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SAT Syllabus

RARachit Agrawal
Updated OnSep 24, 2020

SAT EXAM SYLLABUS

Scholastic Assessment Test, commonly referred to as SAT, is an exam most popular for studying the undergraduate courses in the US and Canada. It is a written exam conducted by the College Board. Almost all the US colleges and universities require the SAT for admission to the undergraduate courses.

SAT is a test to evaluate the students on the basis of their written, verbal and mathematical skills. The candidates who wish to pursue their undergraduate degree, particularly from the US or Canada, are required to appear in SAT. The candidate is evaluated in the subject areas of Literature, History, Mathematics, Sciences, and Foreign Languages. 

There are two types of SAT which a student can opt for according to his/her aspirations for the undergraduate degree. SAT 1 is a general test that has been developed to evaluate the written, verbal and mathematical skills of the candidates. SAT 2 is a subject-focused test that evaluates a candidate’s proficiency in a particular subject.

The syllabus for the SAT Exam usually consists of questions from the areas of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

SAT EXAM SYLLABUS 2020

SAT Exam evaluates a student on the basis of their reading writing and the level of understanding the basic concepts which are studied from 6th to 10th standard. The SAT exam syllabus for 2020 is compiled below:

SAT Exam Syllabus

  • Reading

In this section, there are questions based on the following domains:

  • Reading comprehension 
  • Sentence completions 
  • Paragraph-length critical reading 
  • Writing

In this section, there are questions based on the following domains:

  • Essay section 
  • Multiple choice sections 
  • Mathematics

In this section, there are questions based on the following domains:

  • Algebra and functions - 25 mins
  • Geometry Statistics - 20 mins
  • Probability and Data analysis - 20 mins

SAT EXAM PATTERN 2020

The test is conducted with a total duration of 3 hours 50 minutes. A candidate is not allowed to change sections in between and before moving to another section, the previous section needs to be completed. There is no negative marking of the SAT Exam. 

Go through the below table for a better understanding of the subject wise exam pattern for SAT 2020.

SAT Exam Pattern

Sections

Time Allotted (min.)

Number of Questions

Reading

65

52

Writing and Language

35

44

Math (No Calculator)

25

20 

Math (Calculator)

55

38 

Essay (optional)

50

1

Total

180 (230 with Essay)

154 (155 with Essay)

SAT EXAM SYLLABUS FOR INDIA

The syllabus for the SAT Exam for Indian students consists of questions relating to Literature, History, Mathematics, Sciences, and Foreign Languages. 

The SAT exam is basically divided into three sections:

Reading

The main aim of this section is to evaluate a candidate on the ability to understand written text by having knowledge about the words in the passages and their applications and usage in various areas. This section mainly includes reading passages and it is crucial for the candidate to get an idea about what the passage is talking.

Writing

This section focuses on the grammatical understanding of the candidate by giving certain passages and the candidate will need to find grammatical errors in between and apply punctuation rules there.

Mathematics

This section comprises several sub-sections and the candidate needs to grasp every minor point related to each topic. The candidate needs to be clear about their concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics, and basic trigonometry studied in the 6th to 10th standard. Careful reading and understanding of the question are very important in this section.

ESSAY (Optional)

For this section, a candidate needs to be thorough about persuasive writing and must have a clear and in-depth knowledge of the structure of an essay. The candidate needs to be clear about how to present views and opinions through an essay because the presentation is a very important aspect in this section which is evaluated.

Major topics in Mathematics to be covered are:

  • Systems of linear inequalities word problems
  • Solving systems of linear equations
  • Solving quadratic equations
  • Interpreting nonlinear expressions
  • Quadratic and exponential word problems
  • Radicals and rational exponents
  • Operations with rational expressions and polynomials
  • Polynomial factors and graphs
  • Nonlinear equation graphs
  • Linear and quadratic systems
  • Structure in expressions
  • Isolating quantities
  • Functions
  • Ratios, rates, and proportions
  • Percent
  • Units
  • Table data
  • Scatterplots
  • Key features of graphs
  • Linear and exponential growth
  • Data inferences
  • Center, spread, and shape of distributions
  • Data collection and conclusions
  • Volume word problems
  • Right Triangle word problems
  • Congruence and similarity
  • Right triangle geometry
  • Angles, arc lengths, and trig functions
  • Circle: Equations and theorems
  • Complex numbers

