While applying to colleges and universities students have to be aware that besides reviewing the marks obtained in high school, classes attended and letters of recommendation the admissions officers also review the SAT scores. The importance of the SAT scores depends from college to college. Students have to realize that the higher you score on the SAT, the more options you have of selecting colleges of your choice. It also provides options while paying for college.
The SAT consists of two sections which are Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and the Math sections. It also includes an optional Essay section. The scores for the SAT Essay are reported separately from the overall test scores and some colleges may require that you complete the SAT Essay.
The SAT is 3 hours long. If you choose to take the SAT with Essay, the test will be 3 hours and 50 minutes. Each section of the SAT is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale. The total SAT score is the sum of your section scores. The highest possible SAT score is 1600. If you take the Essay, you will receive a separate score.
LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS
SAT content and format
Here’s an overview of the content areas and question formats you can expect to see on the SAT:
Evidence-based reading and writing
Words in context
You will be tested on words that appear frequently in high-school-level and college-level texts.
Range of sources
You’ll be asked to analyze, synthesize, and interpret data from a range of sources, including tables, charts, and graphs, as well as multi-paragraph passages in the following areas: Literature and literary nonfiction; The humanities; Science; History and social studies; and Work and career.
Command of evidence
For every passage or pair of passages you’ll see during the Reading Test, at least one question will ask you to identify which part of the text best supports the answer to the previous question. In other instances, you’ll be asked to find the best answer to a question by pulling together information conveyed in words and graphics.
The Writing and Language Test also focuses on command of evidence. It will ask you to analyze a series of sentences or paragraphs and decide if they make sense. Other questions will ask you to interpret graphics and to edit a part of the accompanying passage so that it clearly and accurately communicates the information in the graphics.
The SAT essay also tests your command of evidence. After reading a passage, you’ll be asked to determine how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience through the use of evidence, reasoning, or stylistic and persuasive devices.
Essay analyzing a source
The SAT essay is optional—it asks you to analyze how an author uses evidence, reasoning, and other stylistic evidence to craft a persuasive argument.
The Math that matters most
The Math Test focuses in depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math.
- Questions from the Problem Solving and Data Analysis area will require you to use ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in science, social science, and career contexts.
- Questions from the Heart of Algebra area focus on the mastery of linear equations and systems, which help students develop key powers of abstraction.
- The Passport to Advanced Math questions focus on more complex equations and the manipulation they require.
Analysis in science and analysis in history/social studies
You will be asked to apply your knowledge in reading, writing, language, and math to answer questions in science and history/social studies contexts. Questions will require you to read and understand texts and to synthesize information presented through texts and graphics.
Founding documents and great global conversations
These reading passages focus on major founding political documents and the great global conversations they inspire.
Length of the SAT
The SAT is three hours long, not including short breaks. The optional Essay is an additional 50 minutes.
Here are the main components of the SAT:
- Reading Test – 65 minutes, 52 questions
- Writing and Language Test – 35 minutes, 44 questions
- Math Test – two sections:
- No calculator – 25 minutes, 20 questions
- Calculator permitted – 55 minutes, 38 questions
- Optional essay section (50 minutes)
The SAT is scored on a 400 to 1600 scale. You will also receive subscore reporting for every test — math, reading, and writing and language — plus additional subscores to provide added insight into your test performance.
No penalty for guessing
No points are deducted for wrong answers, so don’t leave anything blank!