SAT-Scholastic Aptitude Test

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissins in the United States. It stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test.  SAT measures literacy, numeracy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. The SAT is a way to demonstrate a student's competitiveness and their likelihood to succeed in a course, and is one of the several factors that many universities and colleges consider when making their admission decisions alongside high school grades.

SAT is classified into two categories. The first is the SAT that tests knowledge of the subjects taught every day in high school classrooms which are reading, writing and math. The second is the SAT Subject Test that examines a student's proficiency in a particular subject matter. This test is usually taken by students who are applying for a specialized field of study such as English Literature, World History, Mathematics, Biology or Chemistry.


The SAT has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no calculator), and Math (calculator allowed). The test taker may optionally write an essay which, in that case, is the fifth test section. The total time for the scored portion of the SAT is three hours (or three hours and fifty minutes if the optional essay section is taken).

Reading Test

The Reading Test of the SAT is made up of one section with 52 questions and a time limit of 65 minutes. All questions are multiple-choice and based on reading passages. Tables, graphs, and charts may accompany some passages, but no math is required to correctly answer the corresponding questions.

Writing and Language Test

The Writing and Language Test of the SAT is made up of one section with 44 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 35 minute.  As with the Reading Test, all questions are based on reading passages which may be accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts. The test taker will be asked to read the passages, find mistakes or weaknesses in writing, and to provide corrections or improvements.


The mathematics portion of the SAT is divided into two sections: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator.

  • The Math Test – No Calculator section has 20 questions (15 multiple choice and 5 grid-in) and lasts 25 minutes.
  • The Math Test – Calculator section has 38 questions (30 multiple choice and 8 grid-in) and lasts 55 minutes.

Style of Questions

  • Most of the questions on the SAT, except for the optional essay and the grid-in math responses, are multiple choice having four answer choices, one of which is correct. Thirteen of the questions on the math portion of the SAT (about 22% of all the math questions) are not multiple choices. They instead require the test taker to bubble in a number in a four-column grid.
  • All questions on each section of the SAT are weighted equally. For each correct answer, one raw point is added. No points are deducted for incorrect answers. The final score is derived from the raw score; the precise conversion chart varies between test administrations.