What Is the SAT®?
Kaplan is here to make sure you know exactly what to expect from the SAT. Learn about the format, questions, and scoring system.
About the SAT
The SAT has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no calculator), and Math (with calculator). There is also an optional essay that is recommended or required by some colleges.
80 Minutes/58 Questions
Testing algebra, problem solving, data analysis, and advanced math
65 Minutes/52 Questions
Understanding complex passages and identifying words in context
35 Minutes/44 Questions
Targeting grammar and argument-building abilities
Some schools may require the Essay, so be sure to ask before you take the SAT.
How to prepare
No matter what stage of SAT prep you’re in, Kaplan can help raise your score. Just getting started? Check out our free SAT and PSAT Practice Test and join one of our free online SAT info sessions.
Scoring the test
The SAT is scored on a 1600-point scale, with the Math and the Reading/Writing sections each awarded between 200 and 800 points. The optional essay is evaluated separately and doesn’t factor into the overall score. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so it’s always better to guess if you’re not sure. Find out what makes a good SAT score.
Not sure if the SAT is right for you?
If you’re deciding between the SAT and the ACT, you’ll want to know the benefits and format of both tests. Learn the differences between the SAT and ACT here, and take our ACT vs. SAT quiz to learn which test is best for you.
Practice makes perfect
Taking the PSAT is a great way to practice for the SAT, and could make it easier to afford college. Your score on the PSAT can qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship Awards.
Ready to kick it into high gear?
Let our expert teachers be your guide with a prep course that fits your schedule. No matter what stage of SAT prep you’re in, Kaplan can help raise your score.