Scholastic Aptitude Test

  • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test/ SAT-I) is a prerequisite Reasoning Test conducted for the admissions of undergraduate programs in United States. It is a 3 hour test that determines the proficiency of the students in verbal, mathematical and reasoning skills that are required to evaluate the skills needed to complete the academic successfully. The test is administered several times a year. Many universities also require SAT-II test score along with the SAT-I score for admission. Every year around 2 million students take SAT. Many colleges and universities finds SAT as a more credible test for predicting the student’s competence. The test scores are valid up to 5 years of the test date.
  • Test Modules in SAT

Typically, SAT reasoning test are categorized into three major sections, Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics



The SAT Reading Test measures your skill in reading and comprehending texts across a wide range of genres, purposes, subjects, and complexities. The questions on the test are all multiple-choice, mirror those that you’d encounter in a good class discussion, and cover three basic areas: Information and Ideas, Rhetoric, and Synthesis. All of the questions can be answered based on what’s stated or implied in the passages (and in any supplementary material provided), and no question tests background knowledge of the topic. Each test includes one passage pair, and two passages (one in history/social studies, one in science) include an informational graphic or graphics.

There’s quite a bit to read on the test and also a fair number of questions; the length of the test, however, is balanced by three factors. First, the passages, while often challenging, are like those that you’re probably already reading for your high school classes, and they cover many of the same subjects as well. Second, the questions deal with important aspects of the passages rather than trivia, so if you grasp the central ideas and key details of each passage, you’re more likely to do well. Finally, enough time is provided (65 minutes) so that you should be able to answer the questions without a lot of rushing as long as you maintain a good, consistent pace and keep track of the clock.

The Reading Test in Overview

Having a general sense of how the Reading Test is put together will help you to prepare for the test and pace yourself during the test itself.

  • Total Questions: 52
  • Total Time: 65 minutes (on average, a minute and 15 seconds per question, inclusive of passage reading time)
  • Number of Passages: Four single passages plus one pair of passages
  • Passage Length: 500 to 750 words; total of 3,250 words
  • Passage Subjects: One U.S. and world literature passage, two history/ social studies passages (one in social science and one from a U.S. founding document or text in the Great Global Conversation), and two science passages
  • Passage Complexities: A defined range from grades 9–10 to early postsecondary
  • Questions per Passage: 10 or 11
  • Scores: In addition to an overall test score, the questions on the Reading Test contribute to various scores in the following ways:


Command of Evidence (Chapter 6): 10 questions, two per passage

Words in Context (Chapter 7): 10 questions, two per passage


The Writing and Language Section of the 2016 SAT

Overall Gist for Changes to the Writing Section

  • This is the new name for the current Writing section. It still tests grammar and writing logic. It’s combined with the Reading section for a total of 800 points.
  • All questions are now passage-based instead of individual questions.
  • The subject matter of all 4 passages is predetermined

Greater emphasis on: Logic and expression of ideas, higher-level writing skills, punctuation rules.

Less emphasis on: Grammatical rules tested in isolation, “Gotcha” questions like faulty modifiers, subject/verb agreement.


Important Features of the Redesigned SAT Essay

Optional test

Unlike the original Essay, the Essay on the redesigned SAT is optional for students. This means that — unless you’re required to take the test by your school or some other institution choice about whether to take the Essay Test. You should figure out whether one or more of the postsecondary institutions that you’re applying to require Essay scores; if so, your decision is pretty simple. If that’s not the case and you’re not otherwise required to take the Essay, you’ll have to make up your own mind about it. We recommend that you seriously consider taking the Essay. The task the Essay asks you to complete — analyzing how an argument works — is an interesting and engaging one. The Essay also gives you an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your reading, analysis, and writing skills — skills critical to readiness for and success in college and career — and the scores you’ll get back will give you insight into your strengths in these areas as well as indications of any skills that may still need work.

The Essay is administered after the multiple-choice sections of the SAT. This makes it easier to give the test to some students and not to others, since the Essay is no longer required.

test length

The SAT Essay is 50 minutes in length. This is longer than in the past, in large part because we want to make sure you have enough time to read and analyze the passage. This passage is about the same length as the longest passage you’ll see on the SAT Reading Test, and you’ll need to spend a fair amount of time reading, selectively rereading, analyzing, and drawing evidence from it in order to do well on the Essay Test. You may find it reassuring to know that the College Board decided to allot 50 minutes for the test only after careful study and review. This process included examining papers from thousands of students who took the Essay as part of our research. From this process, we learned that 50 minutes provided enough time for most students to complete the Essay task without rushing. Although you’ll still have to pace yourself and pay attention to the time available, you should have enough time to do your best work on




The Math Section in the Redesigned SAT 2016

Overall Gist of Changes to Math:

  • Out of all sections, Math has changed the least. The skills tested have shifted, but the format is almost the same.
  • There are now multi-step problems that ask the student to take multiple mathematical steps.
  • There is one section that bans the calculator. This doesn’t change the difficulty, since these problems are inappropriate for calculators anyway.
  • Basic trigonometry is now on the test, but there are very few questions that test this.


Greater emphasis on: data interpretation and graphs; algebra and solving equations; realistic scenarios as prompts for questions.

Lesser emphasis on: geometry and shapes (like triangles and circles); abstract logic questions.


Student Study Tips for the 2016 SAT Essay:

Despite the change in format, this is still a very predictable and trainable section. Each argument will often be built on:

evidence: Understand how the author uses data and facts to support the main argument. Understand different types of data – research numbers, surveys of people, statements from authority figures – and why the author cites these examples.

reasoning to develop ideas: Analyze how the author draws inferences from data and extrapolates from data to build larger arguments.

stylistic or persuasive elements: Point out specific rhetorical devices that strengthen the argument and connect the author to the reader. Common examples are word choice, hyperbole, figurative language, rhetorical questions, and emotional appeals – devices that you’ve probably learned in school.

your essay can always follow the same format. Just like the current SAT essay can be answered with a standard 5-paragraph response, every new essay prompt can be answered with the same format focusing on what the argument is and how the author supports it.

you won’t be able to make up fictional examples any longer. Evidence must come from the passage

once again, avoid biases. These passages will sometimes come from recent literature and articulate a viewpoint. Your goal is to analyze how the author constructs the argument, not describe your own stance on the issue. That much is obvious, but you may find it hard to craft an effective essay when you disagree with the author. You might even practice with passages that indicate an unpopular view just to get over your mental block.



          Student Study Tips for the New Math Section

-overall, the new SAT will test more difficult concepts but with more straightforward presentations. There will be fewer tricky questions and more emphasis on understanding what a long scenario question is asking for and how to get to the answer.

-the critical focus should be on identifying your weak points and drilling those skills. If you’re weak in algebra, you need to do a lot of algebra problems.

don’t be worried by the no-calculator section. You’ll always be able to solve these questions in a straightforward way, and often a calculator will actually slow you down.

SAT Essay Scoring Rubric

Reproduced in this section is the rubric that two scorers will use to assess your essay. Each scorer will assign a score of 1–4 in each of three categories: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. These scores will be added together to give you a 2–8 score on each of the three dimensions. Recall that these scores aren’t combined with each other or with other scores on the SAT.





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