SAT Math Syllabus

Many students have a fear of Mathematics and when the section carries 200 to 800 marks it is very important to be very fair and clear with this section as it contains a lot of weight of marks. The overall duration for attending this section is about 2 hours. Some of the major points from the syllabus are as follows:

  1. There are 2 sections under the Math level wherein the 1st section students are allowed to use the calculator and in the 2nd section, students are not allowed to use the calculator.
  2. The 1st section is for 55 minutes where students are allowed to use the calculator and the 2nd section is for 25 minutes where students are not allowed to use the calculator.
  3. The 1st section consists of 38 questions and the 2nd section consists of 20 questions.
  4. There are 3 cores inside the Math level.
  5. The 1st core is Algebra.
  6. The 2nd core is Data Analysis and Problem Solving.
  7. The 3rd core is Advanced Mathematics.
  8. Under Algebra there are 4 main points.
  9. Under Data Analysis and Problem Solving, there are 9 points.
  10. Under Advanced Mathematics there are 7 points.

SAT Math Level 1 Syllabus

SAT Math Level 1 is mainly for those students who want to make a career in Engineering or Science related subjects. This level shows the preparation done by a 3-year graduate student which consists of questions related to Geometry and Algebra. It is a 60 Minute examination which has approximately 50 questions.

  1. Graphical representation
  2. Linear equations
  3. Linear inequalities
  4. Two variables and their systems
  5. Rational Coefficients
  6. System of Linear equations
  7. Quadratic equations
  8. Functional Notations
  9. Non-Linear relationships and their variables
  10. Polynomial questions

SAT Math Level 2 Syllabus

In the 1st level, there are 2 main topics which are covered which are mainly Geometry and Algebra. Thus, level 2 is an extended version of the syllabus as it consists of the addition of trigonometry and elementary functions or Precalculus. The minimum time is 60 minutes and it is an MCQ based question. 

  1. Right Triangles and Identities
  2. Radian measures
  3. Law of Cosines
  4. Law of Sines
  5. Equations and Double angular formulas
  6. Mean, Median, Mode
  7. Least square regression
  8. Surface, area and volume
  9. Hyperbolas
  10. Circles

SAT English Syllabus

The English Syllabus of SAT mainly consists of the Writing and Reading sections. In these sections, students are needed to either answer the given question by reading a specific paragraph or are either asked to write an article or summary about any specific topic given. 50 Minutes are given for this section each at the most.

  1. 1 passage from American Literature novel.
  2. 1 passage from US Founding Documents from Global Conversations.
  3. Selection of passages.
  4. 2 passage from Science.
  5. Passages from Sociology, Psychology etc.
  6. Selection of Passage from Economics.
  7. Storytelling.
  8. Explaining a study or research.
  9. Explaining an experiment.
  10. Making an argument or conversation.

SAT Biology Syllabus

It is an exam of about 80 questions which are a set of  Multiple Choice Questions. It helps the students to gain the knowledge and ability to understand the major concerns and concepts of Biology, its functions and its importance.

  1. Laboratory experience is needed.
  2. Metric system measurements are recorded.
  3. Ecological Biology
  4. Molecular Biology.
  5. Biological Communities.
  6. Population and Energy Flow.
  7. Biochemistry.
  8. Cellular Structure.
  9. Respiration.
  10. Photosynthesis.

SAT Chemistry Syllabus

It is a 60-minute examination where there are approximately 85 questions which are Multiple Choice Questions. This section is mainly to access the knowledge and ability of students related to chemistry with all considerable equations and rules.

  1. Structure of Matter
  2. States of Matter
  3. Reaction Types
  4. Stoichiometry
  5. Equilibrium
  6. Reaction Rates
  7. Thermochemistry
  8. Descriptive Chemistry
  9. Laboratory
  10. Mole Concept

SAT Physics Syllabus

It is a 60-minute examination where there are approximately 85 questions which are Multiple Choice Questions. This section is mainly to access the knowledge and ability of students related to physics with all considerable laws and rules.

