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SAT Exam Syllabus 2024: Structure & Test Duration

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Yocket Editorial Team
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The Scholastic Aptitude Test (also known as ‘SAT’) is a reasoning test that is required for admission to undergraduate courses at universities across the globe. It is a 3-hour long test of 1600 marks, with 400 being the minimum score. SAT exams have an Evidence-Based Reading & Writing section and a Math section, each for 800 marks. The essay is optional and adds about 50 extra minimum scores. 

Along with rigorous practice and preparation, one of the main tricks to score well in your SAT exam is to master the skill of time management. For that, you must begin your preparation in advance and have a clear understanding of the SAT syllabus.

In this blog, we take you through the  SAT exam syllabus in detail, covering each section and all the recent changes and updates in SAT exam syllabus 2024.

  Table of Contents

  1. Different Type of SAT Exams
  2. SAT Exam Syllabus 2024
  3. SAT Exam Structure for 2024
  4. SAT Reading, Writing and Language Section
  5. SAT Math Section
  6. How Long is the SAT Exam?
  7. SAT Exam Syllabus 2024 Updates
  8. Tips to Ace SAT Exam

Different Types of SAT Exams

SAT General Test

This is the big one! It's designed to assess your overall readiness for American universities. It evaluates your skills in language and mathematics. It checks if you're adept at tackling fundamental problems. Colleges typically use your scores on this test to gauge your general knowledge and critical thinking abilities.

SAT Subject Test 

This one is used to focus on your proficiency in specific subjects. You could choose subjects like science, math, or languages to showcase your expertise. Colleges would use these scores for admission decisions and determining course placements. However, note that the SAT Subject Test has been discontinued.

SAT Exam Syllabus 2024

Getting ready for the SAT exam in 2024? No worries at all! The initial key move is grasping the essence of this test by knowing the SAT exam Syllabus. 

Before moving on further, we should always keep ourselves updated on the SAT syllabus for 2024. Also, we should know what the parts of the SAT exam are. The SAT exam syllabus is divided in three main parts: Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. Let's break down each section so you know what to expect.

SAT Section

Time Allotted

Number of Questions

Reading

65

52

Writing

35

44

Math

80

58

Total

180

154

SAT syllabus breakdown

SAT Exam Structure

SAT Digital Parameters

SAT Digital Reading & Writing (RW) Section

SAT Digital Math Section

Format

Two-staged: one tests Reading and the other the Writing section. Both are administered across separately timed modules.

Two-staged: The math section is administered via two separately timed modules.

Test length (total operational and pretest questions)

1st module: 25 operational questions 2 pretest questions 

2nd module: 25 operational questions 2 pretest questions

1st module: 20 operational questions 2 pretest questions 2nd module: 20 operational questions 2 pretest questions

Time Duration

1st module: 32 minutes 

2nd module: 32 minutes

1st module: 35 minutes 

2nd module: 35 minutes

Total Questions

54

44

Total Time Allocated

64 minutes

70 minutes

Question Type(s)

Discrete MCQs with four options

MCQ (75%) and student-produced response (SPR) (25%)

Topics Tested

Literature, History/Social Studies, Humanities and Science

Science, Social Science, and real-world related topics

Informational Graphics

Tested, includes - tables, bar graphs, line graphs

Also tested

SAT Reading, Writing, and Language Section

This portion is also known as the English Test. Here, we will look deeper into the SAT English syllabus. In this section, you'll be presented with five distinct passages, each spanning around 500 to 700 words. Your task is to read these passages and answer sets of questions related to them. Let's break down the key components:

Format of SAT Reading & Writing test

  • Craft & Structure: This evaluates your comprehension, vocabulary, analysis, synthesis, and reasoning skills. You need to understand and correctly use important words and phrases in context. Additionally, you'll be asked to assess texts rhetorically and establish connections between texts that share similar topics.
  • Information & Ideas: This segment assesses your comprehension, analysis, reasoning, and knowledge. You'll need to extract, interpret, evaluate, and merge information and concepts from both text and graphical representations.
  • Standard English Conventions: Here, your editing skills and understanding of fundamental English conventions will come into play. You'll need to ensure that the text adheres to rules regarding sentence structure, usage, and punctuation.

Expression of Ideas: This part focuses on your ability to enhance written expression. You'll be asked to revise texts to achieve specific rhetorical goals, thereby improving the overall effectiveness of the writing.

Question Types

Understanding Author's Use of Evidence: You'll be identifying how evidence is used in arguments.

Meaning of Words in Context: Can you grasp the meaning of words and phrases within a given context?

Analysis of Non-Fiction: This involves evaluating arguments, evidence, and impact in historical, social, and scientific texts.

The Writing section has a time limit of 35 minutes and consists of 44 multiple-choice questions based on four passages. Your skills in analyzing passage content and correcting errors will be evaluated. This requires a solid grasp of grammar rules, spelling, and overall sentence structure. You'll also need to interpret graphical data, back it up with supporting details, and introduce relevant information to strengthen the argument. The passages fall under four types: narrative, argumentative, informative, and explanatory. Each passage ranges from 400 to 450 words and varies in difficulty.

