Do you Need SAT Exam to Study in Canada?

Canada is rapidly becoming one of the best study destinations for international students. There are various hurdles a student must cross to get into a university and taking the SAT exam may be one of them. This is why many students who want to study in Canada wonder if the SAT Exam is compulsory to gain admission into Canadian universities. If this is you, then we are glad you are reading this article. Here, we would be discussing whether or not you need a SAT exam to study in Canada and other relevant details.

What is SAT?

SAT, Scholastic Assessment Test is a standard exam offered by the College Board to be taken by students seeking admission into higher institutions. Formerly known as Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was created to test the mathematical, written and verbal abilities of students. It is a pencil and paper test taken by students in the US and Canada if required by the university. However, the College Board has decreed that the SAT exam would move from pencil and paper to a digital exam. This is said to take effect from 2024 and 2023 for international students. SAT exam usually lasts for 3 hours but with the Digital SAT taking effect from 2023, the exam length would be shorter.

SAT exam is a way to test whether a student is ready for college and the result of the exam would be examined with your high school GPA, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and personal essays among other factors. The higher you score in your SAT, the better your chances of getting into a university abroad.

What is the Importance of SAT?

1. Gateway to College

This is the most obvious reason SAT was created. US and Canadian colleges may check your SAT results to see whether you meet their admission requirements for various programs and universities. You may decide to switch universities or if you initially apply to a community college intending to transfer to a university, your test scores may be required. Additionally, universities may use the best scores from each SAT you’ve taken, if you achieve a score on one test that is higher than any other SAT you have previously taken.

2. Scholarship Opportunities

Some scholarships require SAT results. Hence, students who have SAT scores may be qualified for scholarships that demand them. Students should carefully review scholarship conditions and applications to determine whether SAT scores are required.

3. Help your Low GPA

If you had a low GPA, taking the SAT exam can boost your GPA. Having a high score on your SAT can show universities that you have all it takes to cope academically even if your GPA says otherwise. This would also indicate to universities admission committees how far you have improved in your high school years.

4. Some Jobs Require it

Although this is not common, some jobs require you to have good test scores before they employ you. This is why you shouldn’t take any chances with this test because you never can tell where it would profit you. Apart from potential employers, some high schools also make it compulsory for their students to take the SAT.

What Colleges Accept SAT in Canada?

University SAT SCORE
University of Toronto 1350
University of British Columbia 1400
McGill University 1460
University of Montreal 1400
University of Alberta 1200
University of Waterloo 1200
McMaster University 1200
University of Saskatchewan 1100
University of Calgary 1100
University of Ottawa 1000

Types of SAT

1. SAT Reasoning Test

You are assessed based on reading, writing, and arithmetic in the SAT Reasoning Test. The exam lasts roughly three hours and fifty minutes. Before signing up for the SAT exam, you should be aware that the College Board has not given you any SAT qualifying requirements. In order to take the examination when they are in class XII, pupils of class XI typically begin studying for it in that year. The exam assesses candidates based on general reading, writing, and quantitative aptitude as well as the skill set that students are taught in the classroom.

2. SAT Subject Test

It evaluates your knowledge of some specific subjects, unlike the SAT reasoning test. The SAT subject test lasts for one hour and it gives you the chance to demonstrate how good you are in your chosen area. English, history, math, science, and foreign languages are among the subjects you can take in the SAT. Please be aware that not all international colleges and universities need students to take the SAT Subject Test; as a result, you must check with the college and institutions before taking the SAT exam. However, this is no longer valid.

What is the Eligibility for SAT in Canada?

There are no fixed eligibility criteria for the SAT exam in Canada, however, there are a few things to consider:

1. Age

There is no age limit for taking the SAT and so you don’t need to bother about your age when taking the exam. Moreover, most candidates who take the SAT exam are between the ages of 17 – 19. Even though there is no fixed age requirement, students below the age of 13 or who are studying in a grade lower than the eighth grade who wish to take the SAT must meet the criteria below:

  • If the candidate is exactly 12 years of age or below they can register for SAT via email.
  • If the candidate is exactly 13 years of age or below, they can register for SAT by registering a free account.
  • If the candidate is exactly 21 years of age or below, they will need to show a Government-issued photo ID which includes a driver’s license, voter’s card or passport.

2. Education

The College Board has not established any particular educational eligibility requirements. But high school students can register for the SAT. The SAT tests students’ abilities in reading, writing, and reasoning and how well the student is ready for the real world. The College Board typically tests the knowledge that students have acquired in their academic settings. However, it is preferable to opt for the SAT exam if you were taught in the English language as the test’s mode of instruction is English.

3. Frequency

Fortunately, there is no limit to the number of times you can take the SAT exam. If you don’t pass the exam once or you don’t get the required score for your university, then go ahead to take the exam until you pass it or get your desired score. But it is recommended to take the exam at least twice before you finish your academics in high school.

