring performances. Candidates must dedicate enough time to prepare for SAT exam so that they can familiarise themselves with the test pattern. Two months is enough for this purpose. 

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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