SAT Examination

Important Features of SAT Examination

The SAT Examination enables colleges in the USA to compare college admission applicants on grounds of their ability to cope with higher education on account of the application of matter studied in high school. It is a standardized exam and tests students for abilities in Math, Critical Reading and Writing. These three sections make up the SAT examination. The SAT test is governed by the College Board and its official website is


The SAT examination is divided into three sections and has time limits on each section. The test takers should make sure they have studied thoroughly or all the sections in order to achieve a good overall score on the test. The Critical Reading section screens the test takers for their understanding of vocabulary, sentence construction and understanding of written matter in the passages provided. It has two question types to the section, 48 passage based questions and 19 sentence completion questions. The Math section comprises 44 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions. You are required to solve the questions asked and provide the answers or solutions. The multiple choice questions require you to pick the correct answer from the choices provided, where as the grid-in questions require you to solve the problem and fill in the solution you come up with. The other section of the SAT examination is the Writing section that comprises an essay, 25 improving sentences questions, 18 identifying sentence error questions and 6 paragraph correction questions. This section screens test takers for their ability to understand and correct English with the use of good vocabulary and Standard English corrective norms.


The SAT examination is administered in the paper based format. Although all the SAT examination papers consist of Critical Reading, Math and Writing; these sections are not presented to every test taker in the same order on the day of the actual test. Each test book has a different serial number which is recorded by the instructor on the day of the test. These test books contain the sections of the SAT test in different orders. The SAT examination always begins with the essay section but apart from that if you have the Math section first, a fellow test taker may not have the same order of sections in his test book. Each section is timed and the instructor tells you when to start and stop writing each time. You are not allowed to switch between the sections and are required to complete them as they appear on your test booklet.

Key Points

  • A detailed schedule of the SAT examination testing dates is available on the official SAT website and gives you information about when you should register for the test, study plans for the test as well as important dates regarding cancellation and other services. For more information visit Testing schedules differ within the USA and it territories and international testing locations. You should make sure you have the correct information.

  • All the sections in the SAT test receive scores on a range of 200-800 points. The Writing section (except the essay), the Math section (except the grid-in questions) and the Critical Reading section receive 1 point for each correct answer, lose 1/4th point for an incorrect answer and lose no points for an answer left blank. The essay section is scored by two readers on a scale of 1-6 points each. The grid-in questions in the Math section receive 1 point for every correct answer but have no penalty for wrong answers.

  • There are various publications available to help prepare for the SAT examination. The Official SAT Guide, 2nd edition is available on the official SAT website. You may also choose other prep material by organizations such as Kaplan, Sylvan and The Princeton Review.

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