SAT Exam Syllabus 2024 – Check Section-wise Syllabus, Exam Pattern & Question Types

10 August, 2023
parthiva mewawala

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), previously called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, measures candidates’ verbal, mathematical, and writing abilities. Students interested in pursuing undergraduate studies, especially in the USA and Canada, can take the SAT. Aspirants take the Scholastic Assessment Test to assess their reading, writing, language, and mathematical abilities. The SAT focuses primarily on these four skills, further divided into writing, mathematics, and evidence-based reading. The College Board, SAT’s governing body, has not set any clear SAT eligibility rules. SAT does not have an age restriction. Aspirants who wish to pursue undergraduate studies abroad must have completed their high school education to proceed. Here we’ve compiled the entire SAT syllabus in detail for you to refer to.

Read more: How To Choose The Right College For Higher Education Abroad?

Sections of SAT Exam Syllabus 


The SAT Exam Syllabus for Indian Students includes reading, writing, mathematics, and an optional essay section. Below are the sections of the SAT exam syllabus. 

Read more: SAT Exam 2024: Dates, Registration, Fees, Eligibility, Syllabus, Preparation, Results & Score

SAT Reading 

This section of SAT Syllabus focuses on evidence-based writing and reading. It will focus on your reading abilities. This test aims to assess the aspirant’s ability to read. Every passage under this section has 10 to 11 questions on reading comprehension. The section also includes five passages of varying lengths that aim to test the candidate’s ability to comprehend written text and understand words in different contexts and their associated terms with implied meanings. 

Type of questions in SAT Reading 

  • Analyzing data based on charts, graphs, and diagrams 
  • Function a phrase serves in the passage 
  • Tone, style, perspective, and attitude of the author 
  • The passage’s main idea or theme
  • Inference of a phrase in a paragraph 
  • Arguments or evidence that support the author’s stance. 


SAT Writing 


This section has four passages with 10-11 questions each. The candidate is required to highlight errors, rephrase and write alternative text for the highlighted sentences. It also focuses on assessing the candidate’s vocabulary and grammar knowledge.

The questions in SAT Writing section of the SAT syllabus test your evidence-based reading and writing abilities. Additionally, this section evaluates the candidate’s writing and reading skills. Articles or write-ups are based on generic topics that do not require any prior knowledge of the subject matter.


Types of Questions in SAT Writing 


The aspirants will be anticipated to answer specific questions related to the passages. Below are examples of questions asked in the writing section of the SAT exam syllabus:

  1. Verb tense, parallel construction, punctuation, grammar usage, sentence structure, and subject-verb agreement. 
  2. Strengthen/weaken the argument 
  3. Word choice for style, text, or tone 
  4. Structural changes to improve readability. 


SAT Mathematics 


This section includes two sub-sections: a 25-minute section without calculators and a 55-minute section with calculators. The test consists of 58 questions covering statistics, algebra, geometry, arithmetic, probability, and data interpretation.


Type of Questions in SAT Maths 


  • Graphical representation of the linear function 
  • Linear equations with rational coefficients 
  • Linear inequalities in two variables and their systems 
  • System of linear equations (with no solution, infinite or finite solutions)


Advanced Math

  • Determining the form of an expression 
  • Quadratic equations with rational coefficients 
  • Zeros and factors of polynomials 
  • Polynomial equations (Subtractions, Multiplication, Addition and Division)
  • Non-linear relationship between two variables 
  • System of linear equations (with no solution, infinite or finite solutions)

Data Analysis and Problem-Solving 

  • Ratio and Proportion 
  • Percentages
  • Unit Conversion 
  • Two-way tables to calculate conditional frequencies and conditional probabilities 
  • Equation of line or curve using a scatterplot 
  • Estimation of a population parameter 
  • Association of variables or independence of events 
  • Evaluation of reports to check the appropriateness of data collection methods 
  • Calculate the mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation in statistics.

SAT Essay

The essay component of the examination is optional, but many universities expect you to score well on it. Many universities have it listed as a requirement or recommended section as well.

Read more: What Are The Top Colleges Accepting IELTS Scores?

Important points: 

  1. The essay section of the SAT exam syllabus aids the university in determining the candidate’s reading, writing, and analytical skills 
  2. This section is structured so that one will be expected to read a passage between 650 and 700 words.

How to prepare for SAT Essays?

While preparing for the SAT Essays, do the following: 

  1. Understand how to develop an analytical approach to reading the paragraph to write an analysis without bias or prejudice.
  2. Master through continuous practice 
  3. Engage in articles by different authors to better understand how other authors construct arguments.

