SAT I

The SAT I, which is similar to the ACT, is used for entrance into US Universities. We are very experienced at tutoring the SAT and the ACT and at helping students apply to US Universities.

Subjects Covered

SAT I

What is the SAT I?

TThe SAT I assesses the skills that are taught in all schools: reading, writing, and mathematics. The College Board administered changes in 2016 to the format, but the essence of the exam remains the same. The SAT I (or the ACT) is a requirement for US university applications. In theory, the exam gives university admissions teams a metric by which to compare students from different educational and geographic backgrounds. It lasts for 3 hours with 50 minutes for an optional essay section and is scored out of 1600, reflecting an equal distribution across the three disciplines. The SAT I is not taught explicitly in US schools, but students will spend time and resources preparing outside of school. Preparation time for an American student can range from 3 months to 3 years with a very small minority of students starting as early as 5th Grade (UK Year 6). For a British student, there is no equivalent, although the medical school aptitude exam the UKCAT has many similarities.

Read about the SAT I test format and question types and about the new SAT below, or see our dedicated webpage on frequently asked questions comparing the SAT I vs the ACT.

Our Experience & Approach

We have a very rigorous, logical approach to the SAT I exam. We start with a practice test to ensure that our tutors can identify strengths and weaknesses in test-taking and content. Our tutors are adept at teaching vocabulary words, mathematical tricks, and reading strategies. We have special experience with British students as well as with International students for whom English is not mother tongue. We teach both content for the exam as well as exam strategy. We provide a bespoke service specific to the needs of individual students which may or may not include specialised tutors for sub-sections, simulated exam condition practice, and detailed test feedback. All of our SAT I teaching is closely overseen by our Head Tutor, Sophia Ohler McCarthy and our Founder Katherine Wiles.

International Students

We understand that your needs may be slightly different, and that the Writing, Reading, and Essay portions of the exam are more challenging. We have tutors who are experienced with English as a Second Language education. These teachers are exceptional individuals and can start with students from any age to help prepare them for entering US education at any stage.

SAT I Test Format & Question Types

The SAT I assesses the skills that are taught in all schools: reading, writing, and mathematics. It lasts 3 hours, with a 50-minute optional essay, and is scored out of 1600 reflecting an equal distribution across the subjects.

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section has two tests: the reading test and the writing and language test. The reading test is 65 minutes long with a total of 52 questions, and the writing and language test is 35 minutes long with a total of 44 questions. It is scored out of 800. The reading section will now be focused more on evidence, where students will be asked questions about the text and then asked about which piece of evidence best supports the answer. The texts are being pulled from U.S. founding documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, etc.) as well as from works by important historical authors (Martin Luther King, Jr., Elizabeth Cady Stanton) to make the reading section more relevant and closer aligned to what students are learning in school.

Mathematics

The purpose of the Mathematics test is to see how well you can apply mathematical skills to the types of problems you will see in college and in your career. The Mathematics test is a total of 80 minutes, with 58 questions. There are two types of questions: multiple choice and student-completed. The score is out of 800. The Mathematics portion assesses numeracy, algebra, geometry, data analysis, statistics, and probability. There are two sections:

  • Section 1: 55 minutes; 38 questions with calculator
  • Section 2: 25 minutes; 20 questions without calculator

The mathematics questions are ordered by difficulty i.e. question 20 is more difficult than question 1.

Calculators

Four-function, scientific, graphing, and Computer Algebra System calculators are permitted on the SAT math sections only. College Board has identified that students with higher performance calculators tend to do better on the exam. Most students will choose a TI-83.

Essay

The essay is now an optional section on the SAT I. It is 50 minutes long, and students will be provided a passage (600-700 words) and will then be asked to analyze how the author built their argument. Students will be asked to understand how authors construct persuasive arguments. The essay measures reading and understanding skills, as well as analytical skills and overall writing capability. Some colleges will require that students take the essay portion, so it’s important to know and plan accordingly beforehand. The essay will be evaluated along three requisites – Reading, Analysis and Writing – with scores of 1-4 for each category. Two scorers will grade each essay, and then the six numbers will be combined for a final score.

