A calculator is permitted (and strongly recommended for the math exam). The best all around calculator is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator. The list price is $150, but it can commonly be found for $120 or less.

Reading and Writing Section:

The SAT Reading Test makes up 50% of your score on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT. 

There are no formulas or comma rules to memorize—you just need to know how to approach each reading passage.

You’ll have 65 minutes to read five passages (taken from literature, history, social studies, and the natural sciences) and answer a total of 52 questions. The questions will ask you to do everything from determining the meaning of words in context, deciding why an author included a certain detail, finding the main idea of a whole passage, comparing two passages, or even pinpointing information on a graph.

When you take the SAT Writing and Language Test, you will have 35 minutes to answer 44 multiple-choice questions that ask about a variety of grammatical and stylistic topics.

​Essentially, the SAT Writing Test is asking you to be an editor—to fix mistakes in sentences and passages and revise them to make them better.  But how are you supposed to pick an answer when there’s no explicit question? Follow these three strategies.

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Test Information:

The SAT is a standardized test that colleges use to evaluate applicants. Over two million students take the SAT every year and it is used by nearly every college in America for evaluating a student’s college preparedness. It is designed to measure a student’s ability to understand and process elements in three subjects: reading, writing, and math. SAT scores are calculated based on a student’s performance relative to other test-takers, and have proven to be an indicator of collegiate success.

Each section of the SAT is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale, making the "perfect" score 1600.



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Essay (Optional*):

1 essay
50 minutes
Read a passage and explain how the author builds a persuasive argument 

*I recommend taking the SAT essay because some schools require it.

Math Section:

Here's a list of math concepts that are tested on the SAT:
  • Algebra I and II
  • Arithmetic/Probability/Data Analysis
  • Plane Geometry/Coordinate Geometry/Trigonometry

Of these categories, Algebra makes up the largest part of the test, accounting for more than half of the questions. Plane Geometry and Trigonometry make up the smallest part—there will only be a maximum of 6 questions from that category on the SAT.

Section 3                                                               Section 4
No calculator                                                          Calculator
25 minutes                                                              55 minutes
20 questions:                                                          38 questions:

  - 15 multiple-choice questions                                 - 30 multiple-choice questions

  - 5 Grid-in questions                                                - 8 Grid-in questions