The SAT is a college entrance exam that many colleges and universities in the United States use as part of the college admissions process. Looking for basic information about the SAT test format? We’ve got it!
The SAT is a standardized test that measures a student’s skills in three core areas: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. Students in grades 11 and 12 take the SAT so that they can submit their scores to colleges as part of the college application process.
The SAT is composed of ten sections—a 25-minute essay, six 25-minute sections, two 20-minute sections, and one 10-minute section. Total testing time is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The breakdown of each section is as follows:
|Section||Total Testing Time & Breakdown||Number of Questions & Types||Content/Skills Covered|
|Critical Reading||70 minutes (one 20-min section and two 25-min sections)||19 Sentence Completion Questions||vocabulary and ability to comprehend the logic of complex sentences|
|48 Reading Passage Questions||reading and interpreting what is implied by or stated in a passage|
|Math||70 minutes (one 20-min section and two 25-min sections)||44 Multiple-Choice Questions||number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability|
|10 Student-Produced Response Questions||number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability|
|Writing||60 minutes (one 25-min essay, one 25-min section, and one 10-min section)||1 Essay||writing skills|
|25 Improving Sentences Questions||grammar and usage|
|18 Identifying Sentence Error Questions||grammar and usage|
|6 Improving Paragraphs Questions||writing and revising|
|Note: Each SAT test includes an unscored 25-min multiple-choice Critical Reading, Math, or Writing section that does not contribute to a student’s score.|
- For more specific information about the SAT Critical Reading sections, visit our SAT Critical Reading page.
- For more specific information about the SAT Math sections, visit our SAT Math page.
- For more specific information about the SAT Writing sections, visit our SAT Writing page.
- For information about how the SAT is scored, visit our SAT Scoring page.
- For information about upcoming SAT test dates, visit our SAT Test Dates page.
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