SAT Exam Syllabus 2023 : Check Exam Pattern, Duration, Minimum score


Aishwarya Bhatnagar

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Sep 21, 2023 11:13 IST

SAT 2023 Exam Syllabus: The recently introduced SAT digital exam's syllabus includes courses the students have already studied in their school over the years in English, Maths and Science. So if you are good at studying in school, you shouldn’t face any issues preparing for the SAT exam. In 2023, the SAT exam is being administered online and there is a stark difference between the old SAT and Digital SAT. The SAT syllabus 2023 has witnessed a slight change, which is also discussed in the following sections. This new furbished Digital SAT exam provides 43% more time for each question as compared to the old SAT and 68% more time for answering in comparison to the ACT exam. The new SAT pattern has also changed. This article focuses on the SAT syllabus for each of the sections that are tested.

SAT Exam Pattern 2023

The following is the new proposed exam pattern for SAT Digital 2023, divided into the following sections and shorter in duration by almost one hour. Check out the latest SAT Digital exam 2023 pattern:

SAT Digital Parameters

SAT Digital Reading & Writing (RW) Section

SAT Digital Math Section



Two-staged: one tests Reading and the other the Writing section. Both are administered across separately timed modules.

Two-staged: The math section is administered via two separately timed modules.



Test length (total operational and pretest questions)

1st module:

  • 25 operational questions
  • 2 pretest questions

2nd module:

  • 25 operational questions
  • 2 pretest questions

1st module:

  • 20 operational questions
  • 2 pretest questions

2nd module:

  • 20 operational questions
  • 2 pretest questions


Time Duration

1st module: 32 minutes

2nd module: 32 minutes

1st module: 35 minutes

2nd module: 35 minutes

Total Questions



Total Time Allocated

64 minutes

70 minutes

Scores Reported

Total score calculation: RW + Math section scores

Question Type(s)

Discrete; MCQs with four options

MCQ (75%) and student-produced response (SPR)(25%)

Topics Tested

Literature, History / Social Studies, Humanities and Science

Science, Social Science and real-world related topics

Informational Graphics

Tested, includes - tables, bar graphs, line graphs

Also tested

The above-given is the new SAT exam pattern, and two SAT exams have already been conducted successfully in March and May of the year 2023.  



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SAT Exam Syllabus 2023

SAT Syllabus includes courses that students have already covered in their school curriculum over the years. The syllabus for SAT exam includes:

  • Reading & Writing
  • Mathematics

Earlier on, SAT was testing reading and writing as two separate sections, but now there is one section only. Also, the science concepts are not really tested directly like the Maths section, but there would be passages in the reading and writing section which would cater to the Science subject coverage in SAT exam. There is no specific SAT syllabus for the science section.

SAT Digital Reading & Writing Syllabus 2023

The following table throws light on the combined areas of testing for SAT Reading and Writing for the new Digital exam to be conducted 2023 onwards, followed by a detailed description of each of the areas of testing:

SAT Reading & Writing Section Areas

Skill / Knowledge Testing Areas

Weightage & Question Distribution

Craft and Structure

  • Words in Context
  • Text Structure and Purpose
  • Cross-Text Connections

Weightage: 28% 

Questions: 13-15

Information and Ideas

  • Central Ideas and Details
  • Command of Evidence based on - Textual and Quantitative Inferences

Weightage: 26% 

Questions: 12-14

Standard English Conventions

  • Boundaries
  • Form, Structure, and Sense

Weightage: 26% 

Questions: 11-15

Expression of Ideas

Rhetorical Synthesis Transitions

Weightage: 20% 

Questions: 8-12

SAT Reading section is a part of the evidence-based Reading and Writing part of the SAT. It has a total of shorter passages each having 10-11 questions and there will be a total of around 56 questions in the section. Each question has four answer choices. The reading comprehension part is designed to evaluate candidates' ability to understand the meaning of different contexts and their associated terms with meaning and to comprehend written text.

Check: When Should You Start Studying for SAT?

Types of Questions in the Reading & Writing Test

1. Craft & Structure

Students will be assessed for their comprehension, vocabulary, analysis, synthesis, and reasoning skills and knowledge to understand and use high-utility words and phrases in context. They would also be required to evaluate texts rhetorically and make connections between topically related texts.

2. Information & Ideas

Students will use comprehension, analysis, and reasoning skills and knowledge and the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, and integrate information and ideas from texts and informational graphics.

3. Standard English Conventions

Students will use editing skills and knowledge to make the text conform to core conventions of Standard English sentence structure, usage, and punctuation.

4. Expression of Ideas

Students will use the ability to revise texts to improve the effectiveness of written expression and to meet specific rhetorical goals.

