The abc’s About the sat’s

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The ABC’s About the SAT’s

  • And What About the ACT’s?

SAT Overview

  • 3 hours and 45 minutes
  • Includes Critical Reading, Math, Writing
  • 10 sections: 3 CR, 3 M, 3 Wr, and 1 experimental
  • 25 minute essay—comes first
  • 10 min multiple choice Writing section —comes last
  • Five 25 min and two 20 min sections: 3 Critical Reading, 3 Math, 1 Writing
  • Test booklets differ from student to student


  • Critical Reading, Math, Writing each 200-800
  • Writing: 2 subscores
  • Essay: 1-6, 2 readers, total 2-12
  • Writing multiple choice: 20-80
  • Total: 2400
  • Most colleges still using CR+M score up to 1600 and consider Writing separately

The Writing Section Multiple Choice Questions

  • Improving sentences (25 questions)
  • Identifying sentence errors (18 questions)
  • Improving paragraphs (6 questions)

Improving Sentences:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book and she was sixty-five then.
  • and she was sixty-five years old then
  • when she was sixty-five
  • at age sixty-five years old
  • upon the reaching of sixty-five years
  • at the time when she was sixty-five

Writing Test: Essay—prompt and assignment

  • Prompt:
  • A sense of happiness and fulfillment, not personal gain, is the best motivation and reward for one’s achievements. Expecting a reward of wealth or recognition for achieving a goal can lead to disappointment and frustration. If we want to be happy in what we do in life, we should not seek achievement for the sake of winning wealth and fame. The personal satisfaction of a job well done is its own reward.


  • Are people motivated to achieve by personal satisfaction rather than by money or fame? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Critical Reading:

  • Sentence Completions (19 questions)
  • Passage-based Reading (48 questions)

Sentence Completions:

  • Hoping to _______the dispute, negotiators proposed a compromise that they felt would be ______to both labor and management.
  • enforce..useful
  • end..divisive
  • overcome..unattractive
  • extend..satisfactory
  • resolve..acceptable

Paragraph-based reading:

  • Vocabulary in context
  • Literal comprehension
  • Extended reasoning: measure ability to synthesize and analyze information as well as to evaluate assumptions made and the techniques used by the author.

Extended reasoning:

The Math Section:

  • Contains two types of questions:
  • Standard multiple-choice (44 questions)
  • Student-produced response questions that provide no answer choices (10 questions)
  • Calculators can be used.

Math Section Content:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2


  • 1.
  • If 4(t + u)+ 3= 19, then t + u =
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 2.
  • Marbles are to be removed from a jar that contains 12 red marbles and 12 black marbles. What is the least number of marbles that could be removed so that the ratio of red marbles to black marbles left in the jar will be 4 to 3?

It’s free…

  • The Official Online SAT Prep Course offered by the College Board is free courtesy of MCPS.
  • Go to
  • In the “Students” box click “Register Now”
  • B-CC student access codes are available in the counseling office.

Montgomery College/MCPS SAT Prep Classes

  • Spring schedule prepares for following SAT test dates: March 14, May 2, June 6
  • Registration begins Dec. 15, 2008
  • Meets at MCPS high schools two afternoons or Saturdays for 4 to 5 weeks
  • Brochure in all MCPS high schools
  • Info on Montgomery College web site. Go to
  • Cost: $275 and students must purchase textbook,
  • “The Official SAT Study Guide for the New
  • SAT”


  • English Test
    • 75 items, 45 minutes
    • Punctuation
    • Grammar and usage
    • Sentence structure
    • strategy
    • organization
    • style
  • Reading Test
    • 40 items, 35 minutes
    • Selections:
      • Social Studies
      • Natural Sciences
      • Prose Fiction
      • Humanities


  • Mathematics Test
  • 60 items, 60 minutes
  • Algebra 1 and 2
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Science Reasoning Test
  • 40 items, 45 minutes
  • Science Information

ACT Scores

  • Each section of the ACT is scored from a low of 1 to a high of 36.
  • The composite score is comprised of the average of the four sections’ scores. The composite score also expressed in the range of 1 to 36.
  • Many colleges accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT Subject Tests. Check with individual colleges.

ACT Optional Writing Section:

  • Not required
  • Administered at the end
  • Very similar to SAT Writing
  • Essay graded 2-12 after two readings
  • Scored 1-36, which is based on combination of English section and essay.

SAT Subject Tests (formerly SAT 2’s)

  • Designed to measure knowledge in particular subject areas.
  • Duration: one hour
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Students can take up to 3 subject tests at one administration.
  • Cannot be taken at the same administration as the SAT Reasoning Test.

More on the SAT Subject Tests…

  • Many colleges do not require.
  • Most public colleges to do not require.
  • Check each individual school to see if required, and how many are required. Three is the maximum.
  • Most students take at the end of 11th or beginning of 12th grade.
  • Take after the completion of most rigorous course in that subject area.
  • Many colleges so not require subject tests if you take the ACT.

Students with Disabilities

  • Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for accommodations on both the SAT’s and the ACT’s.
  • Forms to request accommodations on the SAT’s and the ACT’s are available in the counseling office.
  • Contact your child’s counselor right away if you believe your child is entitled to accommodations.


  • Test used for placement at Montgomery College
  • Untimed
  • Multiple Choice
  • Taken on computer
  • Adaptive test
  • Three sections: reading comprehension, sentence skills, math

Accuplacer self-prep

  • Information plus study guide book
  •>Admissions>Other>Placement and Assessment
  • Google>Accuplacer

How Do Colleges Select Students?

  • High school grades/class rank
  • Rigor of program
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendations
  • Essays
  • Interviews
  • Special talents
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Other


  • Provides a list of accredited, four-year colleges and universities that deemphasize the use of standarized tests in admissions decisions

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