SAT Exam Pattern

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Mrunmayai Bobade
Aug 12, 2022 6:33 PM IST

The College Board prescribes the SAT exam pattern which has a total of two tests. They are the evidence-based Reading and Writing test and the Math Test. The optional SAT essay and the SAT subject tests have now been scrapped by the College Board.

The questions asked in the SAT exam are multiple-choice based questions (MCQs). The SAT Math section is divided into two parts- one without a calculator and the second one with a calculator.

It should be noted that the College Board includes test questions for research purposes from time to time. In such cases, additional time is provided to attempt the questions. These questions will not be included in the calculation of your score.

SAT 2022 Exam Pattern Highlights

The following is an overview of the SAT 2022 exam pattern: 

SAT Exam Duration

3 hours

Total Number of Sections

3 {Essay Scrapped Due to COVID-19}

Total Number of Questions

154

Mode of SAT Exam

Paper-based

Medium of Instruction

English

Negative Marking

No

Score Range

400-1600

This page essentially discusses the SAT exam pattern in-depth, yet to make our readers acquainted with the SAT exam, we have provided some related links which are worth checking out:

SAT vs. ACT: What is the Difference & Which One is Right For You?

Here's How You Can Improve Your SAT Score

Popular USA Universities Accepting SAT Score Above 1340

Popular US Universities Accepting Applications Without ACT/SAT Scores

Wish to score high on the SAT exam but unsure of how to start preparing? Avail of our test-prep services and let our experts guide you to ace the SAT exam!

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SAT New Exam Pattern 2022

The following table shows a new exam pattern for the SAT exam 2022:

Category

New SAT Exam Pattern

Sections

Reading Test

Writing and Language Test

Math

Key Features

Emphasise knowledge, skills, and understandings.

Emphasises the meaning of words in extended contexts and the impact of word choices on the meaning and the sentence

No penalty for wrong answers

Scores

Ranges between 400 and 1600

The scale ranges from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; and 200 to 800 for Math.

Total Duration

Three hours

Subscore Reporting

Subscores are provided for educators, counsellors, etc. 

Section-Wise Distribution of Questions in SAT 2022

The section-wise distribution of questions or SAT exam pattern Reasoning Test 2022 has been given in the table below.

Section/Components

Number of Questions/Tasks

Time Allotted (in minutes)

Reading

52

65

Writing and Language

44

35

Math

58

80

Total

154

180

SAT Reading Section Exam Pattern

The SAT Reading section contains passages, based on which, the questions are formed. Multiple Choice Questions will be the question format followed for this section.  After reading the passage, candidates need to choose the most suitable option based on what is implied in the passage. Few questions are also based on the tables and graphs that can be included in the passage. 

The passage is usually a published work and/or related to history, literature, science or social studies.

Passages

Four to Five

Number of Questions

52

Duration

65 minutes

Types of Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

Passage Reference

Published Works, Articles, Literature, History, Social Studies, Science

SAT Writing Section Exam Pattern

The SAT Writing Section includes passage-based questions. After reading the passage, candidates will have to answer multiple-choice questions which include editing the text or phrases, correcting the errors, sentence restructuring, usage of punctuations etc.

For some questions, candidates will have to improvise the passage to analyse how good the candidate is at expressing an idea. The questions may also be asked in the form of tables or graphs.

Passages

Four

Number of Questions

44

Duration

35 minutes

Types of Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

Questions

Edit text/ passage

Sentence correction

Find the Error

Sentence Structure

Correct use of Punctuation

SAT Math Section Exam Pattern

The SAT Math section is used to analyse the mathematical aptitude of the candidates. With the new changes to the SAT exam pattern, candidates will now be able to use calculators for the entire Math section of an SAT.

Number of Questions

58

Duration

80 minutes

Types of Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

Questions

Heart of Algebra

 Problem Solving

 Data Analysis

Geometry

Trigonometry

Complex Numbers

What does the SAT Writing and Language Test Measure?

  • Command of Evidence: Such questions will analyse the candidate's ability to sharpen an argumentative claim through relevant evidence mentioned in the passage.

  • Study of Topics in Various Subjects: Some passages would be around history, science or social studies. Here. candidates may be asked to edit and make the appropriate changes to improve or enhance the information.

