Writing Test

 On the New SAT's Writing and Language Test, you will be asked to revise and edit text from a range of content areas. Your job is to decide whether passages can be improved by making changes to the words, punctuation, or sentence order.

The questions in this section will test your knowledge of grammar rules and of the elements of effective writing. Parts of the passages will contain errors in grammar. You will be asked to correct errors in sentence structure, usage, and punctuation. Other parts of the passages need to be revised to better express the ideas of the author. This will involve improving the development and organization of the passage as well as correcting errors in language use.


The revised SAT Writing Test is made up of 4 passages and 44 multiple choice questions. You will have 35 minutes to read the passages and answer the questions in this section. This means that you will have on average less than nine minutes to read each passage and answer the 11 questions that follow.

The Passages  

The Writing Test will ask you to read four passages and answer accompanying questions. These passages may be similar to essays you have read in the classroom and are typically four to five paragraphs long. The topics of the passages always include careers, social studies, the humanities, and science.

  • The career passages usually present new trends or debates in major fields of work, such as health care, technology, or business.
  • Social studies passages discuss figures, movements, or events from history as well as topics in the social sciences. These social science topics might be drawn from anthropology, psychology, sociology, or linguistics, as well as economics, education, geography, law, or political science.
  • Humanities passages consider topics in the arts and letters, including figures and trends in fine art, music, dance, poetry, and prose. 
  • Science passages examine ideas, inventions, and discoveries in the natural sciences, which include earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics.

The passages will be 400-450 words in length, broken up into paragraphs. At least one passage will also contain an informational graphic. The graphic may be a table, graph, or chart that conveys information that is related to the passage topic.