All You Need To Know About The SAT Syllabus

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Written by Prakriti Yadav

Mass media graduate with a flair for writing and an eye for creativity. Constantly seeking wonder, magic and Meraki. Also, a curious soul who is always willing to learn.

July 28, 2021

The SAT test is an objective and standardized examination that is a pen and paper-based test in the USA and some other countries with a passing score of 400-1600 that helps universities evaluate the knowledge and expertise levels of students in general and in specific subjects in a fair manner. It is conducted by the College Board and helps the college admissions staff to judge how well prepared you are for university in the course you wish to undertake and evaluate how well you know the subject matter taught till the high school level. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about the SAT syllabus.

The General SAT exam pattern is made up of 2 major sections that majorly comprise the SAT syllabus – Evidence-based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Mathematics.  There was an optional essay section earlier which has been removed from this year onwards. The sections of EBRW and Mathematics are scored between a range of 200-800 under the SAT exam pattern.

  • The Reading section and the Writing section of the SAT exam syllabus are made up of MCQs.
  • The Mathematics section of the SAT exam syllabus is divided into 2 sets, one of which can be attempted with a calculator. 
  • Most of the questions in the Math section are MCQs while some are grid-in questions i.e questions that students need to solve and fill the answer in the bubble sheet.
  • The examination lasts for 3 hours. 
  • The time limit of the Evidence-based Reading and Writing section is 100 minutes and the time limit for the Math section is 80 minutes.

The SAT examination is classified into two types, namely the SAT Subject Test and SAT General Test, each with a different SAT syllabus.

SAT General Test

The SAT General Test tests the written, verbal and mathematical abilities of students who want to gain admission to various UG programs in reputed colleges. True to its name, it tests the general knowledge and critical reasoning skills of the students undertaking the tests.  

SAT Subject Test

The SAT subject test focuses on evaluating the student’s knowledge of a specialized subject or discipline. It consists of a total of 20 tests divided between the 5 main subject areas of Languages, History, English, Mathematics and Science. These areas are further subdivided into specific topics that are evaluated in the subject test. Students may be required to undertake this test as a part of the admission criteria if they opt to pursue a specialized degree.     

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SAT General Test Syllabus 

Here is the syllabus for the general SAT test- 

  SAT Reading

The Reading section of the general SAT test syllabus consists of reading comprehension passages in the English language, under which there are 10-11 questions based on the passage. The section has a total of 5 such passages with varying lengths. This section is meant to test a student’s ability to understand and comprehend the written text, comprehend the meaning of various words in a variety of contexts, and the implied meanings of their associated terms. 

SAT Writing

In the Writing section of the SAT test syllabus, there are 4 given passages with 10-11 questions each which you have to go through and find the given errors in the passage, rephrase them, rewrite sentences with alternative words, and other grammatical tasks. The aim of this section is to assess your understanding of English vocabulary and grammar.

SAT Mathematics

The SAT Math section is, as mentioned above, divided into 2 sub-sections- the section with a time limit of 25 minutes does not allow the use of a calculator while the 55-minute section permits the use of one. It consists of 58 questions on various topics of mathematics including algebra, statistics, geometry, arithmetic, probability, data interpretation, and problem-solving questions.

SAT Subject Tests Syllabus

The SAT subject test is popularly known as the SAT-2 and was designed to test the expertise of undergraduate students in the specific subject or field of study they seek admission to. It is divided into 20 subject tests across the following 5 broad subject areas that comprise the SAT subject test syllabus.

  1. Mathematics:
    This section of the SAT subject test syllabus is divided into 2 levels- Math level 1 consists of questions based on algebraic expressions, data analysis, number sequences, and coordinate geometry, and Math Level 2 consists of additional questions based on the theme of log functions and sines and cosines laws.
  2. Science:
    Under this subject area, tests are conducted for Biology E/M, Chemistry, and Physics subjects based on the syllabus taught till high school. 
  3. English:
    This subject area consists of a Literature Test in the English language to evaluate the candidate’s language proficiency for an English literature course. 
  4. History:
    Under this subject area, the candidate’s knowledge of US History and World History is evaluated. 
  5. Languages

If students want to undertake a UG degree in the following languages, they will need to appear for its Literature SAT subject test- Spanish, French, Italian, German, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Japanese, and Korean.

We hope you enjoyed this blog on the SAT syllabus. To know more about related fields, do check out our other blogs.

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