  • Words in Context: Here, the candidate's ability to choose the right word based on context will be tested. The goal is to make the passage precise, and clear and improve the tone, among other things.

  • Ability to Express Ideas: Here, the candidate's potential to organize, improve and help make sentences and paragraphs work together properly will be analysed. 

  • General English Construction: Sentence structure, punctuation, usage of words, verb tense, subject-verb agreement, parallel construction, etc. are the skills and knowledge of the candidate that will be evaluated.

What does the SAT Reading Test Measure?

  • Command of Evidence: The candidate's ability to Find the relevant evidence in support of the answer in the best possible way, will be evaluated.

  • Words in Context: Such questions will focus on the words and phrases used based on different subjects.

  • Ability to Deduce: Answers will be based on the text stated or provided in the passage. Thus, a candidate's ability to interpret the test and the answers aptly will be evaluated.

  • Examining Hypotheses: A candidate will be evaluated in his or her ability in finding the right meaning of the content specified. 

What does the SAT Math Test Measure?

  • Fluency: It will test how a candidate is able to solve the problem accurately, flexibly and also identifies the efficient approaches to reaching the solution through the given information.

  • Understanding of Concepts: Candidates will have to prove his/her ability to understand math concepts, relations and operations.

  • Applications: Here, a candidate's ability to examine a situation and find out the elements to solve the given problem, will be evaluated.

Need a Personalised Study Plan to Prepare for the SAT Exhaustively? 

FAQs on SAT Exam Pattern

How much time is allocated to each question on the SAT exam?

Each question on the SAT exam is allocated a time of one minute and ten seconds, but some of the tougher questions may require more time. The duration of SAT exam is three hours. As per experts, the key to achieving a good score on SAT is how well candidates can manage their time for each section.

Is the essay included in the SAT exam optional section?

The SAT essay section was optional but now the SAT Essay has been scrapped during Covid-19. While there were various colleges that had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the CollegeBoard concludes that no college now requires the SAT Essay.

Are all questions in the SAT Writing and Language Test multiple choice?

Yes, all questions in the SAT Writing and Language Test are multiple choice questions based on passages. Students are required to read the passage carefully and then answer the questions accordingly. These can be tricky at times so the candidate must not rush while answering the questions.

What does the Math section on SAT exam focus on?

The Math section on the SAT exam majorly focuses on essential areas such as Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math, Number and Operations, Geometry and Measurement, and Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability.

What is the time allotted for each section in SAT exam?

The time allotted for different sections in SAT exam is - 65 minutes for the Reading section, 35 minutes for the Writing and Language section and 80 minutes for the Mathematical section. So, candidates are advised to use their time wisely.

What is the exam pattern for SAT Subject Test?

The exam pattern of SAT Subject Test is designed to measure candidates' expertise in each section. The SAT Subject Test exam has a total time limit of 60 minutes, and there are 20 subjects from which students may select. Candidates are graded on a scale of 800 maximum points.

How many questions are there in each section of the SAT?

There are three compulsory sections in the SAT exam: Reading, Writing & Language and Math. Currently, the SAT exam includes 52 questions in Reading, 44 questions in Writing & Language and 58 questions for Mathematics. From 2021 onwards, the SAT essay has been scrapped.

What is the medium of instruction for SAT exam?

The SAT exam is conducted in the English language across the world. Candidates should read each and every question carefully and answer them accordingly. If the candidate is taking the SAT exam for the first time then they should download some sample papers and attempt a few practice tests before the main exam.

Will there be negative marking for answering incorrectly or missing out on questions?

No, there is no penalty for a wrong answer or for leaving an answer blank in the SAT exam. However, candidates should ensure that they answer each question within the time limit. Skipping or not answering a question can affect their overall marks in the end.

Does the SAT exam pattern change every year?

No, the SAT exam pattern does change every year. It is a three-hour paper and pen-based test. Students need to attempt a total of 154 questions. Only during the Covid-19, from 2021 onwards, the Essay and Subject Test of SAT has been discarded. No other changes have been made to the SAT exam pattern. For doubt clarification and SAT exam prep tips, contact our experts for CollegeDekho Prep Tip Services.

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