SAT Prep

About the SAT
The SAT is the nation’s oldest and mostly widely used standardized testing system for college admission. The test is designed to have students use the critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills they have developed over the course of their schooling. It is the number one indicator of college readiness, in addition to high school grades.

The SAT is a three hour and forty-five minute exam, consisting of nine sections including an essay. Each section is timed separately. One of the sections is ungraded and consists of new and experimental material for future editions of the SAT. It is not indicated anywhere on the test which section is the variable section, so it is best to treat every section of the test as though it is being fully graded.

What’s on the SAT?
The SAT consists of three sections: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing.

CRITICAL READING: Previously known as the verbal section, the Critical Reading section tests a student’s reading comprehension. Included are short and long paragraph reading passages, along with questions on the reading as well as sentence completion questions. Questions regarding analogies are no longer on the SAT.


Critical Reading consists of three separate sections of varying question types: two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. The section usually starts with 5 to 8 sentence completion questions and then the remainder of the section involves answering questions about reading passages.

The passages are presented in order of difficulty. Subject matter for these passages ranges from humanities and social studies/history to physical science and personal narrative.

MATH: Known now as the Quantitative or Calculation section of the SAT, the Math section is a combination of multiple-choice and grid fill-in questions. There is no subtraction of points for wrong answers on the fill-in questions due to limitations on guessing. The Math section will test a student’s skills up to Algebra II.

Math consists of three sections. Two of the sections are entirely multiple choice, with one section containing 20 questions and the other 16 questions. The third section (though not necessarily third in order) consists of 8 grid fill-in questions and 10 multiple choice questions. Quantitative comparison questions are no longer on the SAT, with questions involving numerical or statistical answers favored. Questions get noticeably more difficult as the test progresses.

Many types of calculators are permitted on the SAT. This includes graphing calculators for algebraic questions. Check the College Board’s SAT website to determine if your calculator is permitted on the SAT.

WRITING: Based on the previous SAT II Writing exam, the Writing section includes both multiple-choice questions and a 25-minute essay question. The essay accounts for 30% of the Writing section grade and the remaining 70% goes to the multiple choice portion.

The Writing section’s multiple choice includes questions on identifying errors in sentences, improving sentences, and improving entire paragraphs. Sentence identification questions test the student’s knowledge in grammar and sentence structure. Sentences that are awkwardly produced are presented and students are asked where improvements can be made. Similarly, the paragraph improvement portion of the multiple choice questions present poorly written student essays, matched with questions asking what can be done to improve these essays.

The 25-minute essay is always given at the beginning of the SAT. The essays required are in response to a prompt, designed to be broad and philosophical, yet accessible to high school students regardless of educational background or social upbringing.

When to take the SAT?

The SAT is given 7 times per year during the months of October, November, December, January, March, May, and June. Most students take the SAT around the spring of your junior year of high school.

Taking the SAT around March or May of your junior year gives you plenty of time to study, ample time to apply to the colleges of your choice, and the ability to use the majority of what you have learned in high school and apply it to the test.

SAT Scoring

As of 2005, the SAT uses a scoring system of 600 to 2400. Each of the three sections scores from 200 to 800, including the Writing section.

In the Critical Reading and Math sections, a correct answer is worth one point and incorrect answer earns minus 1/4 point. A blank, or no answer at all, is worth zero points.

Similarly, the multiple choice portion of the Writing section is scored the same way, with correct answers worth 1 point, incorrect answers minus 1/4 point, and blanks zero points. Multiple choice writing is based on a 20-80 point scale, while the essay portion is based on the average scores given by two different SAT graders, on a scale of 1 to 6. The multiple choice and essay scores are then converted into one score in the 200-800 range.

What We Offer
Private Tutoring: No matter what your test-taking abilities happen to be, everyone can benefit from one-on-one personal tutoring, especially for a test as important as the SAT. Our SAT tutors offer years of experience in helping students get better scores on their SATs, and that means admission into better schools. We spend time with our students. We listen to them and answer all their questions. We guide each and every student on their way to becoming passionate learners since being motivated and knowing what to expect makes taking the SAT a much easier and comfortable experience.

Small Group Tutoring: Do you work better in groups? Maybe you prefer studying with friends. Or perhaps you want to share the cost of a private tutor. Whatever the reason, small group tutoring may be right for you. Create your own group of SAT study buddies and get the personal, individualized attention you deserve. Or, contact us for available SAT tutoring groups near you. Every student in a small group is given the attention and feedback they deserve from their tutor, so everyone in the group has an opportunity to improve their SAT scores.

Are you ready to improve your SAT score and get a better chance of admission into the nation’s top schools? Click the box below to get in touch with us right now!

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