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Home » GRE Practice Set » SAT* Test Breakdown

SAT* Test Breakdown

SAT* Test Breakdown

Almost all four-year colleges in the United States require the SAT Reasoning Test for admission. The SAT Reasoning Test was formerly known as either the Scholastic Aptitude Test or the SAT I, and is now commonly called the SAT test. The SAT test has been developed by the College Board to measure the academic skills that will be necessary for success in college. The SAT test has three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. The Critical Reading section lasts for 70 minutes, broken up into two 25-minute sections and a 20-minute section. Students will be presented with passages of varying length, followed by multiple-choice questions. These questions will evaluate the studentís ability to complete sentences and evaluate a long passage. Analogies are no longer a part of the SAT test. The Mathematics section lasts for 70 minutes, broken up into two 25-minute sections and a 20-minute section. Students will be presented with questions in the following content areas: number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry; and statistics, probability, and data analysis. Some of the questions will be in multiple-choice format, while others will require the student to complete the problem on a special grid. Although students will be allowed to use a calculator in the Mathematics section, the test has been designed so that every problem can be completed without a calculator. The Writing section is the newest addition to the SAT test; it lasts for 60 minutes, which are divided into 35 minutes of multiple-choice questions and a 25-minute essay. The multiple-choice questions will assess the studentís ability to improve sentences and paragraphs, and identify linguistic errors. The short essay section will assess the studentís ability to organize and express ideas, develop and support a thesis, and use language appropriately. Besides the Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing sections, there will also be a 25-minute unscored section used to develop future versions of the exam. The multiple-choice questions in this section may pertain to any of the three content areas. The short essay is always the first section of the SAT test, and the Writing multiple-choice questions are always the last; otherwise, the sections of the exam may be administered in any order. 138 of the questions on the exam will be scored; the raw score is the number of questions answered correctly minus a fraction of a point for every wrong answer. this raw score will then be converted into a scaled score. Students will receive scores for each of the three sections on a scale of 200 to 800. These scores are combined to calculate the total score. The SAT test is offered around seven times every school year at locations around the country. 

New version of the SAT test:


Total amount of time allotted

Critical Reading

70 min


70 min

Writing (multiple choice)

25 min

Writing (essay)

25 min

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