No Guessing Penalty

One of the biggest changes from the old SAT I, the new SAT I will no longer negatively mark incorrect answers. Instead of losing ¼ of a point on an incorrect answer, there will simply be no points awarded to incorrect answers. Each multiple choice question now has four possible answers, except for the math grid-in questions, and guessing will no longer be penalized. penalty for guessing on the questions.

Overall changes in the new SAT I

The new SAT I began in March 2016. In order to prepare students, the College Board produced guidance for students who will be affected by the change. In summary, the big changes were:

New SAT College Board Logo
  • No more obscure vocabulary.
  • No penalties for wrong answers (like the ACT)
  • Only 4 multiple choice answers, instead of 5
  • Evidence-based reading and writing. You may be asked in the Reading exam where the evidence is to support the answer or to pull together answers from words or graphics.
  • The Writing section has more analysis: eg does a sentence make sense in context?
  • The SAT Essay will be optional.
  • The new essay requires a student to read a passage and then analyze the author’s ability to build an argument and persuade the audience. Thus, the essay will more closely mimic essays that students write in school.
  • New scoring and structure - in particular no negative marking

Please contact us if these changes are affecting you, and you would like to learn more.

PSAT

Some students will be offered the PSAT through their school to assess readiness for the SAT I exam. The PSAT is an abridged version of the SAT that is used in America to award some university scholarships. The PSAT is an excellent practice test for the SAT and can even be used to create a benchmark score. If you would like tutoring for the PSAT specifically, then please do get in touch.

Selected SAT I Testimonials

Please see below some example SAT I Testimonials that we have received. If you would like to hear more, you may be interested to read about our tutor guarantee or to read about Wentworth Tutors' philosophy and approach in a letter to parents from Dr Katherine Wiles, our Founder. Alternatively, some more SAT I Testimonials can be found on our dedicated testimonials page, where you can filter by subject.

SAT/ACT | Sophia Ohler

"We're very impressed with Sophia, she's lovely and [my daughter] gets on with her very well. Sophia is very inspiring and a good role model for [her]." ... See Sophia Ohler's tutoring profile.

SAT | Wentworth Tutors Private Tutoring

"[The tutor] was fantastic at knowing what parts of the Chemistry syllabus I hadn’t covered. My score improved from a 650 to a 790!"

SAT I | Dr Katherine Wiles

"Katherine was incredible. [My daughter's] score improved beyond even her own expectations. She ended up perfect scoring Critical Reading which was her weakest section!" ... See Dr Katherine Wiles's tutoring profile.

SAT | David Wilkinson

"Well I took the SAT yesterday and it was actually really fun. There were specific questions where I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do them if I hadn’t done that prep with you." ... See David Wilkinson's tutoring profile.

Selected Profiles of our SAT I Tutors

Please see below some example profiles of the SAT I Tutors that we represent. If you would like to hear more, you may be interested to read about our tutor selection criteria or to read about Wentworth Tutors' philosophy and approach in a letter to parents from Dr Katherine Wiles, our Founder. Alternatively, some more profiles of our SAT I Tutors can be found on our dedicated tutors page, where you can filter by subject.

Born in New York City, I moved to the UK when I was 12 years old. I attended two North London day schools: The Hall and University College School. I completed both US and UK university applications. I attended Georgetown University, where I earned a Bachelor's degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

I am familiar with the challenges associated with applying to US universities from the UK, as well as what is required to prepare for the SATs in the UK system. I have worked as a trained English teacher abroad and a junior athletic coach in New York City. ...
I have always been dedicated to success. In 2015, I graduated from the University of Cambridge with first-class honours in Natural Sciences, and was awarded a number of prestigious prizes for my performance. I then went on to study Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and was awarded a Distinction for my MSc. More recently, I have moved to London to study law, and will begin my training to be a solicitor in 2018.

