Higher education admissions tests—Annex
3

SAT  National Curriculum
 uniTEST 

Writing Section  

Short Essay (1)  

organise and express ideas clearly
 En3 1do 

develop and support the main idea
 En3 1do 

use appropriate word choice and sentence structure
 En3 1b, c, e, f 

Multiple Choice (49)  

improve sentences and paragraphs
 En3 2a, b, c; 7ae 

identify errors  En3 2a, b, c; 7ae
 
Critical Reading Section (67) 
 Verbal and Plausible Reasoning (30)

Sentence Completion  

knowledge of meaning of words 
En1 5; 6e; En2 1a 

understanding of how parts of sentences fit together
 En3 7ae 

Passage Based Reading  

vocabulary in context  En2 1a, g, 3a, b
 
literal comprehension  En2 1a, h, 3a, b
 
extended reasoning  En2 1ad, g, h, i
 interpretation 
  sociocultural understanding

  Critical Reasoning (30)

  decision making

  argument analysis

Mathematics Section (54) 
 Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (30)

Number and Operation  

arithmetic word problems  Ma2 4a
 problem solving 
properties of integers  Ma2 2af
 
rational numbers  Ma2 2 cd
 
logical reasoning  Ma2 1ab
 problem solving 
sets  KS2 (NNS)
 
counting techniques  KS2 Ma2 2a
 
sequences and series  Ma2 1j, 6a
 
elementary number theory  Ma2 2a
 
Algebra and Functions  

substitution and simplifying algebraic expressions
 Ma2 5  
properties of exponents  Ma2 6f
 
algebraic word problems  Ma2 5 h
 problem solving 
solution of equations and inequalities
 Ma2 5e, f, im 

quadratic equations  Ma2 5k
 
rational and radical equations 
Ma2 5b, f, k 

equations of lines  Ma2 6bh
 
absolute value  
 
direct and inverse variation 
Ma2 5h  
concepts of algebraic functions
 Ma2 5  
newly defined symbols based on commonly used ops.
 Ma2 5a 

Geometry and Measurement 
 
area and perimeter of a polygon
 Ma3 2i (KS2 Ma3 2e) 

area and circumference of a circle
 Ma2 5g, Ma3 2h 

volume of a box, cube and cylinder
 Ma3 2i 

Pythagorean theorem and special properties of triangles
 Ma3 2b, f 

properties of parallel and perpendicular lines
 Ma2 6c; Ma3 2a 

coordinate geometry  Ma3 3e
 
geometric visualisation  Ma3 2i
 
slope  Ma2 6c
 
similarity  Ma3 2g
 
transformations  Ma3 2g, 3bd
 
Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability 
 
data interpretation  Ma4 1a 5
 dealing with information 
statistics (mean, median and mode)
 KS3 Ma4 4b, e, f 

probability  Ma4 4b, c, d, g, h
 

NB Key Stage 4 National Curriculum English and Mathematics (higher) references are used, unless indicated.

— The SAT and uniTEST were developed independently and, whilst there are some areas of similarity, there are many areas of difference. One of the clearest differences between the SAT and uniTEST is that much of the SAT assesses knowledge of formal elements of Mathematics and English—something that is intentionally avoided in uniTEST. The focus of uniTEST is primarily on the assessment of the reasoning skills that underpin higher education studies. This reflects the different contexts for which the two tests were designed: the SAT is used in the absence of a National Qualifications Framework; uniTEST would be used in addition to the National Qualifications Framework.

— The vast majority of the material covered by the SAT is included in the English and Mathematics programmes of study of the National Curriculum. The level of difficulty is roughly equivalent to Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework (eg higher tier GCSE). It might be expected that performance on the SAT could be affected by a candidate's educational background, and by extensive preparation. Since uniTEST relies less on candidates' knowledge it is expected that, beyond a limited amount of familiarisation with the test, performance will be less susceptible to "coaching".

— Where there is overlap in the types of skills assessed by uniTEST and the SAT, the questions in uniTEST tend to be of a higher order of difficulty and complexity.


