The SAT is an entrance exam students applying to college will most likely take. This standardized exam, managed by the College Board, is a multiple choice exam where students will be tested on their reading, writing and comprehension, and mathematical skills. For those who have taken the PSAT 10/PSAT NMSQT, the SAT should be seem very familiar.

Reading Test

When you take the Reading Test, you’ll read passages and interpret informational graphics. Then you’ll use what you’ve read to answer questions.

Some questions ask you to locate a piece of information or an idea stated directly. But you’ll also need to understand what the author’s words imply. In other words, you have to read between the lines.

What kinds of passages can I expect on the Reading Test?

Writing Test

The SAT Writing and Language Test is designed for students read sentences in passages and make changes to any errors found. All of the passages are multiple choice and should seem pretty straightforward. One easy way to practice is by reviewing common spelling and grammatical errors.

Math Test

The SAT Math Test is divided into two portions-With Calculator and No Calculator. This means that you should be prepared to answer questions without the use of a calculator. Most of the questions will be multiple choice, but a few called “grid-in” questions will require you to write in your answers. This can seem very nerve-wracking but as long as you follow the instructions, you can succeed.

Gridding-In Answers
  • Mark no more than one circle in any column.
  • Only answers indicated by filling in the circle will be scored (you won’t receive credit for anything written in the boxes located above the circles).
  • It doesn’t matter in which column you begin entering their answers; as long as the responses are recorded within the grid area, you’ll receive credit.
  • The grid can hold only four decimal places and can only accommodate positive numbers and zero.
  • Unless a problem indicates otherwise, answers can be entered on the grid as a decimal or a fraction.
  • Fractions like  do not need to be reduced to their lowest terms.
  • All mixed numbers need to be converted to improper fractions before being recorded in the grid.
  • If the answer is a repeating decimal, students must grid the most accurate value the grid will accommodate.


The last section of the SAT is the essay writing component where students will be asked to read a passage and write an essay based on how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience. Please note: the SAT Essay is optional but you may still be required to take it if the colleges you are applying to require it.

Students have 50 minutes to complete the SAT Essay . As you read the passage below, consider how [the author] uses evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.

  • evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.
  • reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
  • stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.