Check: Exam Day Tips for SAT


SAT Digital Math Syllabus 2023

Check out the SAT Digital Math syllabus for the exam that is scheduled to be conducted next in October 2023 is given below:

SAT Math Testing Areas

Skill / Knowledge Testing Areas

Weightage & Question Distribution


  • Linear equations in one variable
  • Linear equations in two variables
  • Linear functions
  • Systems of two linear equations in two variables
  • Linear inequalities in one or two variables

Weightage: 35% 

Questions: 13-15

Advanced Math

  • Equivalent expressions
  • Nonlinear equations in one variable and systems of equations in two variables
  • Nonlinear functions

Weightage: 35% 

Questions: 13-15

Problem- Solving and Data Analysis
  • Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units
  • Percentages
  • One-variable data: distributions and measures of centre and spread
  • Two-variable data: models and scatterplots
  • Probability and conditional probability
  • Inference from sample statistics and margin of error
  • Evaluating statistical claims: observational studies and Experiments

Weightage: 15%

Questions: 5-7

Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Area and volume
  • Lines, angles, and triangles
  • Right triangles and trigonometry
  • Circles

Weightage: 15%

Questions: 5-7

For now this is the standard SAT exam syllabus that will test both the reading+writing and maths sections of the SAT exam as per the new format or in the Digital SAT exam 2023 onwards. 

Q:   What is the Math syllabus for SAT?


SAT Maths Test Syllabus is given below:

  • Number and Operations: Operations, Ratio and Proportion, Elementary Number Theory, and Complex Numbers Counting

  • Algebra and Functions: Expressions, Equations, Properties of Functions that includes Linear, Rational, Polynomial, and Exponential

  • Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability: Mean, Media, Mode, Range, Graphs and Plots, Probability

  • Geometry and Measurement: Coordinate Geometry includes Lines, Circles, Transformations, Symmetry, and Parabolas. Also, Three-dimensional includes Surface Area and Volume, and Solids, and Trigonometry.

Q:   What is the SAT syllabus for RW section?


The following areas are tested for Reading & Writing section of SAT:

  • Information and Ideas: 
  • Craft and Structure
  • Expression of Ideas
  • Standard English Conventions

The SAT RW section syllabus usually includes reading comprehensions, analysis, understanding and MCQ type of questions are tested.  

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All About New Digital SAT 2023

In March 2023, the digital version of SAT was launched and Indian students appeared for the exam for the first time in the online mode. The sections of SAT Digital are now denoted with slightly different names but the parameters to test a student’s knowledge and skills are almost the same.

  • The duration of the new Digital SAT is 2 hours 14 minutes, which is shorter than the present duration.
  • Instead of 3 hours, 64 minutes is now kept for ‘Reading and Writing’ and 70 minutes for ‘Math’.
  • The verbal section’s ‘Reading and Writing & Language’ sections have now become single section ‘Reading and Writing’ section.
  • Every passage or pair of passages will contain shorter passages with a single related question.
  • The four broad parts of the questions will be Craft & Structure, Information & Ideas, Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions.
  • The number of topics in the quantitative aptitude section will be increased.
  • The calculator will now be permitted throughout the Math section.
  • The length of word problems will be less.
  • A new format called ‘Multistage Adaptive Testing’ will be activated. As per this, students will now be presented with questions which suit student’s performance level.

Read More: Essential SAT Tips and Strategies

Q:   Has SAT exam syllabus reduced after going digital?


Yes, after SAT has become DIgital, the new Digital SAT syllabus has witnessed a change as well. The syllabus of SAT exam has been reduced by 20%. The following is a difference between old SAT format and new SAT format:

FactorsOld SAT Syllabus New SAT Syllabus 
SAT Reading & Writing Section Syllabus Reading Section:  5 passages with 52 questions  Writing Language Section:  4 passages with 44 questions A combined section of Reading & Writing (RW Section) includes 54 MCQs with short passages 
Total Length of SAT Reading & Writing Section 100 minutes: Reading was for 65 minutes Writing for 35 minutes 64 minutes
SAT Math Section Syllabus No Calculator Section: 15 MCQs 5 student-produced questions  Calculator Section: 30 MCQs 8 student-produced questions Calculators allowed for all questions. 33 MCQs + 11 student-produced questions are asked. 

Q:   Has SAT syllabus become harder post digitalization?


SAT syllabus has definitely reduced and so has the overall duration, but the question of SAT syllabus becoming harder is a hoax. The syllabus is more or less the same as before but with a special focus on understanding and analysing the questions. The subject tests and essay writing sections have also been scrapped, thus, SAT syllbus post digitalization has probably become clearer rather than harder than the testing before. The rest also depends upon the applicant's preparation.

SAT Syllabus Changes 2023

SAT Syllabus changes have come in with the introduction to Digital SAT in March 2023. The SAT syllabus has seen changes in the duration of the exam, the total number of questions tested and two sections becoming one combined section which is Reading + Writing (RW). The questions in the RW section of Digital SAT will be more concise and will have shorter questions in comparison to the previously tested pencil and paper test. 