During my law studies, I am hoping to fill my free time with tutoring, a pursuit that I really enjoy. Over the past few years I have spent hundreds of hours tutoring, and have loved seeing my pupils become more confident and learn to enjoy their studies. I have also taken part in pro bono tutoring, helping to give less privileged students the same opportunities as those who are more fortunate, and acting as a mentor through their school careers. ...
I am a recent graduate of the University of Oxford, where I received a first-class MPhil in Politics. At Oxford, I was a Rhodes Scholar at New College, and I served as Tutor in politics at Keble College. Prior to my arrival in the United Kingdom, I attended Brown University, where I double-majored in history and economics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation in 2014, I spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I am fluent in both American and British education systems — and have a passion for education, more broadly. My areas of expertise are maths, history, Spanish, College Counselling and preparation across the board. ...
After passing the 11+ I attended a Grammar School where I achieved 9 A*s and 2As at GCSE, followed by 4 A*s at A Level in Economics, English Literature, Biology and Religious Studies. I received a First Class degree at the University of Bath in Business Administration and joined McKinsey & Co. as a consultant on graduation.

I am a soon-to-be ICF qualified Life Coach and consequently enjoy coupling my deep and effective understanding of how to achieve the high grades students desire, with a holistic approach to their success as an individual. ...
Caitlin is currently in her final year of Kings college London Graduate medical school. She has been working for Wentworth since 2015 focusing on US school and college admissions. She is a dual (US and UK) citizen who graduated with a BA in Neurobiology and Anthropology from Harvard University in 2015. In Harvard, she worked for Veritas Education for 2 years and travelled to China to work as both a teacher and US college consultant. She also tutored children with Autism throughout college. Researching and teaching children who have learning difficulties is one of her main interests. Before Harvard she completed her GCSE's and A-levels (Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geography) in the UK. Alongside her final year of A-levels she completed the SAT and SAT II exams and went through the US college application process alongside her UK UCAS application. She is well versed in the various US entrance exams and the US application process. ...
My passion for tutoring stems from my own personal experience with understanding the impact that excellent teachers can have on our lives. At Winchester College, the leadership and inspiration of my teachers motivated me to succeed, and is reflected in my consistently strong academic record. Having now graduated with a First Class BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and successfully completed an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, I am keen to share my understanding and passion of the sciences and mathematics with new students. ...
I was born and raised in the United Kingdom and won an academic scholarship to Sherborne School at the age of 13. When I was 16 years old my family relocated to the United States, so I completed my secondary education at a competitive high school in the Houston area. After quickly adjusting to the American system, I achieved excellent results in my AP exams and SAT tests and received a place in the prestigious Plan II Honours program at the University of Texas at Austin. I graduated a year early with high honours, a second major in History, and an undergraduate dissertation that was awarded special honours. I have years of experience tutoring for the SAT and ACT exams and experience teaching the American public school curriculum in the humanities. I specialize in preparing international students wishing to attend university in the United States. ...
I have experience teaching a range of ages, both privately part-time and in full time employment as a teacher at Hurstpierpoint College, where I worked for a year before starting my degree at Oxford University. I have a particular interest in entrance into the UK's top schools and Universities, teaching 11 plus, Common Entrance, and preparing students for Oxbridge. I am aided by a detailed understanding of UK independent schools as well as experience preparing for the American education system at ISEE and SSAT level in particular. I have delivered private tuition to children between 5 and 20 years. I find tutoring immensely rewarding and particularly enjoy the focused nature of assisting an individual with their academic goals. ...
I graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a degree in Human Biology -- my area of concentration is Cultural Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary field combining anthropology, psychology, and neurobiology. Though I majored in Human Biology, I also excelled in all my other courses (English, math, chemistry), earning above a 4.0 upon graduation. After university, I taught in the Human Biology department at Stanford, teaching courses such as Human Evolution, Child Psychology and Development, and Health and Environmental Policy. For the past two years, I have been working at a customer experience tech start-up, and I am now pursuing an MA in Service Design at the Royal College of Art. ...
I was brought up in Paris and moved to London to study at Imperial College, where I obtained a Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Theoretical Physics with High First Class honours. My research focused on the way in which alternative logic systems can help us bridge the gap between quantum mechanics and relativity. I was awarded Associateship of the Royal College of Science.

Although I am a science specialist, I also have a strong background in English and Verbal Reasoning. I sat the GRE in 2016 for entrance to US Grad School and got exceptionally good grades (Verbal Reasoning - 99th percentile, Analytical Writing - 93rd percentile).

Since 2011, I have offered private tuition for all major examination boards as well as working for the Imperial College summer schools. ...