# THE SAT ASSESSMENT Because the United States does not have the same national education standards for all states, the SAT provides college admissions officers.

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THE SAT ASSESSMENT Because the United States does not have the same national education standards for all states, the SAT provides college admissions officers with a quick way to compare applicants from thousands of different high schools.

What does the SAT test? The critical reading sections test your reading skills and the vocabulary section is used to determine if your level of vocabulary is high enough to read college-level texts. The mathematics sections focus more on your ability to reason logically, not on your knowledge of geometry and algebra. In fact, you do not have to memorize formulas. Commonly used formulas are provided at the beginning of each section. The writing skills sections test both your ability to write an essay under time pressure and your quickness at spotting grammatical errors and awkwardly written prose.

How long does the SAT take? The actual test takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete, but with 2 ten-minute breaks it is 4 hours and 5 minutes total. It consists of one essay and 160 multiple-choice questions in 3 areas: Critical reading Mathematics- the math section also has 10 grid-in questions Writing There is also an experimental section that allows the test- makers to try out new questions. These do not count in your score, but you will not know which questions are experimental, so you must do your best on every section.

You will actually get three scores: a critical reading score, a writing score, and a math score. In each section you can earn 200-800 points. Therefore, your total score will range from 600-2400. For all three tests the median score is 500, for a total of 1500. How is the SAT scored?

What is the format of the test? The test is broken into ten sections: 3 critical reading sections, 3 mathematics sections, 2 writing skills sections, 1 experimental section, and the essay. Section 1 is always the essay, but the remaining sections can come in any order. Therefore, not all the math questions are lumped together, etc. You will have a ten-minute break after section 3 and another ten-minute break after section 6.

Is it OK to guess ? All multiple choice questions are scored the same way: 1 point for each correct answer (for both easy and hard questions) ¼ point subtracted for a wrong answer No points subtracted for answers left blank Only guess if you can definitely eliminate at least 1-2 of the answer choices. If you have no idea and cannot eliminate any of the answer choices, DO NOT guess!

May I use a calculator on the math portion of the test? You may use a calculator on the approved list, but it’s not required. You may use a graphing, scientific, or four-function (not recommended) calculator. See www.collegeboard.com for ruleswww.collegeboard.com Testing staff will not supply calculators or batteries; no sharing.

How many questions are in the Critical reading section? TOTAL OF 67 questions Sentence Completion 19 TOTAL Passage-based reading 48 TOTAL

What are some tips for the critical reading section? (sentence completions) Before you look at the choices, think of a simple word that would make sense in the blank. In sentences with two missing words, focus on one of the blanks first. Look at all the answer choices and eliminate the ones that are wrong for that blank. Watch for words that signal a contrast (but, although, however) or indicate the continuation of a thought (also, additionally, besides, furthermore). After you have chosen your answer, insert it in the sentence and verify that it makes sense with the entire meaning of the sentence.

How many questions are on the mathematics test? TOTAL OF 54 questions Standard multiple- choice 44 TOTAL Student-produced responses (no answer choices provided) AKA: grid-in 10 TOTAL THERE IS NO PENALTY FOR GUESSING ON THE GRID-IN QUESTIONS SO GUESS ON THOSE!

What are some tips for the mathematics section? Read the problem carefully. What is the question asking? Which formula is needed for the problem? With some problems, it may be useful to draw a sketch or diagram of the given information. If a diagram is already provided, label it from the information given. Use the test booklet for scratch work. Do not try to do all the calculations in your head. Don’t try to use a calculator on every question. The calculator is meant to aid you in problem solving, not get in the way and take up time. For multiple-choice questions, you may want to refer to the answer choices before you determine your answer. Eliminate choices. If you don’t know the correct answer to a question, try some of the choices. It’s sometimes easier to find the wrong answers than the correct one. All figures are drawn to scale unless otherwise indicated.

What are some tips for the mathematics section? (grid-in responses) Write your answer in the four spaces at the top of the grid AND carefully grid in your answer below. No credit is given for a correct answer if it has not been gridded properly. Remember that the answer to a grid-in question can never be negative. You can never grid-in a mixed number. You must convert it to an improper fraction or a decimal. Never round off your answers and never reduce fractions. If a fraction can fit in the four spaces of the grid, enter it. If not, use your calculator to convert it to a decimal (by dividing) and enter a decimal point followed by the first three decimal digits. When gridding a decimal, do not write a zero before the decimal point. If a question has more than one possible answer, grid in only one of them.

How many questions are on the writing section? TOTAL OF 49 questions AND ESSAY Improving sentences Identifying sentence errors Improving paragraphs 25 18 6

What are some tips for the writing section? (improving sentences) If you immediately spot an error in the underlined section, eliminate any answer choice that repeats the error. If you don’t spot an error in the underlined section, look at the answer choices to see what is changed in each one. The nature of the changes may reveal what kind of error is present. Make sure that all parts of the sentence are logically connected. Make sure that all sentence parts arranged as a series are similar in form (parallel structure). Pay close attention to punctuation in the answer choices. Two choices may look the same except for a slight difference in punctuation.

What are some tips for the writing section? (identifying sentence errors) First read the sentence to get a feel for its structure and sense. Remember that the error, if there is one, must be in an underlined part of the sentence. Do not focus, though, only one the underlined section in isolation. Read it in relation to the entire sentence. Look first for the most common errors (lack of subject-verb agreement, pronoun- antecedent agreement, faulty diction, incorrect verb tense).

What are some tips for the writing section? (improving paragraphs) Read the entire essay quickly to determine its overall meaning. First tackle the questions that ask you to improve individual sentences. Make sure that your answer makes sense in the context of the passage as a whole. Then tackle the ones that ask you to strengthen the passage as a whole. Consider whether the addition of signal words or phrases- transitions- would strengthen the passage or particular sentences within it.

Tips for the SAT essay You have 25 minutes to write the essay. The prompt will contain a short paragraph about the issue. Carefully read and re-read the assignment so you understand the question. Decide on your thesis, the main point you want to make. Don’t oversimplify. Do not just provide many examples without full-development. An essay with one or two thoughtful, well-developed reasons or examples is more likely to get a high score than an essay with three or four short, simple examples. Feel free to use “I.” You are asked to develop your point of view on the issue. Give examples that are meaningful to you from your personal life and experiences. Give yourself enough time to write a conclusion. Length counts. Write as much as you can without repeating yourself or giving meaningless information. Follow traditional essay-writing conventions. Indent paragraphs. Use transitions. Try to use high-level vocabulary, but only if you can use it correctly. Write legibly!

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