College Admissions Test Calendar
Here is what to expect on the SAT
The reading test focuses on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education: the information you’ve been learning in high school and that you’ll need to succeed in college.
- All Reading Test questions are multiple choice and based on passages.
- Some passages are paired with other passages.
- Informational graphics, such as tables, graphs, and charts, accompany some passages—but no math is required.
- Prior topic-specific knowledge is never tested.
- The Reading Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
The writing test focuses on the three things that people do all the time when they write and edit - read, find mistakes and weaknesses and edit. What is important are the practical skills you use to spot and correct problems—the skills you’ve been learning in high school and that you’ll need to succeed in college—that the test measures.
- All questions are multiple choice and based on passages.
- Some passages are accompanied by informational graphics, such as tables, graphs, and charts—but no math is required.
- Prior topic knowledge is never tested.
- The Writing and Language Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
The mathematics test asks you to use the math that you’ll rely on most in all sorts of situations. Questions on the Math Test are designed to mirror the problem solving and modeling you’ll do in college math, science, and social science courses and in your personal life.
The Math Test will focus in depth on the three areas of math that play the biggest role in a wide range of college majors and careers: including the linear equations and systems, problem solving and data analysis and the manipulation of complex equations.
- Most math questions will be multiple choice, but some—called grid-ins—ask you to come up with the answer rather than select the answer.
- The Math Test is divided into two portions: Math Test–Calculator and Math Test–No Calculator.
- Some parts of the test include several questions about a single scenario.
The SAT essay is a lot like a typical college writing assignment in which you're asked to analyze a text. Take the SAT with Essay and show colleges that you are ready to come to campus and write.
- Read a passage.
- Explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience.
- Support your explanation with evidence from the passage.
- It’s optional—but some schools will require it.
- You have 50 minutes to complete your essay, 25 minutes more than the required essay on the old SAT.
- You won’t be asked to agree or disagree with a position on a topic or to write about your personal experience.