Differences between YöS and SAT exams
صوفيا ايدن Date : 26 Apr 23

In this article, we will learn about the YÖS and SAT, the difference between them, their importance, the syllabus structure, and the number of questions.

In addition to the above, we will present the required period to prepare for these tests, the date, the minimum score to get admission to the university you wish to study, and the documents necessary to apply for these tests.

First, we will briefly discuss the Turkish YÖS exam and present all the required information the students must know.

What is the YÖS exam?

"YÖS" is an abbreviation of "Yabancı Öğrenci Sınavı," which means in Arabic "Exam for Foreign Students."

  • This test is for (non-Turkish) international students wishing to enroll in Turkish public universities. Therefore, YÖS is a "local" exam not recognized in international universities like TOEFL and IELTS.
  •  The YÖS exam certificate is one of the prerequisites for admission to most Turkish public universities.
  • Public universities give priority to the obtained YÖS score. This score will determine which faculty the student can join.
  • Turkish public universities require a minimum average for admission to each faculty. If the international student obtains the required score, he can enroll and start his study immediately.

Read also: How to begin studying in Turkey?

What is the Structure of the YÖS Exam?

  • Most parts of the YÖS exam are about intelligence questions (IQ) with several mathematical questions to evaluate the student's intellectual level, way of thinking, ability to deal with arithmetic operations and numbers, and analysis of data and graphics.
  • The other part focuses on engineering questions that vary between engineering theories and their forms and derivations.

Date of YÖS Exam in Turkish Universities

  • The YÖS exam is usually held in universities between May and June. However, the questions vary from one university to another, where each university has its vision in formulating questions, shortlisting, and distributing applicants.
  • Each university also announces the dates and venue of the YÖS exam on its official website. Therefore, the student must regularly check the university website he wishes to enroll in for the latest updates and announcements about the exam.

Required Documents for the YÖS Exam Registration

The student needs to submit:

  • A personal photograph with a white background.
  • A copy of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) translated and notarized into Turkish.
  • A copy of the passport or Turkish residence permit

Second, we will briefly discuss the SAT and present all the required information the students must know. After that, we will explain the differences between YÖS and SAT

What is the YÖS exam?

Read more about: Application Requirements to Study in Turkey in 2023

What is the SAT?

  • "SAT" is the abbreviation of "Scholastic Assessment Test," which means in Arabic "School Assessment Test."
  • This test measures students' aptitude for admission to universities and higher education institutions. It helps students get admission to Turkish public universities or USA universities.
  • It is administered by a non-profit educational institution called the College Board, headquartered in the USA and has branches worldwide.

What is the Structure of the SAT Test?

The SAT is divided into two main sections: SAT1 and SAT2.

In this article, we will only talk about "SAT1 as it is the standard SAT format and required in Turkish universities. However, the "SAT 2" test is subject-specific for specific university specializations and is not required by any Turkish university.

Difference between the YÖS and SAT

Sections of SAT Test

This test contains four main sections:

1. Writing Section

This section aims to measure the student's ability to understand and assimilate the given information and then express this information based on his understanding.

This section evaluates the student's English writing skills and knowledge of the various vocabularies and terms.

2. Reading Section

This section contains literary texts. The evaluation depends on the student's reading and comprehension of the given text to answer the text-related questions correctly.

3. Mathematics and Arithmetic Problems Section

This section presents several arithmetic problems in geometry, algebra, statistics graphs, trigonometry, and data analysis.

4. Essay Section

This section contains one optional question to write a literary essay on a specific topic determined by the test administration. The student must write this essay clearly and explicitly within 50 minutes.

What is the SAT?

Date of SAT Test in Turkey

The dates and venues for the test are announced each year on the official website of the College Board. Therefore, the student must check the website of the College Board for the latest updates and announcements.

How to Register for the SAT Test?

Registration for the test is done online. The student should visit the official website of the College Board during the specified date to fill out the application form with all required information, choose the nearest center, and pay the test fees.

Difference between the YÖS and SAT





Turkish (local)

English (international)


based on mathematics

English and mathematics questions

Number of question

80 to 100 


Duration of Test

100 minutes

3 hours, interrupted by a break

Exam preparation time

3 to 5 months

50 to 100 hours


100 to 250₺

$70 to $100

Which test is better, YÖS or SAT?

Dear reader, this question can only be answered by the student, as he is the one who can decide the suitable exam to meet his capabilities.

If the student is good at English and wishes to pursue his studies at a Turkish university, he can apply for the SAT.

 On the other hand, if the student has the ability and passion for studying with a Turkish medium of instruction, he can apply for the "YÖS" exam. Unlike the "SAT" required by a few Turkish universities that may not exceed ten, YÖS opens the doors for students to many Turkish public universities.

Learn more about: Top 10 Best Public Universities in Turkey

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