About SAT

SAT is a nationally administered, standardized paper-and-pencil test that helps colleges evaluate candidates.

Generally, you'll take the SAT for the first time in the spring of your junior year. This allows you enough time to retake the test during the fall of your senior year if you're not satisfied with your score.


New SAT Format

The new SAT is a 3-hour, 50-minute exam, consisting of five sections: Reading, Writing, Math (with calculator), Math (without calculator), and Essay (50 minutes, optional).

SAT Test Section # of Questions and Types Content Timing

Evidence-based reading & writing


52 standard multiple-choice


44 standard multiple-choice

  • Relevant words in context (Reading, Writing)

  • Command of evidence (Reading, Writing)

  • Expression of ideas (Writing)

  • Standard English conventions (Writing)

100 minutes


One 65-minute section


One 35-minute section


45 standard multiple-choice 13 student-produced response

  • The heart of algebra

  • Passport to advanced math

  • Problem solving & data analysis

80 minutes

One 25-minute section(no calculator)

One 55-minute section (calculator allowed)

Essay (optional)

1 evidence-based essay

  • Analyzing a source

50 minutes

One 50-minute essay

New SAT Scoring/Guessing Penalty

College Board will no longer deduct any points for an incorrect question. This means that you should not leave any questions blank on the test. With the longer sections however, pacing and timing, which your tutor will help you master, are critical.

The new SAT scoring model has become more complex, providing a more detailed analysis and breakdown of students’ scores. Area scores, each scored out of 800, are combined to create a composite score for a maximum possible score of 1600. For a more detailed breakdown of what each score means, please see the table below.

Score Type Score Range Details
Composite Score
  • Composite Score
  • This score is the sum of the two area scores
Area Scores
  • Evidence-based reading & writing
  • Math
  • The Evidence-based reading and writing score is the sum
  • of the Reading test score and Writing & Language test score
Test Scores
  • Reading
  • Writing & Language
  • Math
  • These scores tell you how you performed on individual test sections
  • (scored separately)
  • The essay is scored in three categories: Reading, Analysis, and Writing
  • Each category is scored from 2-8
Cross-Test Scores
  • History/Social Studies
  • Science
  • These scores reflect your performance, categorized by the context of each question
  • Questions may span different test sections.
  • Relevant words in context (R, W&L)
  • Command of evidence (R, W&L)
  • Expression of ideas (W&L)
  • Standard English convention (W&L)
  • Passport to advanced mathematics (M)
  • Problem solving & data analysis (M)
  • These 7 subscores will tell you how you did on specific question types or content.
  • Some subscores pull questions from multiple tests. R – Reading test
  • W&L – Writing & Language test
  • M – Math test