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The SAT: Writing


The Writing Section

The Writing section is a new addition to the SAT. The Writing section, which replaces the SAT II Writing test, measures basic writing and grammar skills.

Time allowed   60 minutes
Concepts covered   grammar usage, word choice, writing process
Question types   essay, multiple-choice
Score   200–800

The SAT Writing section has two major parts:

  • Essay question: The essay section gives you 25 minutes to take a position on a broad topic and back it up with examples.

  • Multiple-choice questions: The multiple-choice section is comprised of 35 minutes of questions on basic rules of proper grammar and language usage. The multiple-choice questions are broken down into three types:

    • Identifying Sentence Errors

    • Improving Sentences

    • Improving Paragraphs


Scoring the Writing Section

Scores on the Writing section range from 200–800. This score consists of two subscores:

  • Essay score: Graded on a scale of 2–12 (each essay is graded by two graders, each of whom assigns a grade of 1–6)

  • Multiple-choice score: Graded on a scale of 20–80