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SAT Writing - An overview of the SAT Writing sections

The SAT Writing section consists of a total of 44 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 35 minutes. The Writing section asks you to read passages, find mistakes and/or weaknesses, and fix them. Below you can find more detailed information about the specific skills these questions test.

Type of Question Skills/Content Tested

Command of Evidence

Asked to improve the way passages develop information and ideas. For example, choose an answer that sharpens an argument’s claim or adds relevant supporting details.

Words in Context

Make a passage more concise or precise, improve syntax, style or tone by choosing the best words to use in a sentence or paragraph.

Specific Subject Area Analysis

Read passages about topics in history, social studies, and science. Then, make editorial decisions on how to improve them.

Expression of Ideas

Assess a passage’s organization and impact by choosing which words or structural changes improve how the paragraph makes it’s point.

Standard English Conventions

Tested on the building blocks of writing: sentence structure, usage, and punctuation. Topics include verb tense, parallel construction, subject-verb agreement, and comma use.

To access sample Improving Sentences questions, visit the College Board website.

To access sample Identifying Sentence Errors questions, visit the College Board website.

To access sample Improving Paragraphs questions, visit the College Board website.

Related Topics

  • For more general information about the SAT Test, visit our SAT Test page.
  • For information about the SAT Critical Reading sections, visit our SAT Critical Reading page.
  • For information about the SAT Math sections, visit our SAT Math 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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