SAT Test Pattern: Course Outline & Scoring Methodology - Revised

SAT or Scholastic Aptitude Test is a standardized examination managed by the College Board and is needed to be taken by the aspirants looking for admittance in undergraduate colleges. SAT examination has been developed to assess the verbal, written, and mathematical aptitude of the applicants.

Candidates for undergraduate courses, principally in the United States and Canada, are needed to take the SAT test. If the aspirant desires to get admittance to a specific course, s/he can take the SAT subject tests to demonstrate his/her understanding and knowledge of that specific subject. Subject tests are accessible in areas like History, Maths, Literature, Sciences as well as Foreign Languages.

SAT Pattern and Syllabus: Sections, Tests, and Durations

The New SAT exam is 3 hours 50 minutes long, exclusive of breaks. As a test taker, you are allowed two breaks all through the exam.

  • A 10-minute break

  • A 5-minute break


The question paper comprises of two sections and a non-compulsory essay. The two sections are:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

  • Mathematics


The section on Evidence-Based Reading and Writing includes two tests:

  • A Reading Test

  • A Writing and Language Test


The Mathematics Exam consists of two sections:

  • A “calculator not allowed” section

  • A “calculator allowed” section


The order of the sections may be different. Each of these seactions has to be solved in the sequence they appear and in the time duration assigned. You cannot get back to a section once the time assigned to that specific section is over. In addition, you cannot move ahead and jump to the following section before time is called, no matter if you have finished all questions in the preceding section.

Furthermore, the Reading Test of 65-minute comprises of 52 MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) while the Writing and Language Test of 35-minute comprises of 44 MCQs. The Mathematics Section with time duration of 25 minute on which calculator is not acceptable comprises of 15 Multiple Choice Questions as well as 5 Grid-In questions with no answer choices. The Mathematics Section of 55 minutes on which calculator is permitted comprises of 30 MCQs as well as 8 Grid-In questions. The last section is the non-compulsory essay. The time duration allotted for the essay section is 50 minutes.

SAT Scoring Methodology

Now, coming to the applicable SAT Scoring Approach, the two sections of SAT examination (Mathematics as well as Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) are scored on a gamut that spans from 200-800 points providing a probable score of 1600. Besides, the sub scores as well as insight scores are also conveyed together with a non-compulsory essay (scored distinctly).

Problems that an aspirant does not solve do not count. Neither is any marks taken away for wrong solutions on the mathematics questions where the solutions need to be entered into a grid. Far along, the raw score for every single section is transformed into a scaled score.

According to the new SAT rules, there is no wrong-answer penalty (negative marking). SAT examination results are normally released within 4-5 weeks of the exam and can be checked online. Aspirants can choose to direct their exam scores to schools of their choice. Moreover, they have the choice to cancel their exam score or deny them from being directed to certain institutes.

For the general preparation, SAT exam is comparable to other examinations in the sense that you can either take the road of self-studying or join coaching programs. For self-study you need a lot of determination and self-control, to carry on with the mundane schedule. Nevertheless, if you feel that you pick up the best in a classroom setting, then joining coaching courses is not a bad idea. Dredge up that you can choose to learn on your own or by means of professional support, there is no right or wrong method.


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