The New SAT: Reading
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The New SAT: Reading

Written by: ArborBridge's Megan Stubbendeck


What will the new reading section look like?

  • Format: 4 long passages, 1 double passage
  • Questions: 52 multiple-choice
  • Time: 65 minutes

What’s changing in the reading section?

Find The Evidence Questions: One of the biggest changes to the new SAT is the addition of “Evidence-Based Reading” questions. These questions first ask a student to answer a question about the passage, then ask the student to locate the line from the text that supports that answer. See question 2 in "Sample Questions" below.
Sentence Completions: Sentence completion questions have been eliminated.
Vocabulary: The new SAT will contain 10 vocabulary questions that test the meaning of specific words from the passages. These words will not be the old, obscure SAT words. Most of them will be words that have multiple meanings in English. For example, a question might test whether the author uses the word “run” to mean “move quickly” or “to manage.” See question 3 in "Sample Questions."
Graphics: At least one of the passages will include a graph, picture, or table related to the text. Students will need to answer a question that tests how well they understand the relationship between the graphic and the passage. See question 4 in "Sample Questions."

Sample Questions


What’s staying the same in the reading section?

Passage-Based Questions: The new reading section will still contain long passages. For each passage there will be a set of multiple-choice questions that tests how well students understood what they read. Also, there will still be one double passage with questions asking students to compare and contrast two related passages.
No Prior Knowledge Necessary: Although the passages will cover a broader range of topics from science, history, literature, and the social sciences, students will not need to know specific concepts to do well in reading. No need to study mitosis or the reign of Henry VIII!

Remember, the new SAT won’t go into effect until Spring 2016. Until then, students will take the old exam. For more information on the entire test and how it might affect your testing timeline see: The New SAT: A Preview of the Changes.

Megan S.Megan Stubbendeck,
Associate Director of Instruction

Dr. Megan Stubbendeck is a seven-year veteran of the test prep industry with ten years of teaching experience. She earned her PhD in History from the University of Virginia where she taught for three years in the History Department. She brings many years of experience as both an Elite Instructor and the Coordinator of Instructor Development at Revolution Prep. In those roles, Megan developed new approaches to standardized testing on a variety of exams, including the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, SSAT, SAT Subject Tests, IB’s, AP’s, TOEFL, and IGCSE. As an Associate Director of Instruction at ArborBridge, Megan will help ArborBridge’s curriculum team tackle new developments in secondary education and standardized testing.
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