SAT Exam Syllabus

SAT Exam Syllabus Explained

The SAT exam allows colleges to compare college applicants on grounds of competence. It screens students for abilities in the disciplines of Math, Writing and Critical Reading at the high school level. Such abilities are considered essential for students to be able to cope with the academic studies taught to them in college. The SAT exam syllabus is built to test for competencies on such grounds. Although many students believe the SAT test is an easy one, it requires much concentration and dedication in order to prepare for the test and achieve a high score. The SAT exam syllabus is divided into the above three sections through different question types. Understanding the test format and question types is the key method to save time on the actual test day. The SAT test screens students for abilities and skills in the disciplines of Math, Writing and Critical Reading.


This section is divided into two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. It lasts for 70-minutes. The section has 44 multiple choice questions and test takers are required to apply the necessary mathematical operations and choose the best choice as the answer to the questions provided. The section also has 10 grid-in questions. Unlike the multiple choice questions the grid-in questions require the student to mathematically calculate and fill in the correct answer in the blank provided. You do not receive any choices for answers to this question type. You are advised to use the answer booklet for rough calculations. This also helps you check your calculations and ascertain that you answer is correct. The grid-in questions do not have a penalty for wrong answers. You should refer to the Math SAT exam syllabus and make sure you are thoroughly familiar with core concepts and formulae.


The Writing section is divided into two 25-minute sections and one 10-minute section. It lasts for 60-minutes. The SAT test begins with an essay which is part of the Writing section. The essay has to be of 300 words approximately. You are required to use clear language and diction. You should also review your essay so as to be sure you have not made any silly mistakes. The other questions in the Writing section are multiple choice questions where you are required to follow the directions to solve the questions. This includes 25 improving sentences questions where you are to correct the sentences according to Standard English norms, 18 sentences where you have to correct the wrong use of English and 6 paragraph correction questions where you have to correct and re-structure the content in the paragraphs. The Writing section basically screens you for your proficiency in the English language. You should prepare for this section using prep materials and reading the SAT exam syllabus for this section as it will help you better prepare for the test.

Critical Reading

This section is divided into two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. It lasts for 70 minutes and tests a student’s understanding and interpretation skills in English. It has 48 reading comprehension questions where you are to provide answers in accordance to the contexts in the passage. Some passages are presented in pairs and hence you are advised to read the content and questions carefully to avoid silly mistakes. The section has 19 sentence completion questions where you are required to complete the sentences by filling in the blanks with relevance to the choices provided. Some questions have two blanks which is why you should read the options carefully and pick the choice liable that is best suited for the blanks. This section extensively tests a test taker’s interpretation and use of vocabulary and hence you are required to prepare for the test according to the SAT exam syllabus for this section. A list of useful reading material is available of the official SAT website and you should prepare for the vocabulary questions well as the options look like similar substitutes for the correct answer.

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