If you’ve only recently heard of the SATs in Pakistan, you are not alone. There are thousands of other students out there, just like you, who are considering taking the test, or maybe just finding out more about it.

We know that there’s a lot of noise and misinformation out there, when you’re trying to do your own research, so we’ve taken the liberty of making this comprehensive walkthrough of all you need to know about the SATs in Pakistan.

What is the SAT?

The SAT (formerly an acronym for Scholastic Assessment Test), is a completely MCQ based, college entrance exam developed by the College Board, US, as a measure for students’ reading, writing, analytical and mathematical skills. It is accepted by colleges across the US (many require it), and also by some universities outside, including LUMS.

SAT scores are calculated out of 1600 (not including the essay), and are used by universities, alongside your school transcript and other documents, to determine if you are an acceptable applicant.

Though the final decision of whether or not you receive an admission does not usually come down to your SAT score, most universities have minimum cutoffs, below which they automatically reject applications. A good SAT score is, therefore, crucial to your academic success.

SAT: Examination Structure

The SAT tests candidates on English and Mathematics, each of which is split into 2 sub-sections for a total of 4:

1. English - Reading

2. English - Writing and Language

3. Math - with calculator

4. Math - without calculator

*Note: The optional essay section, which was previously required by some colleges like LUMS, has been discontinued since June, 2021.

The table below gives a complete breakdown of the layout of each section:

  1. - Comprehension: 5 passages or pairs of passages for reading
  2. - 52 MCQs based on the passages
  3. - 65 minutes long
Writing and Language
  1. - Grammar and vocabulary
  2. - 44 MCQs
  3. - 35 minutes long
Math - with Calculator
  1. - Algebra, geometry and trigonometry
  2. - 20 MCQs 
  3. - 25 minutes long
Math - without Calculator
  1. - Algebra, geometry and trigonometry
  2. - 38 MCQs
  3. - 55 minutes long

Scoring Structure: What is a Good SAT Score?

The cumulative score for the SAT is marked out of 1600; 800 for the English sections and 800 for the math.

At this point you might be wondering what constitutes a good SAT score? Well it depends on where you’re applying. The average SAT score in the US is 1051, while the Pakistani average ranges from 1050 to 1100.

Many universities have minimum SAT score requirements as a factor in their application processes. However, most do not explicitly state what this cutoff is, which is why estimates are based on the scores of previously successful applicants.

If you’re looking to apply to LUMS, 1100+ out of 1600, gives you a fairly good shot at meeting the criteria, though none have officially been stated by the university.

Why Should You Take the SAT in Pakistan?

Applying to US Colleges

Needless to say, the SAT is an essential test if you’re thinking of applying to colleges in the US. Most colleges in the US either require the SAT as part of their eligibility criteria, or accept it as a supplementary document, both of which are good reasons to take the test, if you want to improve your chances of success.

Universities in Pakistan that Accept the SAT

In Pakistan, the only university with a mandatory SAT requirement was LUMS. However, since the advent of the pandemic, LUMS is also offering applicants the choice to take the LCAT (LUMS Common Admission Test) instead of the SAT. This provision has been made to account for irregularities in the SAT examination process, owing to Covid-19.

Additionally, some programs of the following universities provide exemptions from their own admission tests, to applicants who have secured a particular SAT score:

1. Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

2. Habib University, Karachi

3. Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore

4. National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)

5. National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST - NUCES)

As these are some of the premier institutions in the country, they make a fairly compelling case for taking the SAT in Pakistan.

*Note: The LCAT is structured exactly like the SAT, and follows the same format in terms of the questions.

How to Register for the SAT in Pakistan?

The next question of course, is how to apply for the SAT in Pakistan? Registrations for the SAT are accepted online by the College Board. To register, simply follow these simple steps below:

1. Visit the College Board website and create an account using this link.

2. You will have to provide your full, legal name and other identifying information. Make sure it’s the exact same name and information shown on your photo ID (Passport in the case of Pakistan).

3. Fill out all required fields, marked with an asterix (*) and complete any optional ones you’d like to. Filling out optional fields helps the College Board connect you to colleges that match your interests, in the US. This is only useful if you are applying to the US.

4. Determine the most suitable test center and testing dates for you and select accordingly.

5. Upload a photo that meets the College Board’s photo requirements.

6. Enter credit/debit card details for payment of the $99 SAT registration fee.

7. Check out, and print your admission ticket.

Upon completing registration you will also get access to 2 free SAT sample tests, administered online, for practice. We recommend you utilize these towards the end of your preparation, as a timed self-assessment.

Feel free to check out our Free Introductory SAT Preparation Module, if you would like to view a step-by-step video guide on how to register for the SAT.

SAT 2021-22 Test Dates: When Should You Take the Exam?

The SAT is usually held 7 times during the course of a single academic year from August till June. The table below contains a complete list of the deadlines for registration as well as the SAT test dates for the year 2021-22:

SAT Test DateRegistration DeadlineTest Scores Available On
August 28, 2021July 30, 2021September 10, 2021
October 2, 2021September 3, 2021October 15, 2021
November 6, 2021October 8, 2021November 19, 2021
December 4, 2021November 4, 2021December 17, 2021
March 12, 2022February 11, 2022March 25. 2021
May 7, 2022April 8, 2022May 20, 2021
June 4, 2022May 5, 2022July 13, 2021

*Note: These deadlines apply to all international students. Citizens/residents of the US may also avail the SAT late registration facility, with a different set of deadlines.

For each test be sure to note the date on which your scores will be available to you, so you can plan which SAT test date to choose, according to the application deadlines and requirements of colleges you are applying to. Most colleges also mention the last acceptable date to take the SAT, in the application processes.

SAT Test Centers: Where is the SAT Held in Pakistan?

SAT testing centers are spread out over various educational institutions, banquet halls and hotels across major cities in Pakistan. Although these are subject to change, SAT venues are usually located in the following cities:

1. Lahore

2. Karachi

3. Islamabad

4. Rawalpindi

You can find out the exact venues for your desired testing date, here.

Ready to Take on the SAT?

We hope you have found this introduction to the SAT in Pakistan useful for your future plans. If you decide you are ready to take on the SAT, and require any assistance, please feel free to reach out to our free counselling helpline via WhatsApp at +92311-1444734, or visit our website to learn more about our SAT Preparatory Courses.