SAT Exam Structure

Each edition of the SAT includes a Verbal and Math section, with a specific number of questions related to content. The question types and number of questions in each section are listed below.

The Verbal Section

The verbal section of the SAT focuses on critical reading with more than half of the verbal test devoted to passage-based reading questions. The verbal test also includes analogies and sentence completions, which emphasize logical relationship, vocabulary, and how words relate.

Content Number of Questions Time
Vocabulary in Context 4-7 Two 30-minute sections plus one 15-minute section
Literal Comprehension 4-5
Extended Reasoning 28-32
Other Verbal Questions
Humanities 8-12
Social Sciences 8-12
Natural Sciences 8-12
Human Relationships 8-12
Total 78 75 minutes

The Math Section

The math section measures mathematical problem solving and covers arithmetic, algebra, and geometry using student-produced responses (grid-ins), quantitative comparison questions, and multiple choice questions.

Content Number of Questions Time
Arithmetic Reasoning 18-19 Two 30-minute sections plus one 15-minute section
Algebraic Reasoning 17-19
Geometric Reasoning 16-18
Miscellaneous Reasoning 6-7
Total 60 75 minutes

The Unscored Section

In addition, there is one 30-minute unscored section, known as the variable or equating section. This unscored section may be either a verbal or math section. This section does not count toward the final score, but is used to try out new questions for future editions of the SAT and to ensure that scores on new editions of the SAT are comparable to scores on earlier editions of the test.


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