The Redesigned SAT Test

The redesigned SAT Test is closely aligned to the knowledge and skills you learn at school. It is a paper based test composed of 4 sections that test your Math, Reading and Writing skills over 3 hours (plus 50 minutes for an optional essay). The essay that you write may be submitted to some of the colleges to which you have applied; the essay therefore will represent an important part of your college application.

The Math Section

-The no calculator section is 25 minutes long with 20 questions
-The calculator section is 55 minutes long with 38 questions
-There is an emphasis on real situations and word problems: data interpretation and graphs; algebra and solving equations with straightforward questions
-There are multi-step problems that require the student to take multiple mathematical steps
-There are fewer questions on geometry and shapes and abstract logic questions (<10%)
-Basic trigonometry is now on the test, but there are only one or two questions (<5%)
-One section is calculator free – but the questions are no calculator appropriate

The Reading Section

-The section is 65 minutes long with 52 questions
-The subject matter of each of the 5 passages is pre-determined: 1 passage on US or World Literature; 2 passages on History/Social Studies; and 2 passages on Science
-All questions are based on the passages
-One or two of the passages will contain a table or graphs and will require interpretation of data
-There is an emphasis on command of the evidence (paired questions); vocabulary in context; the construction of logical arguments; scientific reasoning

The Writing and Language Section

-The section is 35 minutes long with 44 questions
-It tests grammar and writing logic with passage- based questions
-It's combined with the Reading section for a total of 800 points
-The subject matter of all 4 passages is predetermined
-There is an emphasis on higher level writing skills, the correct expression of ideas, correct logical reasoning and punctuation rules

The New SAT Essay

-The essay is 50 minutes long -The student has to read a passage written by an author who is taking a position on an issue
-The student must then analyze how the author has built the argument, explaining how evidence and rhetorical devices support the argument
-The essay is scored on a scale of 2-8 for each element of Reading, Analysis, and Writing.
-The essay score is not combined with the Reading and Writing section score of 800.

International Registration Deadlines

The Oct, Nov, Dec, May and June SAT tests are held on the first Saturday of the month (the January test will no longer be held). An additional test will also be held in August as of 2017. There is no March test for international students. For international students, SAT 2 Subject Tests follow the same schedule as that of SAT tests. The easiest way to register for a test is by opening an account online at This way you receive your scores online as soon as they are available. We can help you with your registration if you get bogged down with the details.


On your SAT Reasoning Test Score Report you will receive two scaled scores: reading writing and language and math, reported in the 200 - 800 range and an score. You will also see the corresponding SAT percentile scores where your scores are compared to those of other students who took the same test edition as you. A perfect score is 1600 and .

For 2015 college-bound seniors:

Critical Reading + Mathematics + Writing (Composite)










CR +  M + W





CR +  M








The SAT requires a different set of test skills from those you use for school exams, and you need to learn how to approach the SAT most effectively.
At Hampshire Academy, Beirut, we have designed a concentrated 30 hour course that familiarizes students, including those whose first tongue is not English, with the key SAT concepts. Our tutors (all of whom have themselves achieved over the 95 percentile) take you carefully through a series of exercises and practices that reinforce your skills, raise your confidence and ultimately help you master the SAT. On the final Saturday of the course students will take a real, proctored SAT test.


- Instruction and structured study
- Test taking strategies
- Real practice questions from the Official SAT Study Guide
- Regular, scored testing
- Homework given and checked
- Essay practice
- Grammar notes for Writing and Language Section
- A full length proctored test, three and a half hours in length at end of course
- Twice weekly study hall
- Support with submitting your test application
- Guaranteed increase in test score
The College Board’s website features a question of the day that you might like to try: