AN OVERVIEW OF THE SAT STRUCTURE

SECTION TEST FEATURES NO. OF  QUESTIONS TIME
READING  5 Evidence-based passages  followed by  multiple choice questions 52 65 minutes
WRITING 4 Evidence-based passages followed by 11 multiple choice questions each. 44 35 minutes
MATH

(No Calculator)

Heart of Algebra

Passport to Advanced Math  and Additional Topics

20 25 minutes
MATH

(Calculator allowed)

Algebra, Data Analysis, Functions, Geometry, Trignometry 38 55 minutes
 ESSAY Optional 1 50 minutes
TOTAL 2 ( 3 with ESSAY ) 154 ( 155 WITH ESSAY) 180 ( 230 with essay)

 

On the whole, Evidence-based reading and evidence-based writing form one section while Math (Calculator allowed and not allowed) comprises of the other section. The third section, the ESSAY, is optional.

 

Order of the sections:

 

The Reading Section: This is the first and longest section of the test which comprises of five passages to read. One noteworthy feature of the New SAT is the inclusion of graphs and charts. A few passages may have a graph or a chart related to the content in the text and each passage will be followed by 12 questions which would test the understanding of the passage and the related graphs. The test-taker gets a total of 65 minutes to complete this section.

 

The Writing and Language Section: Another passage-based section which comprises of four evidence-based passages, each followed by 11 questions. The questions are formulated in a way that they test the grammar, usage, rhetoric, and style of the English language. Graphs and charts are incorporated in the writing section too with at least two passages including a pictorial representation of the textual content. The test-taker’s task is to match or support the evidence in the graph with the information in the text and he gets a total of 35 minutes to complete this task.

 

Math No Calculator Section: Apparently, the test-taker is not allowed to use a calculator in this 25-minute long section which embodies a set of 20 questions. From Algebra to Advanced Math, the questions may be from any of these topics, 15 of which are multiple choice and the 5 remaining questions are grid–in which means the answers have to be entered in by the test-takers.

 

Math with Calculator Section: The test-taker is allowed to use the calculator in this section which is much longer than the no-calculator section and spans over 55 minutes. Of the 38 questions, 30 questions are multiple choice and remaining 8 are the grid-in types. So while the use of calculator is allowed, this might prove to be a mixed blessing. If the test-taker is unfamiliar with the functions of the scientific calculator, this may be an affliction than an advantage. Mobile phones, however, are strictly prohibited.

 

Essay Section: A 50-minute long section, the Essay section is optional. The task requires the test-takers to read and understand a commentary or speech and evaluate the language, reasoning, and rhetoric exercised by the writer. The response has to be an analytic evaluation of the given text.

 

Scores and Score Cards

Use the image on the site:

https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/understanding-sat-scores.pdf