4. Disability

The College Board must be notified in advance for students with disabilities to be allowed to take the SAT with special accommodations. Candidates must verify any additional conveniences that need to receive prior approval from the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) section. This can be utilized for both the SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Test once the facilities for students with disabilities have been approved.

The facilities for disabled candidates for the SAT Exam include the following:

  • The use of braille and large-print tests for candidates with vision impairment.
  • Additional time is provided to finish the SAT exam.
  • The use of a computer to write essays.
  • Additional exam breaks are provided for candidates.

How Much are the Fees for the SAT?

To register for SAT, you would need to pay a fee of $60. However, there are additional costs that you may need to pay depending on the circumstance. The fees are expressed in the table below:

Service Fee Details
Change your test centre $25 This fee is for only changing your test centre. If you want to change any other details, you need to cancel your registration and start again. This however free with fee waivers.
Cancel your registration $25 This fee is for cancelling your registration on or before the stipulated deadline. This however free with fee waivers.
Cancel your registration late $35 This fee is for cancelling your registration after the stipulated deadline, through the day of the test. This however free with fee waivers.
Additional score reports $12 per report but unlimited for fee waivers. If you order your first four score reports before nine days have passed since the exam date, they will be free. This cost is charged for extra reports or reports ordered later.
Rush reports $31 Additional score report fees may be applicable
Get your scores on the phone $15 per call Available with the release of online scores. At the moment of the call, payment by credit card is required.
Archived scores $31 Additional score report fees may be applicable
SAT Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) $16 

Free with fee waiver

Hand score verification $55 

May be reduced

The SAT fee waivers are only available for certain categories of people. Eligible candidates include:

  • Low-income 11th- and 12th-grade students in the U.S. or U.S. territories. Also, U.S. citizens living outside the country may also be qualified for fee waivers.

You are also eligible if any of the following describes you:

  • Candidates eligible to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Candidates whose family’s yearly income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines as set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Candidates who are registered in a federal, state, or local program that helps students from low-income families.
  • Candidates whose families receive public assistance.
  • Candidates who are homeless or reside in federally subsidized public housing or even a foster home.
  • Candidates who are wards of the state or orphans.

SAT Sample Papers

There are several components on the SAT Exam Sample paper, including portions on reading, writing, language, and mathematics. Every segment includes a set number of questions and an allotted amount of time for students to complete the exam. If you want to take the SAT Exam soon, you should be aware of the time and questions. Candidates taking the SAT exam can benefit from SAT question papers. To gain a thorough understanding of the SAT exam format, candidates must collect SAT prior year papers. The SAT exam papers and PDFs are available here for study and their answers in PDFs are given below:

Sample paper links Answers
SAT Exam Sample Practice Paper 1 Questions SAT Exam Sample Practice 1 Answers
SAT Exam Sample Practice Paper 2 Questions SAT Exam Sample Practice 2 Answers
SAT Exam Sample Practice Paper 3 Questions SAT Exam Sample Practice 3 Answers
SAT Exam Sample Practice Paper 4 Questions SAT Exam Sample Practice 4 Answers

For the Maths test, the following would be of help to you

SAT question paper SAT answer sheet SAT answer explanation
Paper 1 Answer Sheet 1 Explanation 1
Paper 3 Answer Sheet 3 Explanation 3
Paper 5 Answer Sheet 5 Explanation 5
Paper 6 Answer Sheet 6 Explanation 6
Paper 7 Answer Sheet 7 Explanation 7
Paper 8 Answer Sheet 8 Explanation 8
Paper 9 Answer Sheet 9 Explanation 9
Paper 10 Answer Sheet 10 Explanation 10

Note that paper 2 and paper 4 are missing here because they have been removed by the College Board.

How to Prepare for the SAT examination?

1. Register for the Exam

If you don’t know how to register for the exam, then we would show you further in this article. There are various venues and dates from which you can choose. Since you’ll need to drive there or probably take a bus the morning of the exam, try to choose a venue that isn’t too far away. You want to make sure you provide yourself with enough time to get ready, so be mindful of the date. We would suggest choosing a date at least three months in advance, if not more if you are completely unprepared for the SAT. You are also able to prepare under pressure if you must meet application deadlines. Simply put, you’ll need to prepare for fewer weeks over a longer time, which will need more work each week.

2. Get Familiar with the Pattern of the SAT Exam

You need to know how the examiners set questions, the time allowed, the number of questions etc. The SAT consists of 1600 points, which are divided into two sections: the Math section is worth 800 points, and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is worth 800 points. 400 points are the minimum acceptable score (200 on each section). Taking an essay in the SAT exam is optional but if you decide to note that the maximum essay score is 24. It is scored separately from the other sections out of eight points across three areas. The SAT also has a pattern of asking questions so you must be familiar with this by using the sample papers that we have provided in this article.

