College SAT Exam

SAT Test Pattern Explained!

Prior to starting your preparation for SAT, it is very important that you know everything about SAT, its test sections, format and the questions generally asked in SAT exam. It is administered by the College Board, a non-profit organisation. The scores you obtain in the college SAT exam will be used in the review process of under graduate admissions in various colleges located in the USA. You can wish to apply for the colleges you like depending upon your scores and different colleges use your scores in different ways. The college SAT exam is basically administered in two test patterns, namely the SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests. However, in general, by college SAT exam we usually mean the SAT Reasoning Test. All the authentic information pertaining to the tests, dates and the participating colleges of the college SAT exam can be found at the official website of the College Board.

Let us now have a look into the college SAT exam details.

College SAT Exam for Subjects

The College SAT exam for subjects, otherwise called as the SAT Subject Tests are timed for one hour. There are altogether 20 SAT Subject Tests administered, of which each test is administered on a separate subject. All the subject tests are classified into five broad categories, namely English, History, Mathematics, Science and Languages. The main intention of these tests is to facilitate the students to show their skill in a particular subject of their choice. Furthermore, many colleges ask for at least two SAT Subject Test scores so that they can evaluate you in a better way.

SAT Subject Test Pattern

  • All the SAT Subject Tests consist of multiple choice questions in general but there may be some unique question formats for some SAT Subject Tests depending upon the subject, for e.g. the Literature SAT Subject Test might contain a writing section.

  • A student can take up to three SAT Subject Tests on a single college SAT exam test date.

  • All the SAT Subject Tests are evaluated by a machine.

SAT Reasoning Test

The reasoning college SAT exam is a fully comprehensive test that tests your abilities in three different sections. The three sections of the reasoning college SAT exam are the Critical Reading section, the Mathematics section, the Writing section. The Critical Reading sections and the Writing section together broadly test your English language proficiency in terms of your vocabulary, grammar and writing skills. The Mathematics section on the other hand tests your aptitude levels and your problem solving abilities.

SAT Reasoning Test Pattern

  • The reasoning college SAT exam is timed for three-hours and forty-five minutes.

  • The Critical Reading section of the test consists of question types asked based upon sentence completion and passage based reading questions from works in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and literary fiction. This section is further sub-divided into three sub-sections of which two are timed for 25 minutes and the other one for 20 minutes bringing the duration of the whole section to 70 minutes.

  • The Writing section consists of an essay to be written based upon a given discussion addressed as a ‘prompt’ and is timed for 25 minutes. The rest of this section is divided into two sub-sections consisting of multiple choice questions of which one sub-section is timed for 25 minutes and the other for 20 minutes. The multiple choice questions are based upon the sentence error recognition, choosing the best version of a given piece of writing and improving the given paragraphs.

  • The Mathematics section of the test consists of question types asked based upon numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurement, data analysis, statistics and probability. You will be asked two types of questions viz. multiple choice questions and student-produced responses. One sub-section, timed for 25 minutes consists of both the multiple choice questions as well as the student-produced responses. The other two sub-sections, one of 25 minutes and the other of 20 minutes consists of multiple choice questions.

  • There is another section called as the Variable section which is timed for 25 minutes but the score you obtain in this section does not count for your total SAT score.

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