Most importantly, the Mathematics section had two separate sections where applicants could use a calculator in one section and not use the calculator in the other section, but in the recently proposed changes, the Digital SAT Mathematics section includes calculator use for all the questions tested. Also, there is a digital calculator available on Bluebook App hence, it's not mandatory for applicants to carry a separate calculator with them. Word problems have become shorter for testing too in the SAT maths section. Plus there will be a clock to check for time and go to previous questions too. 

SAT Exam Preparation Tips 2023

Like all other exams, candidates can either go for self-study or can opt for coaching classes. You can read the detailed information on SAT 2023 Preparation Tips. Candidates looking to prepare for all the sections of the SAT Exam can perform their best during the time of the exam by:

  • Beginning SAT exam prep as early as possible.
  • Being thorough with SAT syllabus.
  • Check out the weak and plus points and then study for SAT.
  • Devising a strategy to crack SAT and study for a dedicated number of hours daily.
  • Practising SAT mock tests as many as possible.

SAT syllabus has not witnessed a lot of changes, rather the number of questions on SAT and the duration of the exam have reduced. There are more details covered in the section below, check them out as well.

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SAT Syllabus 2023 FAQs

Q. How to prepare for SAT exam at home?

A. The SAT syllabus is huge plus there's a lot of SAT prep material available online through which you can study and prepare on your own. However, this is not everyone's cup of tea, so, it is better to understand the SAT format and then decide whether you need coaching to clear SAT or not. Tips to prepare for SAT at home are as follows:

  • Be thorough with the SAT syllabus
  • Work on your grammar
  • Start reading non-fiction apart from the school text
  • Work on your vocabulary
  • Work on mental math

Q. How many hours would require to cover SAT syllabus?

A. Check when you are going to take the SAT test. The SAT syllabus is vast hence it cannot be covered in a couple of hours. If you have a good amount of time say six months then you need to give fewer hours daily, on the other hand, if you have less amount of time for SAT test then you need to study more hours. Go through the SAT syllabus and understand how much it will take you to cover each and every topic and prepare a study plan accordingly.

Q. Can I cover the SAT syllabus in one month?

A. Studying for the SAT in one month is possible if you have a solid study plan. Usually, it is recommended to study 10-20 hours every week for three months to prepare for the SAT and cover the SAT syllabus holistically. So, if you are planning to attempt the exam in one month then increase your study hours daily and ensure that there is enough practice also side by side to cover the SAT syllabus in minimum possible time.

Q. What are the best books for SAT syllabus for Math section?

A. Some of the best books to cover SAT syllabus for Math section are as follows:

  • PWN The SAT: Math Guide, 4th Edition
  • 800 Math Workbook New Edition by Dr. Jang's SAT
  • Barron's SAT Math Workbook, 7th Edition
  • 500 New SAT Math Problems by Dr. Steve Warner's

Students are free to consult other resources as well, based on their convenience of resource availability.

Q. Is SAT syllabus more challenging than ACT syllabus?

A. There is no comparison between the difficulty level of SAT syllabus and ACT syllabus. Both are standardised tests which test undergraduate students on their previous knowledge of high school across various subjects. There are a lot of differences between ACT and SAT but they both solve the same purpose for abroad university admissions at the undergraduate level.  

Q. What is SAT syllabus for Algebra?

A. The following is the SAT syllabus for Algebra, tested in the Maths section:

  • Linear equations in one variable
  • Linear equations in two variables
  • Linear functions
  • Systems of two linear equations in two variables
  • Linear inequalities in one or two variables

Q. Can SAT syllabus change before the exam date?

A. No, the SAT syllabus does not change overnight. Before changes in SAT's syllabus are announced, there is a proper detailed information available at the College Board website. Usually, the website would also share mock test sources and update of the changes made. Before SAT Digital came into play, the syllabus was changed and was announced two months prior to the first exam date for international students. Hence, students should not worry about the syllabus getting changed at last minute.




Bishop Bishop

a month ago

Hi. You mentioned there are 25 operational questions and 2 pretest questions per module on the Reading and Writing sections. But I see a total of 33 questions per module. Can you explain this please?

Reply to Bishop Bishop


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

a month ago

Hello! There are 54 questions in the Reading + Writing section divided into 27 + 27 questions per module and there are 44 questions in the Math section. Please read the above-given details carefully for a better understanding.


Daya Sagar Yadav

2 months ago

can I know the benefits of writing SAT exam

Reply to Daya Sagar Yadav


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello! Please elaborate on your query.


Saloni Sharma

2 months ago

which exam should I give to pursue M.Sc abroad?

Reply to Saloni Sharma


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello! You can check the university you are applying to and understand course-specific admission requirements. If you need help, you can elaborate more on your query or get in touch with Shiksha counsellors at: Good luck!


Ishita Yadav

2 months ago

It's been two years since I did my 12th, I am eligible for it in 2023?

Reply to Ishita Yadav


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello Ishita! Yes, you are eligible to sit for SAT.


Ishita Yadav

2 months ago

Its been a two year since I did my 12th?

Reply to Ishita Yadav


Daya Sagar Yadav

2 months ago

did u go to abroad which country did u prefer

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