This fall your teen may be getting ready to take their practice SAT and gearing up for the “real deal.” Let our SAT Test Prep expert series help you and your child prepare for this very important test.
Bryan Carey is a university professor with experience teaching Business, Management, Accounting and Finance. He has also been teaching and tutoring students in preparation for their college undergraduate and graduate admission exams for the past 5 years. He has been with the Houston Kaplan office for three of those years.
What is the structure of the SAT test?
Kaplan test prep tutor and teacher: The SAT is comprised of three sections: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. In the Math section, the SAT includes a total of 54 questions divided between two 25- minute sections and one 20- minute section. Critical Reading, which consists of 67 questions allocated between sentence completion and reading comprehension, is divided in a similar way, with two 25- minute sections and one 20- minute section. The Writing section consists of 49 multiple choice questions and a 25- minute essay. The multiple choice in the Writing Sections consists of a 10 minute section and a 25- minute section.
The entire SAT test contains 3 hours and 45 minutes of timed sections. Breaks are allowed between some of the sections, bringing the total time to complete the test to more than four hours. Keep in mind that there is an experimental section, which can be included within the Math or Critical Reading section.
This section does not factor into the final score and the student has no way of knowing which section is, indeed, the experimental section. The addition of this section brings the total for the timed part of the test to 3 hours, 45 minutes.
What is an example question and what category would the question be listed under?
Kaplan test prep tutor and teacher: Here is a sample math question:
If 3/x = 6 and 3/y = 15, then what is x-y?
The correct answer is A.
Tell me about the scoring structure? What are the highest and lowest scores?
Kaplan test prep tutor and teacher: Scoring on the SAT is comprised of three component scores, which are tallied together to produce the final score. The three sections of the test (Math, Critical Reading, and Writing) are each scored on a scale from 200 to 800. These three scores are then added together to arrive at a final score. Thus, the overall score will range from a low of 600 to a high of 2400. The essays are graded on a scale from 2 to 12 and do not factor into the 600 to 2400 overall grade. They are included as a separate grade.
Are all SAT questions multiple choice? Or are their essay questions too?
Test prep tutor and teacher: While the majority of the questions on the SAT are multiple choice; some are not. In the Math Section, for example, there are 10 “In- Grid” questions that require the test taker to type in an answer, without multiple choices. Then, there is the Writing section, which includes an essay. Other than these two exceptions, the rest of the test is multiple choice.
What are some resources students can use to prepare for the SAT?
Kaplan test prep tutor and teacher: Many resources exist to help students prepare for the SAT. The most common preparation method is workbooks and there are literally hundreds of books from which to choose. Students who need or desire a little more guidance should consider enrolling in a classroom preparation course. Kaplan, Princeton Review, and other companies offer these courses throughout the year. There are also many online resources and practice tests to help students master the basics of the SAT in order to maximize their score on test day.
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