SAT Reading & Writing Section Areas

Skill / Knowledge Testing Areas

Weightage & Question Distribution

Craft and Structure

Words in Context, Text, Structure, and Purpose Cross-Text Connections

Weightage: 28% Questions: 13-15

Information and Ideas

Central Ideas and Details Command of Evidence based on - Textual and Quantitative Inferences

Weightage: 26% Questions: 12-14

Standard English Conventions

Boundaries Form, Structure, and Sense

Weightage: 26% Questions: 11-15

Expression of Ideas

Rhetorical Synthesis Transitions

Weightage: 20% Questions: 8-12

How to Prepare for SAT test?

SAT Math Section

The SAT Math exam spans 80 minutes and consists of 58 questions that assess your mathematical reasoning skills. Scores in this section range from 200 to 800. Out of the total questions, 45 are presented in a multiple-choice format, and the remaining 13 are in grid-in format, where you solve problems and fill in the correct numerical answers.

SAT Math Testing Areas

Skill / Knowledge Testing Areas

Weightage & Question Distribution

Algebra

Linear equations in one variable, Linear equations in two variables, Linear functions, Systems of two linear equations in two variables, Linear inequalities in one or two variables

Weightage: 35% Questions: 13-15

Advanced Math

Equivalent expressions, Nonlinear equations in one variable and systems of equations in two variables, Nonlinear functions

Weightage: 35% Questions: 13-15

Problem-solving and Data Analysis

Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units, Percentages, One-variable data: distributions and measures of centre and spread, Two-variable data: models and scatter plots, Probability and conditional probability, Inference from sample statistics and margin of error, Evaluating statistical claims: observational studies and Experiments

Weightage: 15% Questions: 5-7

Geometry and Trigonometry

Area and volume, Lines, angles, and triangles, Right triangles and trigonometry Circles

Weightage: 15% Questions: 5-7

The SAT MATH syllabus section is divided into two segments: one without a calculator and one with a calculator. The 'no calculator' portion includes 15 multiple-choice questions and 5 grid-in questions. The 'calculator' portion comprises 30 multiple-choice questions and 8 grid-in questions. You'll have access to formulas for reference before you start tackling this section, enabling you to use essential mathematical formulas to solve the presented problems.

The breakdown of both the sections are as follows:

SAT No-Calculator Section

Time Allotted

25 minutes

Total Questions 

20

Multiple-Choice Questions 

15

Grid-in Questions 

5

SAT Calculator Section

Time Allotted

55 minutes

Total Questions 

38

Multiple-Choice Questions 

30

Grid-in Questions 

8

Suggested: Best Strategies & Tips for SAT Exam Preparation

How long is the SAT Exam?

The SAT Exam is 3 hour and 15 minutes long, inclusive of 15 minutes for a break. If a candidate choose to take the optional essay test, the total duration extends to 4 hours and 5 minutes, including a 15-minute break (meaning the test itself takes 3 hours and 50 minutes).

SAT Exam Syllabus 2024 Updates

There have been certain changes in the Scholastic Aptitude Test syllabus 2024. The New York based organisation, College Board that conducts the SAT tests has replaced the previously present subject tests with optional essays. For the optional essays, you must keep in mind the following points: 

  • While the essays in the SAT exam syllabus are optional, most universities expect a decent score well in this section as well. Many universities also have it listed as an important or recommended section. 
  • The essay section of the SAT syllabus for Indian students is an opportunity to display your reading, writing, and analytical skills.
  • This section has a 650-700 words long passage. You must begin by reading the passage with concentration so that you are able to analyze the author’s arguments and perspective.  After that start writing it in a coherent manner in around 50-minute duration.

Strategies to Ace SAT Exam in 2024

  • Set Clear Goals: Define the score you're aiming for, aligning it with the requirements of your desired college or university. This helps you focus your preparation efforts more effectively.
  • Leverage College Board Resources: The College Board provides valuable study guides that give insights into each test section, along with valuable test-day advice.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Make the most of available practice papers, which can be found on the College Board website or through your school. Practicing under timed conditions offers a real test experience.

Digital SAT 2024

Conclusion

Now that you've gained a strong understanding of what the SAT involves, you're fully equipped to begin your preparation journey. With a solid grasp of the Reading, Writing, Language, and Math sections, coupled with effective study strategies, you're well on your way to not only excelling in the SAT exam but also unlocking opportunities for your educational goals in 2024 and the future.

SAT is a way to fulfil your dream of pursuing a bachelor's degree in top universities abroad. The best way to ace up your SAT preparation is to start in advance. So, buck up and start working with dedication to score well in your SAT exams. For any guidance and assistance do get in touch with our counselors at Yocket.

Frequently Asked Questions About SAT Syllabus 2024

What are the requirements for SAT exams?

What is the purpose of SAT?

What is the purpose of the reading section in SAT?

How much time is required to prepare for SAT exam?

What is SAT exam syllabus?

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