3. Pinpoint Your Weaknesses

As you prepare for the SAT exam, you would begin to realize areas that you are weak in and so you can work on them. After taking the practice test preferably in a quiet environment with the use of an accepted calculator, you should score yourself. These scores would show you where you need to improve on and the subjects you know the most.

4. Set a Score Target

You can’t play successfully and score goals in football without having a goal post, it is the same thing here! You need to set a Score target, which is your anticipated SAT score. You need to also look out for your school’s SAT cut-off mark so you’d be on track.

5. Create a Study Plan

You need to create a to-do list to help you achieve your goals for the exam. This would help you track your process before the exam. However, you need to stick to the plan to make the best out of it. You can also be accountable to a friend so you can be diligent in your preparation.

6. Be Ready on your Exam Day

You have to be prepared for the exam day in all areas! So make sure to follow all of your best strategies, including getting plenty of sleep the night before, eating a healthy breakfast, and remembering to put pencils and a calculator in your bag.

SAT Test Dates and Syllabus

SAT Test Dates Registration Deadline Deadline for cancellation, late registration or changes
Aug 27, 2022 Jul 29, 2022 Aug 16, 2022
Oct 1, 2022 Sept 2, 2022 Sept 20, 2022
Nov 5, 2022 Oct 7, 2022 Oct 25, 2022
Dec 3, 2022 Nov 3, 2022 Nov 22, 2022
Mar 11, 2023 Feb 10, 2023 Feb 28, 2023
May 6, 2023 Apr 7, 2023 Apr 25, 2023
June 3, 2023 May 4, 2023 May 23, 2023

SAT Syllabus

SAT Syllabus covers subjects that students have already been thought in their high schools. The SAT Syllabus includes:

  • Reading section
  • Writing
  • Mathematics

1. SAT Reading Syllabus

The evidence-based Reading and Writing part of the SAT includes a reading section. There will be a total of 52 questions in this section, which comprises a total of 5 paragraphs with 10–11 questions each. Each question offers four options to choose from. The reading comprehension test is intended to gauge a candidate’s understanding of various situations and the vocabulary used to describe them, as well as their comprehension of written text.

SAT consists of three important reading sections

Reading comprehension – 25 mins

Sentence completions – 25 mins

Paragraph-length critical reading – 20 mins

The Reading test consists of five passages: one set of paragraphs that you must read together, and four separate sections. Each passage contains 500–750 words. The quotations come from the following categories of paperwork.

  • 2 passages from scientific literature in physics, chemistry, biology, or earth science and 1 passage each from sociology, social science, psychology, or economics
  • 1 literary quote from a piece of fiction
  • 1-2 paragraphs from the US Constitution and the US’s foundation

2. SAT Writing Syllabus

The writing test consists of multiple-choice questions that require you to read passages and identify and correct errors. 44 multiple-choice questions are included in the 35-minute test along with 4 texts. There are 11 multiple-choice questions for each 400–450 word passage. This section is intended to test the candidate’s knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

SAT writing has three sections

  • Essay section – 25 mins
  • 2 Multiple choice sections – 25 mins and 10 mins

Writing and Language passages may be gotten from:

  • History/Social Studies
  • Humanities
  • Careers
  • Science

3. SAT Math Syllabus

There are two sections to the SAT Math test: Math Test with Calculator and Math Test without Calculator. Math Test No-Calculator includes 20 questions with a 25-minute time limit, whereas Math Test Calculator has 38 questions with a 55-minute time limit.

SAT contains three Math sections

  • Algebra and functions – 25 mins
  • Geometry Statistics – 20 mins
  • Probability and Data analysis – 20 mins

SAT Centres in Nigeria

Some centres in Nigeria are shown in the table below:

SAT Centres Location
Jephthah Schools East-Ist Road, Rumuokoro, Port Harcourt, Rivers state
GrundTVIG International KM 11 Onitsha-OIrri Expressway, Onitsha, Anambra state
Olashore International School Oba Oladele Olashore Way, Iloko-Ijesha, Osun state.
Hillcrest School Gomwalk Road, Jos, Plateau
Sappatti International School Off Ajase Road, Sapati Ile Road, Ilorin
Government Technical College Abakaliki Road, Enugu
Mikon Institute of Technology Uhenuyi street, off Boundary Road, Edo state
American Christian Academy Onireke, Ibadan, Oyo
International School Lagos UNILAG, Lagos
Dansol High School 13/15, Off Acme Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos
Model Secondary School No 1 Lake Chad Cres, Maitama, Abuja

How do you Register for SAT?

The easiest way to register for SAT is online and you can do so in the following steps

1. Go to the College Board’s website and create your account.

2. Submit all the relevant details as required.

3. Choose the exam and the nearest exam venue to you.

4. Submit your photo on the website.

5. Pay the SAT application fee.


The SAT exam opens the door to your admission to a Canadian university. Although not all universities require the SAT, it can also be useful anywhere you want to show your academic qualification. We hope this article has given you sufficient details on the SAT exam and why you may need it to study in Canada.