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The SAT Reading Test: Overview

SAT Reading Test : In the Reading Test, there are five reading passages that are followed by multiple-choice questions. There are 52 questions in total on this test, which you have 65 minutes to finish.

The Features of the Reading Test Passages

Four independent passages and one pair of passages that you read together make up the five passages on the reading test. Each of the individual passages and the paired set contains 500–750 words. The quotations come from the following categories of documents:




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1 literary passage taken from a fictional work.

1-2 sentences from a founding document of the United States or a piece from the Great Global Conversation they sparked. A founding document would be something like the United States Constitution. The term “The Great Global Conversation” is used to describe literary works from all over the world that address issues like justice, freedom, or human decency. Nelson Mandela’s remarks would serve as an illustration.

1 paragraph from a sociology, psychology, economics, or other social science book.

2 passages from scientific publications that look at key ideas and discoveries in physics, biology, chemistry, or Earth science.

Examples of Reading

The reading test’s questions can be divided into three main categories:

1. The Author’s Evidence-Use
Your ability to comprehend how an author uses evidence to support a proposition is required for some questions. These kinds of inquiries may compel you to:

Determine the section of a passage that demonstrates the author’s point.

Find the passage’s evidence that best demonstrates the answer to the previous question.

Find a connection between the passage it is matched with and the informational graphic.

2. Contextual Word Understanding
You are tasked with determining a word’s meaning in context for a large portion of the Reading Test questions. The phrase “in context” is crucial since the questions challenge you to determine a word or phrase’s meaning by using context cues from the paragraph. You’ll also be asked to assess how a writer’s word selection affects tone, style, and meaning in other questions.

3. Evaluation in science, social studies, and history
The passages in the reading test are from the history, social studies, and science categories. You’ll be offered questions that will put your reading comprehension abilities—which are crucial for success in those subjects—to the test. For illustration, after reading about an experiment, you can find questions that request that you:

Investigate theories.

Analyze the data.

Bear implications in mind.

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The questions are based solely on what is mentioned or indicated in the passage, not on any prior knowledge you may have of the topic.

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