About SAT

Structure of the SAT™ Exam

SAT is a standardized test administered by the College Board and is required to be taken by students seeking admission to undergraduate schools. The new test is more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education. It measures:

  1. What you learn in high school
  2. What you need to succeed in college

If you think the key to a high score is memorizing words and facts you’ll never use in the real world, think again. You don’t have to discover secret tricks or cram the night before. The same habits and choices that lead to success in school will help you get ready for the SAT. The best way to prepare for the test is to:

  1. Take challenging courses.
  2. Do your homework.
  3. Prepare for tests and quizzes.
  4. Ask and answer lots of questions.

In short, take charge of your education and learn as much as you can.

Reading Test

A lot more goes into reading than you might realize—and the Reading Test measures a range of reading skills

Command of Evidence

Some questions ask you to:

  • Find evidence in a passage (or pair of passages) that best supports the answer to a previous question or serves as the basis for a reasonable conclusion.
  • Identify how authors use evidence to support their claims.
  • Find a relationship between an informational graphic and the passage it’s paired with.

Words in Context

Many questions focus on important, widely used words and phrases that you’ll find in texts in many different subjects. The words are ones that you’ll use in college and the workplace long after test day.

The SAT focuses on your ability to:

  • Use context clues in a passage to figure out which meaning of a word or phrase is being used.
  • Decide how an author’s word choice shapes meaning, style, and tone.

Analysis in History/Social Studies and in Science

The Reading Test includes passages in the fields of history, social studies, and science. You’ll be asked questions that require you to draw on the reading skills needed most to succeed in those subjects. For instance, you might read about an experiment then see questions that ask you to:

  • Examine hypotheses.
  • Interpret data.
  • Consider implications.

Answers are based only on the content stated in or implied by the passage.

65 Minutes, 52 Questions

Turn to section 1 of your answer sheet to answer the questions in this section

Each passage or pair of passages below is followed by a number of questions. After reading each passage or pair, choose the best answer to each question based on what is stated or implied in the passage or passages and in any accompanying graphics( Such as Table or graph)

Writing and Language Test

The SAT Writing and Language Test asks you to be an editor and improve passages that were written especially for the test—and that include deliberate errors.

What the Writing and Language Test Measures

Questions on the Writing and Language Test measure a range of skills.

Command of Evidence

Questions that test command of evidence ask you to improve the way passages develop information and ideas. For instance, you might choose an answer that sharpens an argumentative claim or adds a relevant supporting detail.

Words in Context

Some questions ask you to improve word choice. You’ll need to choose the best words to use based on the text surrounding them. Your goal will be to make a passage more precise or concise or to improve syntax, style, or tone

Analysis in History/Social Studies and in Science

You’ll be asked to read passages about topics in history, social studies, and science with a critical eye and make editorial decisions that improve them.

Expression of Ideas

Some questions ask about a passage’s organization and its impact. For instance, you will be asked which words or structural changes improve how well it makes its point and how well its sentences and paragraphs work together. 

Standard English Conventions

This is about the building blocks of writing: sentence structure, usage, and punctuation. You’ll be asked to change words, clauses, sentences, and punctuation. Some topics covered include verb tense, parallel construction, subject-verb agreement, and comma use.  

35 Minutes, 44 Questions

Turn to section 2 of your answer sheet to answer the questions in this section

Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. In some questions, you will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in the Sentence Structure, usage or punctuation. A passage or question may be accompanied by one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising and editing decisions.

Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole.

After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE” option. Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the passage as it is.

Math Test

The SAT Math Test covers a range of math practices, with an emphasis on problem-solving, modeling, using tools strategically, and using algebraic structure.

What the Math Test Measures

Fluency

The Math Test is a chance to show that you:

  • Carry out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and strategically.
  • Solve problems quickly by identifying and using the most efficient solution approaches. This might involve solving a problem by inspection, finding a shortcut, or reorganizing the information you’ve been given.

Conceptual Understanding

You’ll demonstrate your grasp of math concepts, operations, and relations. For instance, you might be asked to make connections between the properties of linear equations, their graphs, and the contexts they represent.

Applications

These real-world problems ask you to analyze a situation, determine the essential elements required to solve the problem, represent the problem mathematically, and carry out a solution.

25 Minutes , 20 Questions

Turn to section 3 of your answer sheet to answer the questions in this section

For questions 1- 15, Solve each problem, choose the best answer from the choices provided, and fill in the corresponding circle on your answer sheet. For questions 16-20, solve the problem and enter your answer in the grid on the answer sheet. Please refer to the directions before question 16 on how to enter your answers in the grid. You may use any available space in your test booklet for scratch work.

Notes:

  1. The use of a calculator is not permitted
  2. All variables and expressions used represent real numbers unless otherwise indicated.
  3. Figures provided in this test are drawn to scale unless otherwise indicated.
  4. All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated
  5. Unless otherwise indicated, the domain of a given function f is the set of all real numbers x for which f(x) is a real number.

55 Minutes , 38 Questions

Turn to section 4 of your answer sheet to answer the questions in this section

For questions 1- 30, Solve each problem, choose the best answer from the choices provided, and fill in the corresponding circle on your answer sheet. For questions 31-38, solve the problem and enter your answer in the grid on the answer sheet. Please refer to the directions before question 31 on how to enter your answers in the grid. You may use any available space in your test booklet for scratch work.

Notes:

  1. The use of a calculator is permitted
  2. All variables and expressions used represent real numbers unless otherwise indicated.
  3. Figures provided in this test are drawn to scale unless otherwise indicated.
  4. All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated
  5. Unless otherwise indicated, the domain of a given function f is the set of all real numbers x for which f(x) is a real number.

SAT Essay

The redesigned SAT Essay asks you to use your reading, analysis, and writing skills.

The SAT Essay shows how well you understand the passage and use it as the basis for a well-written, thought-out discussion. The two people who score your essay will each award between 1 and 4 points in each of these three categories:

Reading: A successful essay shows that you understood the passage, including the interplay of central ideas and important details. It also shows an effective use of textual evidence.

Analysis: A successful essay shows your understanding of how the author builds an argument by:

  • Examining the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and other stylistic and persuasive techniques
  • Supporting and developing claims with well-chosen evidence from the passage

Writing: A successful essay is focused, organized, and precise, with an appropriate style and tone that varies sentence structure and follows the conventions of standard written English.

The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can read and comprehend a passage and write an essay analyzing the passage. In your essay, you should demonstrate that you have read the passage carefully, present a clear and logical analysis and use language precisely.

Your essay must be written on the lines provided in your answer booklet; except for the planning page of the answer booklet, you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write or print so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.

You have 50 minutes to read the passage and write an essay in response to the prompt provided inside this booklet.