The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Since it was debuted by the College Board in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, then simply the SAT.

The SAT takes three hours to finish, plus 50 minutes for the SAT with essay. The test has three main sections – reading, writing and language, mathematics. It is important to have a strong vocabulary to score high on the reading, writing and language parts of the test. Prep99 has a FREE Vocabulary building test that students can practice with. To access the free test click here (coming soon). Stay tuned for a free SAT math assessment as well.

Below is more information regarding the test format and structure taken from the collegeboard website.

SAT Test (154 items total)

SAT Reading Test (5 passage sets, 52 multiple-choice items, 65 minutes)


  • A defined range of text complexity from grades 9–10 to postsecondary entry
  • U.S. and world literature, history/social studies (U.S. founding documents and the Great Global Conversation; social science), science
  • One pair of related passages and two passage sets accompanied by informational graphics

Information and Ideas (21–26 items)

  • Reading closely
  • Citing textual evidence
  • Determining central ideas and themes
  • Summarizing
  • Understanding relationships
  • Interpreting words and phrases in context

Rhetoric (10–16 items)

  • Analyzing word choice
  • Analyzing text structure
  • Analyzing point of view
  • Analyzing purpose
  • Analyzing arguments

Synthesis (10–16 items)

  • Analyzing multiple texts
  • Analyzing quantitative information

SAT Writing and Language Test (4 passage sets, 44 multiple-choice items, 35 minutes)


  • A defined range of text complexity from grades 9–10 to postsecondary entry
  • Arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and nonfiction narratives
  • Career-related topics, humanities, history/social studies, science
  • One or more passage sets accompanied by informational graphics

Expression of Ideas (24 items)

  • Development
  • Organization
  • Effective language use

Standard English Conventions (20 items)

  • Sentence structure
  • Conventions of usage
  • Conventions of punctuation

SAT Math Test (58 items [45 multiple-choice, 13 student-produced response], 80 minutes)

Heart of Algebra (19 items)

  • Analyzing and fluently solving linear equations and systems of linear equations
  • Creating linear equations and inequalities to represent relationships between quantities and to solve problems
  • Understanding and using the relationship between linear equations and inequalities and their graphs to solve problems

Problem Solving and Data Analysis (17 items)

  • Creating and analyzing relationships using ratios, proportional relationships, percentages, and units
  • Representing and analyzing quantitative data
  • Finding and applying probabilities in context

Passport to Advanced Math (16 items)

  • Identifying and creating equivalent algebraic expressions
  • Creating, analyzing, and fluently solving quadratic and other nonlinear equations
  • Creating, using, and graphing exponential, quadratic, and other nonlinear functions

Additional Topics in Math (6 items)

  • Solving problems related to area and volume
  • Applying definitions and theorems related to lines, angles, triangles, and circles
  • Working with right triangles, the unit circle, and trigonometric functions