SAT and TOEFL: What Are the Key Differences for Studying Abroad? 

4 minute read

The terms SAT and TOEFL are frequently mentioned in discussions related to international students studying abroad. This is because these exams play a vital role in your overall study-abroad journey. These standardised exams, while both serving as essential prerequisites for foreign universities, assess distinct skill sets. 


TOEFL stands as a formidable testament to your command of the English language within an academic setting. It meticulously gauges your ability to read, write, speak, and listen with fluency and comprehension, ensuring seamless integration into English-speaking academic environments. Think of it as showcasing your linguistic prowess for effective communication. 

SAT, on the other hand, ventures deeper, assessing your broader academic aptitude and reasoning abilities. It delves into critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills across reading, writing, and mathematics. This test transcends language barriers, evaluating your overall intellectual preparedness for rigorous university coursework. 

These examinations, despite having the same purpose of measuring students’ aptitude and cognitive prowess for studying abroad, are inherently different. In this article, we have shared some of the key differences between the SAT and TOEFL tests

SAT vs. TOEFL: Exam Frequency in 2024

The TOEFL offers a flexible schedule with over 60 pre-scheduled test dates throughout the year, accommodating international students who may face travel and logistical challenges.

 In contrast, the SAT operates with a more structured schedule, offering seven pre-scheduled test dates annually. This caters to domestic students and universities who follow a well-defined academic calendar.

This disparity reflects the respective purposes of the exams. TOEFL’s focus on language proficiency necessitates a wider availability to accommodate varying needs and time zones. Conversely, the SAT’s emphasis on academic readiness aligns with the established academic cycles within its primary testing regions.

Understanding these scheduling differences empowers students to plan their study abroad journeys effectively, aligning their exam preparation with their chosen university application timelines.  That being said, refer to the data given below to compare the two exams based on their frequency. 


SAT vs. TOEFL: Exam Structure 

Both the tests have different exam structures with varied particulars. That being said, refer below to compare the exam structures of both exams. 


What is the Scoring Difference Between SAT and TOEFL?

The SAT exam is marked on a scoring scale of 400-1600, while the TOEFL is marked on a scoring range of 0-120. That being said, both exams are inherently different when it comes to scoring. Therefore, test takers must understand the scoring difference between the two exams. Have a look at the data below to go through the scoring difference between the two exams.


SAT and TOEFL: Test Requirements

The documentation and identification requirements for these English language proficiency tests are remarkably similar, offering flexibility for test-takers. Apart from that, neither exam enforces an age limit. However, individuals from all age groups tend to take the TOEFL, whilst high schoolers take the SAT. To gain a clearer understanding, let’s delve into a detailed comparison of their test requirements. 


So that was all about SAT and TOEFL exams. Both these standardized tests are undertaken for admission purposes and have similar requirements. Now, even though both exams may seem similar, they are inherently different from each other with different purposes. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding these exams and the key differences that set them apart. 

Related Blogs:

SAT Registration: Important Dates, Eligibility Criteria and Step-Wise ProcedureSAT Exam in India 2023: Application ProcessSAT Preparation Tips & Tricks 2023
How to Prepare for NEW TOEFL Online: Study Guide 2023TOEFL Exam Pattern 2023: Check Revised Pattern &Types of TOEFL Exam: IBT, ITP & CBT


Q1. Is the TOEFL easier than SAT?  

Ans: Yes, the TOEFL exam is generally considered easier than the SAT by many students. This is because the TOEFL is an English proficiency test, while the SAT evaluates students based on their critical thinking skills and aptitude. SAT test takers are required to work on their analytical skills and maths, while TOEFL aspirants are required to work on their English to ace the test.

Q2. What is the hardest part of the SAT?

Ans: The most challenging section of the SAT exam is the Critical Reading section. This section requires students to implement their critical thinking abilities along with their proficiency in the English language. 

Q3. What are the eligibility requirements for the SAT and TOEFL exams? 

Ans: There are no set eligibility criteria for taking the SAT and TOEFL exams. 

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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