General information about the SAT

The SAT is the basic qualification for admission to a North American university (United States and Canada) for a Bachelors degree. All students intent on attending a North American university are required to sit the SAT. Certain UK universities will consider SAT scores for entry requirements. The SAT is a standardized aptitude test which tests a student’s abilities in the English language and mathematics. The examination lasts approximately four hours and the mathematics, critical reading and writing sections may come in any order. More specifically, the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT 1 consists of 10 sections, of which nine are scored (see below for further details). The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills you’ll need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems—skills you learned in school that you’ll need in college. The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200—800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice and the essay. It is administered seven times a year in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories, and six times a year overseas. For more online sample questions and preparation materials, visit the SAT Preparation Center.

SAT Question Types

The SAT includes Critical Reading, Math, and Writing sections, with a specific number of questions related to content.

The Unscored Section

In addition, there is one 25-minute unscored section, known as the variable or equating section. This unscored section may be either a critical reading, math, or writing multiple-choice section. This unscored section does not count toward the final score, but is used to try out new questions for future editions of the SAT and to ensure that scores on new editions of the SAT are comparable to scores on earlier editions of the test.

Test Order

The 25-minute essay will always be the first section of the SAT, and the 10-minute multiple-choice writing section will always be the final section. The remaining six 25-minute sections can appear in any order, as can the two 20-minute sections. Test takers sitting next to each other in the same testing session may have test books with entirely different sections. What scores do I need? The answer to that question depends on which university you wish to apply to. If you are contemplating about applying to an IVY LEAGUE university, or one in the higher echelons then you should be looking for a minimum score of approximately 1950/2400 (1350/1600 on the old scoring system). If your native language is not English then you may be given a more flexible score as far as the Verbal section is concerned, though you will definitely need to take the TOEFL test and attain a score of at least 105/120; or alternatively an IELTS test with a commensurate score of 7/9.

Changes in the SAT

As of Spring 2016, the SAT exam format is gong to undergo various critical changes. To begin with, vocabulary will be assessed in context and meanings of words will depend on the way they are used within a given text. Next, The critical reading will include at least one question that requires students to select a quote from the text to support their answer and the writing will in some parts also require evidence and may include graphics that students will be asked to interpret. The essay will also be different. The essay prompt will be known in advance and remain unchanged, whereas the passage will vary. The Mathematics will include three different areas of study: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, the Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. Questions throughout the new SAT will be focused more on current real world areas of study so as to be more in key with topics studied at University. Last but definitely not least, students will not be penalized by wrong answers.

For more details on the changes regarding the SAT please click HERE

About the ACT (American College Testing)

ACT (American College Testing)

About the ACT test

The ACT is similar to the SAT – it is a paper-and-pencil, standardized test that is used an entry requirement for US universities. The whole test lasts 3 hours and 25 minutes and it is administered 6 times per year. Over the past few years the ACT has become more popular than the SAT test as an entry requirement to top US universities.

Structure of the test

English – 45 minutes
40 usage questions
35 Rhetorical skills questions

Mathematics – 60 minutes
33 Algebra questions
23 Geometry questions
4 Trigonometry questions

Reading – 35 minutes
10 Social Studies questions
10 Natural Sciences questions
10 Literary narrative/prose questions
10 Humanities questions

General science – 35 minutes
15 Data representation questions
18 Research summary questions
7 Conflicting viewpoint questions

Writing – 30 minutes
Analysis of an issue


The ACT test is scored on a scaled range from 0 to a perfect score of 36. The Ivy League universities generally look for a score in excess of 31.

For further information and registration for the ACT please visit the official site at:

Private tuition at the Tree Foundation

The Tree Foundation SAT & ACT lessons are aimed at students who wish to study in the USA or Canada. In order to be well prepared for the SAT, students ideally ought to start taking classes from the age of 15/16, or 10th Grade (First Lykeio in Greece), although starting preparation in 11th Grade is manageable. Starting in 12th Grade is generally virtually impossible since there is not enough time to actually sit the examinations or submit the relevant applications on time. Generally, there are two lessons every week, each lasting one hour – one lesson is devoted to the Math section and one to the Verbal section as well as the writing. For futher information please contact us

Student backgrounds and SAT & ACT results at the Tree Foundation

Students have come from literally all over Greece over the past few years to prepare for the SAT & ACT tests at the Tree Foundation. To further illustrate, recently students have come from Corfu, Crete, Tripoli and Volos, while the majority of the students come from the Athens and Piraeus areas. The results have been excellent with students attaining places at world-renwoned universities such as Brown University, Georgetown University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, New York University, and Columbia University, to name just a few of the recent destinations of Tree Foundation students. As a student or parent it is most interesting and informative to learn from the experiences of previous students, and this can be arranged through the network of students who have graduated or are currently studying in the US or Canada.

Choosing the best university

With the fluctuations in the US dollar, the effects of the current finacial crisis, and the increase in competition from international students it has clearly become even more difficult for an international student to secure a place at a top ranked university, especially at a public university. Given the above, choosing the right university is a very important proposition and one that requires much knowledge of the admission process and the likelihood of acceptance at a major institution. We at the Tree Foundation have years of experience and will guide you through the labyrinth to reach your desired destination.

SAT II (Subjects Tests) and AP (Advanced Placement)

All the best universities demand at least two (some three) Tests, or SAT II Tests. We recommend that a student prepare for three to bolster his or her application. The Subject Tests can be chosen from any of the following:






For example, if you are applying for an Engineering degree you will definitely have to take Mathematics 2 and Physics, and perhaps one more science. If applying for Medicine, then you will have to sit Biology, Chemistry, Physics and perhaps Mathematics. Generally the SAT 2 Subject Tests allow a student to strengthen his or her application. Therefore, if you are applying for Economics it would be wise to choose a Humanties/Language and a Science/Mathematics to show that you have a broader range of abilities. The AP or Advanced Placement Test is really quite advanced, enabling the prospective student not only to significantly strengthen his or her application but also to claim credits in the first year of the university degree. A full list of the APs can be found here

Useful links

College Board ( These are the people who administer the SAT in the US. It’s a large site with lots of information, tips, and sample questions and tests. Educational Testing Service ( . For further information about the ACT please visit the official site at:

How do I book a test date in Athens, Greece?

Please call the Tree Foundation for specific details. PLEASE NOTE that you should allow at least TWO months before the actual test to be sure you secure the date you desire. Do not leave your booking till the last minute since you will be disappointed and may well miss important deadlines. You can book a test online via the SAT official website, located at: and the ACT can booked at: