What is SAT Exam

Essential Details about SAT Exam

The SAT exam is a standardized test taken by students who wish to make admission applications to colleges in America. The College Board governs the SAT test and provides information about the test and its procedures on the official College Board website. To read more about the SAT test visit http://sat.collegeboard.org/home. The test is conducted worldwide at a number of testing locations and dates and the test taker can pick a location and date of their convenience to take the test. A comprehensive explanation of what is SAT exam will let you know about what you should expect on the day of the test. It is essential to be thoroughly prepared for the test as it screens you for skills in Critical Reading, Math and Writing.

Question types and Sections

Critical Reading

This section is timed at 70 minutes and is divided into three sections. One lasts for 20-minutes and the other two last for 25-minutes each. It requires the test taker to complete 48 reading comprehension questions that are based on the passages provided and 19 sentence completion questions that test your vocabulary and sentence construction abilities.

Sentence Completion

Whist completing this sections you should carefully read the given sentences, understand them and then decide on your sentence formation in order to complete the sentences. Some sentences have double-blanks; you should pay attention to the choices given as answers and pick the best fitted ones.

Reading Comprehensions There are two types of passages in the SAT tests, long comprehensions and short comprehensions. You are suggested not to memorize the passages, but to read them intently so as to be able to answer the questions below each passage. Your answers should imply what the passages look to convey to the reader. Some passages are also presented in pairs and hence you should read the instructions carefully to understand how they are related.

Writing Section

The Writing section lasts for 60-minutes and is divided into one 10-minute sections and two 25-minute sections. They comprise of 18 sentences in which the test taker has to identify errors, 25 sentences to correct and improvise the grammar, 6 paragraphs in which the content has to be re-structured and one essay question.

Multiple Choice Questions: Improving Sentences, Paragraph Correction, Effective Language Usage

You are presented with 25 sentences in which you have to improve their diction according to Standard English norms and effective communication. The section also includes 18 sentences in which you have to identify incorrect use of the English language and 6 paragraphs which have to be corrected in order to project good use of the English language and make the content coherent and structured. This section tests your understanding of the language and your ability to perfect it.


The Essay is timed for 25-minutes and hence you are not required to write a polished essay. Your content should be concise and make use of good vocabulary. Your essay should be about 250-300 words on an average and should not include slang. You should also spend some time reviewing your essay so as to be sure to avoid any silly mistakes. The essay is scored separately and the test always begins with the essay. Understanding what is SAT exam also helps save time on the actual test day.

Math Section

The Math section lasts for 70-minutes and includes two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. The sections include 44 multiple choice questions where the student has to pick the best answer to the question and 10 student produced responses, where the student has to solve the problem and grid-in the solution.

Multiple Choice Questions

Test takers should make sure that they have studied all the concepts and formulas thoroughly so as not to waste time understanding the questions on the test day. The scratch paper should be used for all calculations and rough work. Early questions in the test are usually easy and you are advised not to spend too much time on them.

Grid-in Questions

These questions require the test taker to solve the problem from the test booklet and come up with an answer or solution. The solution is to be filled in on the answer booklet. Also you should not waste time converting a fraction into a decimal answer. For example if the answer to a question is 7/2 you need not convert it to 3.5. Also if you calculate and answer and get a negative number as a result you should calculate again as negative answers are not accepted in this section of the test. The Grid- in section is a unique part that does not have a penalty for an incorrect answer and hence you if you do not know the answer to a particular question, you can take your best guess. Such information of what is SAT exam helps as the student does not waste time due to misconceptions of negative marking for all questions. Preparation and mock tests will help familiarize yourself with what is SAT exam and help you prepare for it more thoroughly.

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