  1. Mechanics
  2. Electricity
  3. Magnetism
  4. Waves
  5. Optics
  6. Heat
  7. Thermodynamics
  8. Modern Physics
  9. Laws of Physics
  10. Miscellaneous

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAT MATHEMATICS LEVEL 1 AND LEVEL 2 SYLLABUS

SAT Mathematics Level 1 will usually include what you have studied in geometry and algebra. The main syllabus of SAT Mathematics 1 is:

Topics 

% of Math 1 SAT Subject Test

Number and Operations

10-14%

Operations, ratio and proportion, complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, matrices, sequences

Algebra and Functions

38-42%

Expressions, equations, inequalities, representation and modeling, properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential)

Geometry and Measurement

38-42%

Plane Euclidean/Measurement

18-22%

Coordinate: Lines, parabolas, circles, symmetry, transformations

8-12%

Three-dimensional: solids, surface area, and volume (cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, prisms)

4-6%

Trigonometry: right triangles and identities

6-8%

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

8-12%

Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, graphs and plots, least-squares regression (linear), probability

SAT Mathematics Level 2 consists of topics from algebra, geometry, and precalculus and trigonometry. The trigonometry functions are considered to be a very important aspect for the SAT Mathematics 2.

Topics 

% of Math 2 SAT Subject Test

Number and Operations

10-14%

Operations, ratio and proportion, complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, matrices, sequences, series, vectors

Algebra and Functions

48-52%

Expressions, equations, inequalities, representation and modeling, properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, periodic, piecewise, recursive, parametric)

Geometry and Measurement

28-32%

Coordinate: lines, parabolas, circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, symmetry, transformations, polar coordinates

10-14%

Three-dimensional: solids, surface area, and volume (cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, prisms), coordinates in three dimensions

4-6%

Trigonometry: right triangles, identities, radian measure, the law of cosines, the law of sines, equations, double angle formula

12-16%

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

8-12%

Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, standard deviation, graphs and plots, least squares regression (linear, quadratic, exponential), probability

FAQs

1. How many times can I attempt the SAT exam in a year?

You can take the SAT as many times as you wish to.

2. How many times the SAT exam conducts in a year?

SAT is available for 7 times annually in the U.S and 5 times a year in other countries.

3. How do I register for the SAT exam?

You can register in the College Board website or offline through mail under special cases.

4. What are the eligibility criteria for the SATs?

There is no such criterion for the SATs. You should have a valid ID to present at the Test Center.

5. What to do if I lose my admission ticket?

Get another print out of your admission ticket from the College Board website.

7. What to do if I forget my admission ticket at the test center?

Students without an admission ticket are not allowed to enter the test center so make it a point to always have the admission ticket with you on all test days.

8. Is it important to take the SAT Subject test?

It is a way to portray your interests through these subjects and let the college of your choice know about it.

9. Is essay writing necessary in SAT?

It is optional in the paper, though there are many colleges in the U.S who ask for an essay to get an idea of student thought the process.

10. What are the main subjects covered in the SAT exam?

The main subjects included in the SAT are English, History, Mathematics, and other subjects.

11. Is the use of calculator permitted for the maths paper?

The use of calculators is permitted in one section of mathematics, but on the other section of maths, it is prohibited.

12. How do I send my SAT scores to the colleges?

College Board provides a choice through which one can send four scores for free, during registration.

13. Is there an option to cancel the SAT scores?

Yes, you cancel the SAT scores if you feel you haven’t performed well in the exams.

14. How to cancel the SAT score?

You can ask for the score cancellation form at the center and submit to the coordinator or you can download and fill the form and send it with a written request to the College Board.

15. Can I cancel my scheduled SAT?

You can cancel your scheduled SAT if you have a genuine reason.

16. How can I check the SAT result?

Login to your College Board profile to check your SAT scores.

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sachin kambleI want to get admission in USA for masters degree in marine biology I want all the information about the scholarship and their requirements
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sachin kambleI want to get admission in USA for masters degree in marine biology I want all the information about the scholarship and their requirements
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sachin kambleI want to get admission in USA for masters degree in marine biology I want all the information about the scholarship and their requirements
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About the Author
RA
Rachit Agrawal
Study Abroad Expert & Co-Founder @ AdmitKard
Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.