SAT Exam Pattern

SAT Exam Pattern

SAT conducted by College Board has two exam patterns that are – SAT Subject Test and SAT Reasoning. Candidates need to qualify SAT in order to proceed with their applications to universities abroad. To get a good score in the SAT exam, candidates need to know the SAT Exam pattern thoroughly for both the options. Referring to the latest paper patterns and SAT syllabus is going to help students perform better in the paper. Both the SAT variants evaluate a candidate’s skills at different levels. There is no negative marking in the exam. The total score for the SAT subject test is 1600 whereas SAT Reasoning is of 800 marks. Here is a comprehensive blog concentrating on the SAT Exam pattern 2020!

SAT Exam 2020

Earlier this term was recognised as Scholastic Aptitude Test. Presently, it’s being called a Scholastic Assessment Test. For aspiring undergraduates who are hunting to pursue such courses in US, Canada, Australia, UK usually take the SAT exam. The test broadly covers subjects like Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, History and English. The table given below provides a holistic view for SAT exam fee structure:

Examination NameSAT 
Mode of ExamWritten-based examination
SAT Fee7000 INR without the essay
8200 INR with essay
Score Range400-1600 points

Undoubtedly, a candidate has to be well-versed with critical reading, writing and mathematical skills for the SAT exam. Students are examined on the basis of their capabilities, what they have learnt in their school times. Certainly, they test skills which are required to progress in an academic career. As per the university requirement, one has to make a decision whether to apply for SAT I or SAT II subject test. Given below is the SAT exam pattern for both the versions: 

SAT I or Reasoning Test

It is a 3-hour MCQ type of test that evaluates mathematical & verbal reasoning abilities of applicants. Majority of international universities accept this score for admission purposes.  

SAT II or Subject Test

This exam evaluates knowledge of an individual in a particular subject or subjects. Some universities require SAT Subject Test along with SAT I.

SAT Exam Pattern

SAT Exam pattern changes as per the version of the exam one plan to take. Based on the type of exam you intend to give, make a plan of action and prepare well for the same. In order to present a clear picture regarding the SAT exam pattern process, a candidate has to go through the SAT syllabus. Generally, the Examination syllabus can be categorized into four different categories which include: 

SAT Subject Test

The SAT exam pattern for the subject test can be described as the more specific version of the test that checks the knowledge of a student in a particular subject. The test is 60 minutes of duration. Applicants have to make a choose a subject from a list of 20. On the grade scale of 800, candidates are evaluated. The optional subjects are as follows: 

  • Italian
  • Physics 
  • French 
  • Spanish 
  • Japanese with Listening 
  • Chinese with listening
  • German with listening 
  • World history
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Literature
  • US History
  • Korean with Listening 
  • Chemistry 
  • Latin 
  • Mathematics I

Here are some Books for SAT Preparation that explains the SAT Exam pattern well!

SAT Reasoning Test

SAT reasoning test is 3 hours and 50 minutes including an optional essay section which a student has to appear in. If applicants do not want to appear for the essay, then the exam duration would become 3 hours. A total number of 155 questions are included in the essay. In a below-mentioned chat, students can understand the SAT exam pattern:

Subjects for SAT Reasoning TestNumber of QuestionsTotal Duration (mins)
Writing and Language4465
Essay (optional)0180
Mathematics 5850
Reading 5235


In Mathematics, students have to answer 58 questions in  80 minutes. Students have to answer questions pertaining to Algebra, Geometry, Statistics and Probability. Data interpretation too plays a pivotal role in Mathematics question paper.


In Reading part, there are questions based on the reading passages. Equally, each passage consists of 11 questions. The main purpose of this section is to understand the ability of the student to understand the written text. Applicants are supposed to know the meaning of words. 


In the writing section, you will come across 11 different questions. You have to spot errors and rectify those with your ability. Suitable alternatives after rehashing is a prerequisite task in the writing section. Construction of sentences, proper usage and understanding grammar would be your prime responsibility. 

Essay (optional)

In the Essay part, candidates get 50 minutes to complete their writing in 600 to 700 words. Topics are given by the testing agency to students. 

Note: You can practice the above sections under the exam pattern at the official website of SAT.

Do you want to ask anything related to the SAT exam pattern? Contact Leverage Edu and our experts will solve all your queries related to any proficiency exam. Book your free 30-minute counselling session now!

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