UK student visa

Sign up for free

expert consultation

Down Arrow

I accept the Terms & Conditions

Don't know what to do?

Get Free Counseling

Posted on May 20 2020

Understanding how SAT and GRE exams are different

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
SAT & GRE Online Coaching

If you are willing to advance your study abroad, you must be busy getting a lot of necessary steps right to finally get there. There are a lot of steps, procedures, processes, and preparations to be done. A good migration consultant can guide and help you get all the technical requirements to qualify for migration overseas. But still, there is a major part you must work for and win on your own.

To qualify for study or work abroad, it is imperative that you have a necessary level of language and analytical skills. These can be developed using proper coaching and proven by getting good grades in immigration tests like Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).

Both these exams help you join in good universities in countries like the USA, the UK, and Australia. In these countries, various universities demand different levels of performance in these exams.

So, you might be thinking about how are these exams different from each other. If you understood the differences, you could understand the apt choice of exam for your purpose. Hence, here we will check out a few points that throw light on this topic.

The purpose

GRE is used for graduate course admissions. SAT is the one for undergraduate course admissions. GRE is taken up more for graduate programs in disciplines of social sciences, arts and humanities, and math and sciences. SAT is chosen for specialized programs like law, medicine, and business among many others.

The method

GRE test is basically computer-delivered while SAT uses the paper-delivered model. But it’s not uncommon that in places with poor availability of computer test facilities, a paper-delivered model is applied for GRE. Also, with much seamless technology around, even the SAT could change its methods in the near future.

The cost

GRE definitely costs more than the SAT. GRE costs $205 while the SAT costs you not more than $60. Additional score reports for GRE costs $27 per score recipient. This is just $12 for the SAT.

The availability

The GRE test is available all year round all around the world at designated test centers. Hence, it’s very convenient to attend the test. This is not the case with the SAT. It’s only conducted 7 times a year, once in the months of March, May, June, August, October, November, and December.

The sections

GRE has 4 sections, namely:

  • Analytical Writing (2 questions, 60 minutes)
  • Verbal Reasoning (2 times, 20 questions, 30 minutes per section)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (2 times, 20 questions, 35 minutes per section)
  • Experimental or research section that’s unscored (Either an extra Verbal or Quant section. 20 questions, 30 or 35 minutes)

SAT has 5 sections, namely:

  • Reading (52 questions, 65 minutes)
  • Writing and Language (44 questions, 35 minutes)
  • Math (Calculator not allowed, 20 questions, 25 minutes)
  • Math (Calculator allowed, 38 questions, 55 minutes)
  • Essay (Optional. 1 question, 50 minutes)

The structure

In GRE, the first section is always Analytical Writing. The Quant and Verbal sections are arranged randomly. But in SAT, the order of sections is always the same, which is:

  • Reading
  • Writing and Language
  • Math without a calculator allowed
  • Math with calculator allowed
  • Essay (optional)

The adaptivity

GRE, largely a computer-based test, uses adaptive testing. This means that the test’s difficulty is altered according to the test taker's progress in performance. But a paper-based test like the SAT has no such adaptability coming with it.


GRE has no section that focuses on the mechanics of writing. Hence, there’s no focus on grammar in its tests. The test determines your capacity and skill in understanding and reasoning with the questions given to gauge your analytical skill.

SAT, on the other hand, has the Writing and Language section. It wants you to edit given passages and check out for their grammar, flow, and clarity.

The essays

The essay section in the SAT comes at the end of the test. You will get 1 essay to write in 50 mins time. It’s optional though. You have to analyze the argument of the passage.

The essay section in GRE comes as the Analytical writing section. This comes at the beginning of the test. There will be 2 essays to attend to in 30 minutes for each essay. The tasks will be to analyze an issue and analyze an argument. the

The use of a calculator

Since GRE is a computer-based test, an on-screen calculator will be used. In SAT, a physical calculator is used.

The scoring

In GRE, Verbal and Quant use the same scale. This is of 130 to 170 range with increment by 1-point. Verbal and Quant scores are presented as separate scores as opposed to one combined score.

In SAT, the 2 math sections are scored together. They are calculated on a scale of range 200 to 800, resulting in an overall math score. The scores for Reading and Writing and Language sections are put together for an overall Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score. The range for this is also 200 to 800.

If you join a good SAT coaching or take up GRE classes, you will get a well-structured training. It will help you get confident about these exams and score high.

If you found this blog engaging, you may also like it…

Getting the hang of the GMAT online exam



Options for you by Y-Axis

phone 1

Get it on your mobile


Get News alerts

contact 1

Contact Y-Axis

Latest Article

Popular Post

Trending Article

Most powerful passports

Posted On April 15 2024

Most powerful passports in the world: The Canada passport vs. The UK passports