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Frequently Asked Questions About the SAT

What is on the new SAT anyway?

The new SAT is not that different from the old SAT. The new test is divided into three broad areas: math, critical reading, and writing

The math section tests quantitative reasoning. New to the test is an added emphasis on math taught in high school classes. The old SAT basically didnít include anything past 8th or 9th grade math. Expect to see more function notation, probability, and advanced algebra. There will be three sections of math questions, two that are 25 minutes and one that is 20 minutes.

Critical reading is the new name for the verbal section. Gone are the analogies which were the signature item of the previous version of the test. The intent here is to make the test more about reading, and less about vocabulary. There will be more emphasis on critical reading of short and long passages. Similar to the math test, there will be two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section.

The major new aspect is the writing section. This will comprise an hour of the test. Students will have 35 minutes to answer grammar and sentence improvement questions. Then they will have 25 minutes to write a short essay. The grammar questions bear a similarity to PSAT style writing questions. The essay requirement is brand new and supposed to give an indication of the studentís ability to do college level writing.

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