Students who take the SAT are normally interested in attending a college or university after graduating high school. This test assesses the skills learned over the course of a student’s time spent in academia. The general test is comprised of three sections: mathematics, reading, and writing. The SAT is most often taken during the end of a student’s junior year or the beginning of a student’s senior year, so scores will be back in time for college applications.

 The SAT exam is comprised of 10 sections. The sections are listed below:

  • One essay (25 minutes given to complete)
  • Six sections (normally two each) of mathematics, reading and writing (25 minutes given to complete each section)
  • Two sections on mathematics and reading (20 minutes given to complete each section)
  • One writing section with multiple-choice questions (10 minutes given to complete)

 There are also three breaks scheduled throughout the duration of the exam. The total time allowed to complete the SAT is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Each section is scored on a 200-800 point scale. The scores from each section are then factored together for an overall SAT exam score.

The SAT reading test is comprised of multiple-choice questions which are answered based on a written passage. The questions may contain tables or graphs that accompany the passage. There is usually a reading passage taken from the subject area of U.S. or world literature. The test will likely include a passage from a famous historical document and/or speech. There will also be a passage based on the social sciences and one on a pure science, such as chemistry or biology.

The reading test will assess a student’s ability to understand words or phrases used in various contexts within a written passage. It will also assess a student’s understanding of the evidence presented in a passage and how the authors can justify the claims being made. Students will be assessed on their analytical skills in regard to history and the sciences by interpretation of data and examination of hypotheses presented. Sample reading questions may be accessed by clicking this link.

For more information on this section of the SAT and also general information, visit the official SAT site.

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