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The Digital SAT Test Structure

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a standardized test, owned and published by the College Board. The SAT is widely used for US college admissions. This test consists of two main sections: (Reading & Writing) and Math.

Each section is further divided into 2 modules, to be adapted to the student’s level.

  • Module 1 (Non-adaptive) consists of a mix of easy, medium and hard questions.
  • Module 2 (Adaptive) consists of an easier variant (mix of easy + medium questions) and a harder variant (mix of medium + hard questions)

Depending on your performance in Module 1, you will be served with either the easier variant or the harder variant in module 2.

Your score range is greatly affected by which module is served in your adaptive stage.

  • If you are served with the easier module 2, your score will be in the range of ~200-600.
  • If you are served with the harder module 2, your score will be in the range of ~600-800.

Reading & Writing

This section is split into two modules:

  • Module 1 (Non-adaptive): 27 questions
  • Module 2 (Adaptive): 27 questions

In total, the Reading & Writing section is composed of 54 multiple-choice questions and the time allocated is 64 minutes.

You will be tested on the following topics:

  • Craft and Structure
    • Words in Context
    • Text Structure and Purpose
    • Cross-Text Connections
  • Information and Ideas
    • Central Ideas and Details
    • Command of Evidence (Textual, Quantitative)
    • Inferences
  • Standard English Conventions
    • Boundaries
    • Form, Structure, and Sense
  • Expression of Ideas
    • Rhetorical Synthesis
    • Transitions

Source: Reading and Writing Section Question Distribution


Similar to the Reading & Writing section, this section is also split into two modules:

  • Module 1 (Non-adaptive): 22 questions
  • Module 2 (Adaptive): 22 questions

In total, the Math section is composed of 44 questions. 33 of which are multiple-choice questions and 11 are student-response questions, and the time allocated is 70 minutes.

You will be tested on the following topics:

  • Algebra
    • Linear equations in one variable /two variables
    • Linear functions
    • Systems of two linear equations in two variables
    • Linear inequalities in one/two variables
  • Advanced Math
    • Equivalent expressions
    • Nonlinear equations in one variable and systems of equations in two variables
    • Nonlinear functions
  • Problem-Solving and Data Analysis
    • Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units
    • Percentages
    • One-variable data: distributions and measures of center and spread
    • Two-variable data: models and scatterplots
    • Probability and conditional probability
    • Inference from sample statistics and margin of error
    • Evaluating statistical claims: observational studies and experiments
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
    • Area and volume
    • Lines, angles, and triangles
    • Right triangles and trigonometry
    • Circles

Source: Digital SAT Math Content Alignment

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SectionSub-sectionDurationNo. of QuestionsType
Reading & WritingModule 132 minutes27Non-Adaptive
Module 232 minutes27Adaptive
Break (10 minutes)
MathModule 135 minutes22Non-Adaptive
Module 235 minutes22Adaptive
Total144 minutes (including break)98


The SAT does not focus on raw scores—i.e. the number of questions each student got correct. Instead, the SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600. The scaled scores allow for consideration of the difficulty of each test, as some tests might be harder than others. Hence, the raw scores are scaled to fit a normal distribution curve, and the scores of a student thus reflect on how he/she is compared with other students who have appeared for the test.

You’ll have one score for Math, on a 200-800 scale, and one score for Reading & Writing, also on a 200-800 scale.

What is considered a good SAT score then? The answer lies pretty much on which college you are applying to. Read our SAT score guide for more insights on this topic.

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