Exam Pattern for Different Sections of the SAT


SAT Writing  

  • The candidate has to edit passages
  • The candidate must answer 44 multiple-choice questions in four passages within 35 minutes.
  • Out of the following modes of writing, one will be present in the exam: narrative, argumentative, and informative/explanatory. 
  • The passage covers humanities, careers, science, social science and history, and arts. 


SAT Reading  

  • Two passages will be from the field of science. 
  • The exam pattern will consist of 52 multiple choice questions in 5 passages to be completed in 65 minutes.
  • One literary passage from the US world literature can be either a classic or contemporary text.
  • Extracts from Sociology, Economics, and Psychology, amongst others 
  • Texts from the US founding documents or Great Global Conversation on human rights, dignity, and freedom. 
  •  Candidates must also answer questions by giving an argument, telling a story, or explaining an experiment or study. 


SAT Mathematics 

The SAT mathematics section includes two sections, one with a calculator and the other without one. 


Below is the SAT Exam Pattern:


SectionsSub-SectionsNumber of QuestionsDurationScore
Evidence-based Reading and WritingReading5265 minutes200-800
Writing4435 minutes
MathematicsNo Calculator30 MCQs & 8 GRID-INS80 minutes200-800
With Calculator15 MCQs & 5 GRID-INS
Total1543 hours400-1600


Valuable Tips for SAT Reading, Writing, and Mathematics section of SAT Syllabus 

Valuable Tips in SAT Reading 


The examination format does not require the aspirant to be familiar with passage topics before taking it. With constant practice, students can become familiar with the reader’s and writer’s sections of the SAT exam syllabus.


Useful Tips in Mathematics 

Achieving success in the math section requires consistent practice of the topics on the syllabus. A solid understanding of math’s basic concepts is crucial for success.  


Other useful tips: 


  1. Practice through mock tests: Give mock tests of each section regularly. Also, attempt full-length papers before the final exam. 


  1. Practice basic grammar rules: The verbal section is challenging compared to other segments. Practice basic grammar rules to ace this section.
  2. Choose suitable study material: Pick the right resource that comprehensively covers the SAT exam syllabus. Gauge the book’s contents to get a clear idea of the topics covered in it.
  3. Regularly practice mental math: One section of mathematics does not allow using a calculator. Practice mental math regularly to improve your overall score.
  4. Do not indulge in cramming: Many students tend to find cramming as an easy option to grasp information. The short-cut method is unsuitable if one wishes to remember the details of the topic for a long time. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the concepts behind the topics and practice math questions regularly. 


Books for SAT Preparation 


The candidate will need resources to help them prepare better for the SAT exam once they have a good idea of its syllabus. Below is the list of books for SAT preparation that the candidate should refer to 


  1. The Official SAT Study Guide 
  2. SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published 
  3. Princeton Review 500+ Practice Questions for the New SAT 
  4. Barron’s NEW SAT (28th Edition) 


FAQs on SAT Exam Syllabus


1. What is SAT exam syllabus? 

The SAT exam includes writing, reading, mathematics, and an optional essay section. The candidates should fully cover each section to cover the entire syllabus.


2. What are some essential tips for SAT syllabus preparation?

The essential tips for SAT preparation are:

  1. Practice with past papers 
  2. Set a target score 
  3. Use online resources and focus on weak areas 
  4. Take full-length practice tests 
  5. Manage time effectively during exam 
  6. Maintain a positive mindset 
  7. Stay organized and manage stress 


3. Can I use a calculator during the SAT Math section? 

The SAT maths sections include both a calculator and a non-calculator part. Students can use calculators to perform more complex calculations in the calculator part. Without a calculator, the non-calculator part examines their problem-solving abilities.


4. How many times is SAT Exam conducted in India? 

The SAT exam takes place several times a year. In India, it is conducted five times, and one can select the date according to their convenience. Registration dates must be kept in mind so one does not miss out. 


5. What criteria must be met to take the SAT exam? 

Anyone can take the SAT exam, as there is no age restriction. When a candidate is in high school, i.e. in the 10th or 11th grade, it is the best time to take the SAT exam.


6. What is the SAT Reading section, and what does it comprise? 

The SAT Reading section has five passages of different lengths to evaluate your ability to comprehend written text and understand words in different contexts and their implied meanings. Each passage under this section has 10-11 questions related to reading comprehension.