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Last Updated: November 21, 2023

Digital SAT Syllabus and Format

SAT is conducted multiple times every year by the College Board with the intent of measuring what a student has learned in school and what they will need to succeed in college/university. They believe that memorizing words and facts is not the right way to go about measuring skills. Due to this, they have accumulated topics that are relevant from the high school syllabus to assess the degree to which one has grasped these basic concepts.

The format and syllabus of the test have undergone various changes in the past few years. In 2021, the College Board decided to do away with the Subject Tests and the Optional Essay test. In January 2024, the paper and pencil SAT will be replaced by the digital version. The SAT will go completely digital globally starting in 2024 in America. For international students, it went digital in the spring of 2023. The test pattern and syllabus have been explained in detail on this page to help students understand what they need to know before taking the test.

SAT Structure

The digital SAT is composed of two sections: Reading and Writing and Math. Students have 64 minutes to complete the Reading and Writing section and 70 minutes to complete the Math section for a total of 2 hours and 14 minutes.

The Reading and Writing section and the Math section are separated into two equal-length modules, and there is a 10-minute break in between. Each section's first module includes a mixture of questions that are easy, medium, and difficult. The level of difficulty of the second module's questions will vary depending on how well students perform in the first module.

SAT Content

The MST methodology, or multistage adaptive testing, will be used in the digital SAT Suite. The Digital SAT consists of two sections, in contrast to the previous paper and pencil version. While some of the math questions require students to enter the answer rather than select it, the majority of the questions are multiple-choice. Calculators are allowed throughout the Math section.
SectionDomainsNumber of
Time Allotted
Reading and Writing Test
  • Craft and Structure
  • Information and Ideas
  • Standard English Conventions
  • Expression of Ideas
54 questions64 minutes (32 minutes per module)
Math Test
  • Algebra
  • Advanced Math
  • Problem-Solving and Data Analysis
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
44 questions70 minutes (35 minutes per module)

Reading and Writing Test

The section concentrates on the critical components of language use, rhetoric, and comprehension that the best available research shows are essential for success in college. In this section, students respond to multiple-choice questions that test their ability to read, understand, and apply concepts and information found in texts; to critically analyze the composition and organization of texts; to edit texts to ensure that they adhere to Standard English conventions; and to revise texts to improve the rhetorical expression of ideas.

There were separate sections for writing and reading in the past. These two sections are combined into one with the introduction of Digital SAT. Students will see a greater variety of topics that reflect the kinds of works they'll read in college because the digital SAT Reading and Writing section will consist of many shorter passages rather than a small number of lengthy texts. Rather than having multiple questions linked to a limited number of lengthy passages, each passage (or passage pair) is assigned a single (discrete) question. Students will have 64 minutes to complete the section.
The types of categories in the Reading and Writing Section, along with their respective weights and numbers of questions, are displayed in the table below:
CategoryTypes of QuestionsNumber of questionsWeightage
Craft and Structure
  • Terms in Context
  • Text Structure and Goals
  • Cross-Text References
13-15 questions28%
Information and Ideas
  • Key Concepts and Specifics
  • Evidence Command
    • Textual
    • Quantitative
  • Inferences
12-14 questions26%
Standard English Conventions
  • Boundaries
  • Form, Sense, and Structure
11-15 questions26%
Expression of Ideas
  • Rhetorical Synthesis
  • Transitions
8-12 questions20%
In every Reading and Writing test module, there are questions from all four domains: Craft and Structure questions come first, followed by Information and Ideas, Standard English Conventions, and Expression of Ideas questions. To lessen the need for context switching, questions in the Craft and Structure, Information and Ideas, and Expression of Ideas content domains that assess related skills and knowledge are grouped together and ranked from easiest to hardest. This facilitates time management for students and gives each test taker the best chance to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities. Regardless of the particular convention being tested, questions in the Standard English Conventions content domain are ranked from easiest to hardest.

Math Test

The Math section of the digital SAT Suite assessments is designed to measure students’ attainment of critical college and career readiness knowledge and skills in math. The digital The SAT Suite Math section focuses on key elements of algebra, advanced math, problem-solving and data analysis, and geometry and trigonometry (except for the PSAT 8/9 which does not test trigonometry) that evidence identifies as necessary for college and career readiness and success. Over the course of the Math section, students answer multiplechoice and student-produced response (SPR) questions that measure their fluency with, understanding of, and ability to apply the math concepts, skills, and practices that are most essential for readiness for entry-level postsecondary work.
The following domains comprise the questions in the math section: Every test module contains questions from each of the four content domains. The questions in each module are arranged in order of difficulty to give test takers the best chance to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities. The table below lists the categories in the math section, their relative weighting, and the number of questions in each category:
CategoryTypes of QuestionsNumber of questionsWeightage
  • 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
13-15 questions35%
Advanced Math
  • Equivalent expressions
  • Nonlinear equations in one variable and systems of equations in two variables
  • Nonlinear functions
  • Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units
  • Percentages
  • One-variable data: distributions and measures of center and spread
13-15 questions35%
Problem Solving and Data Analysis
  • 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
5-7 questions15%
Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Area and volume
  • Lines, angles, and triangles
  • Right triangles and trigonometry
  • Circles
5-7 questions15%

Using calculator in Math section

The independently timed calculator-allowed and calculator-no-calculator sections of the paper and pencil SAT Suite Math Tests have been replaced by a single Math section on Digital SAT. On test day, students can use the graphing calculator integrated into the testing program, or they can bring their own authorized calculator.

Students will be seated at the test coordinator's discretion if their calculator has a raised display that could be seen by other test takers, or if their calculator has characters that are one inch or higher. For testing, only handheld, battery-operated devices are permitted. Calculator power cords are not permitted.

Some tips shared by the College Board on the use of a calculator are:

2024 SAT Test Dates


SAT Prep - Tips

PSAT as a Stepping Stone to SAT

SAT Math