SAT Writing and Language

The second section of the SAT exam is the Writing and Language test. This test requires the student to play the role of a proofreader by identifying errors in grammar and punctuation and an editor by improving the writing style of the passages. This section is for 35 minutes and contains 44 questions. There are four passages and each passage will contain 11 questions. Some of the passages may contain graphical information.

Different Sections on the SAT Writing and Language

The passages cover content from history/social studies, science, humanities, and careers.


These passages include debates and trends about different career paths like Information Technology and Healthcare.

Science –

These passages are from physics, chemistry, biology, and various other fields and discuss recent discoveries and hypotheses.

History/ Social Studies –

These passages deal with history, economics, anthropology, law, politics, and various other fields. These passages too may talk about recent developments, hypotheses, and trends.

Humanities –

These passages deal with great works, performing arts, theaters and various other fields.
Based on their purpose, the passages can be classified as argumentative, informative, and non-fictional narratives.

Question Types you will see on the Writing and Language

The questions in this section test the student’s ability in the usage and mechanics of English language and writing strategies.

1. Standard expression of Ideas –

These questions test the student’s ability in standard grammar, usage, and punctuation. The commonly tested rules include subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, pronoun agreement, and punctuation.

2. Expression of Ideas –

These questions require the student to edit the passage to improve its effectiveness. The student should focus on logic, cohesion, development, accuracy, and effective use of language while working on these questions.

SAT W&L No. of passages No. of Questions Time (in minutes)
4 44 35

SAT Writing and Language Scoring Pattern

The raw score on the SAT Writing and Language is the number of questions the student gets correct in the section. There is no negative marking in this section. The raw score is then scaled to the Writing and Language Test score ranging from 10 – 40. This Writing and Language Test score is then combined with the Reading Test score to reach the EBRW section score that ranges from 200-800.

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Writing and Language Comparison

Writing and Language Question SAT MCQ-1

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About SAT Test


Will I be able to complete the Writing and Language section on the SAT?

You have approximately 45 seconds per question. Not all the questions require the same amount of time to complete. Don’t be averse to guessing. Completing the section should be your goal.

How to improve my score in the Writing and Language section?

List out and learn all the major grammar and vocabulary. The Rhetorical questions are a bit abstract but can be tackled with a lot of practice.

What are the sources that I should use for SAT preparation?

Make the SAT Official Guide, Khan Academy Sources, and the College Board question papers a part of your preparation. You can also use standardized SAT prep books or can enroll for an SAT prep course.

Is SAT a paper-pencil or an online test?

SAT is a paper-pencil test.

How to start my SAT Prep?

Start the SAT preparation by taking an SAT Model question paper. The scores will help set goals and plan the next course of action. 

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