This section is a part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing component of the SAT. It consists of 4-5 passages and a total of 52 questions. You are required to read and understand these passages and answer the questions that follow within 65 minutes.
Each 500-750 words-long passage may be taken from:
- Classic or contemporary work of US or world literature
- Document or speech related to the Constitution and founding of the US
- A selection about economics, psychology, sociology, etc.
Each passage is followed by 10-12 multiple-choice questions with four answer choices. Broadly speaking, the questions are of the following types:
- Main idea or central theme of the passage
- Explanation or inference of a phrase used in the passage
- Function of a phrase or sentence in the passage
- Style, tone, perspective or attitude of the author
- Evidence that supports a stance
- Data analysis on the basis of diagrams, charts or graphs
SAT does not expect you to have prior knowledge of the passage topics as the questions that are asked are always based on the passage. However, familiarity with these topics is recommended because one, it helps you develop a reading habit and two, it is a definitive confidence-building measure.
Writing and Language
This section is a part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing component of the SAT. It consists of 4 passages and a total of 44 multiple-choice questions. You are required to read and understand these passages and answer the questions that follow in 35 minutes.
Each passage may be taken from articles or write-ups related to:
- History or Social Studies
Commonly-asked question types are based on:
- Strengthen/weaken the argument
- Word choice regarding text, style or tone
- Structural changes to ensure correctness or improve readability
- Sentence structure, punctuation, grammar usage involving verb tense, parallel construction, subject-verb agreement, etc.
Prior knowledge of topics is not required as all questions lie within the scope of the passage. Some passages may be accompanied by graphs or charts that check your interpretative skills (not mathematical skills).
Together, the above two sections are scored on a scale of 200-800.
The Math component of the SAT has two parts: Math Test-Calculator and Math Test-No calculator. Math Test-Calculator has 38 questions to be answered within 55 minutes and Math Test-No Calculator has 20 questions to be answered within 25 minutes. The calculator part of the test involves complex calculations that necessitates the use of calculator, but if you are comfortable you can choose not to use one. Check out SAT-approved calculators.
The Math test focuses on three core areas:
Heart of Algebra
Linear equations with rational coefficients, system of linear equations(with no solution, finite or infinite solutions), linear inequalities in two variables and their systems, graphical representation of linear function.
Problem-solving and Data Analysis
Percentages; ratio and proportion; unit conversion; equation of line or curve using a scatterplot; two-way tables to calculate conditional frequencies and conditional probabilities; association of variables or independence of events; estimation of a population parameter; calculation of mean, median, mode, range and standard deviation in statistics; evaluation of reports to check appropriateness of data collection methods.
Passport to Advanced Math
Quadratic equations with rational coefficients; determination of the most suitable form of an expression; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of polynomial equations; zeros and factors of polynomials, non-linear relationship between two variables, function notation, isolation of a variable by rearrangement of formula or equation.
SAT provides you with a cheat sheet of important formulae. Although most questions in the Math section are multiple-choice, 22 per cent are grid-in questions wherein a student has to solve the problem, write the correct answer in the box provided and circle the corresponding bubble in the OMR sheet provided.
The Math section is scored on a scale of 200-800.
This is the optional component of the SAT. However, some universities require or recommend it. Check SAT essay requirements in your college of choice.
SAT essay allows you to demonstrate your reading, analysis and writing skills. You are given 50 minutes to read a 650-750 words-long passage and then write an analysis about how the author builds his or her argument. This type of question is a standard feature of the SAT essay. The passage, of course, varies each time. Remember, you are required to analyse the author’s text and identify the evidence that the author uses to support his or her argument. So, refrain from stating your opinion. Take a look at the SAT Essay Guide to know more.
SAT-II ( SAT Subject Test)
SAT Subject Tests are college admission exams on specific subjects. These are the only national admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your strengths and interests.
Subject Tests Overview
- There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics and science.
- Each Subject Test is an hour long. They are all multiple-choice and scored on a 200–800 scale.
- Subject Tests test you on your knowledge of subjects on a high school level. The best way to prepare is to take the relevant courses and work hard in them.
When, Where, and How
- SAT Subject Tests are generally given six times in any given school year, on the same days and in the same test centers as the SAT — but not all 20 tests are offered on every SAT date. Find out when specific tests will be given.
- The Language with Listening tests are offered in November. After 2020, tests are offered in May. Upcoming administrations are in November 2019, November 2020 (U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands only), and May 2021.
- You can take one, two, or three Subject Tests on any test date.
- You can’t take the SAT and an SAT Subject Test on the same day.
- Some SAT Subject Tests require you to bring special equipment — for example, CD players for Language with Listening tests.
- You choose what tests to take when you register, but on test day, you can add, subtract, or switch tests — with some limitations.