The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (2023)

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (1)

You’ve been studying hard, and now the time has come to really test what you have mastered! Are you ready to try out 12 of the toughest questions to grace the new SAT Writing and Language section?

I've combed all the official practicetests to find the absolute hardest SAT Writing questions. If you get all of these right, you're truly a master of this section.

Why Should I Care About the Hardest Questions?

Knowing what to do when you hit tough questions is a key part of your test-taking strategy that you should work out ahead of time. Your target scores will help you determine what to do.

700 - 800 scorers

Are you looking to score between a 700 and 800 on Reading and Writing? If so, these are the sorts of questions that you'll have to master in order to get your score where you want it to be.

500 - 600 scorers

In contrast, if you are looking to score in the 500 – 600 range on Reading and Writing, you don't have to answer every question correctly on SAT Writing to hit your target score. So, if you're taking the test and run across a question as confusing as the ones listed below, you officially have permission to guess!

Either way, good study strategies are your best bet for getting the score you want. Not sure how to start? Check out our guide to studying for the new SAT, and then read our complete explanation of all the grammar rules that the SAT Writing section will test.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (2)
Don't worry, it's not as bad as it seems.

Which Questions Are the Hardest?

As a quick refresher, the SAT Writing and Language section asks multiple choice questions based on long reading passages. The questions test your understanding of grammar, punctuation, word choiceand idioms, and writing logic.For a full overview of all the grammar testedon the Writing SAT, see our guide.

The College Board used to rank SAT questions according to difficulty, but they no longer do this. So how did I pick out the hardest questions? And what makes some questions harder than others?

Even though the revised SAT no longer features trick questions, there are still many times when several of the answerchoices seem to be valid. Sometimes,this is because questions test several skills at the same time: apunctuation detailcombined with your ability to understand the logic of a passage, for instance, or a grammar rule combined with correct idiom usage. Other times, this is because questions make you simultaneously focus on a small sentence-level issue and a larger problem involving several paragraphs.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (3)Don’t worry, there are really only 12.

Spoiler Alert

Before I show you the hardest SAT Writing questions, I have towritea littlespoiler alert.

These are real questions taken from the official full-length practice SAT tests.If you’re likely to remember them and their answers forever, then it's probably best for you to read the rest of this article after you’ve taken all the practice SATs.

On to the Questions!

These questionsrepresent a variety of concepts the SAT thinks students will struggle with the most. Remember: all of these questions come from long passages, since the entire Writing and Language section of the SAT is passage-based.

Try them out and see how you do - if you really want to challenge yourself, limit your timing for each question to 40 seconds.

Each question is followed by the answer and an explanation.

Question 1

[1] The main environmental problem caused by the production of Greek yogurt is the creation of acid whey as a by-product. [2] Because it requires up to four times more milk to make than conventional yogurt does, Greek yogurt produces larger amounts of acid whey, which is difficult to dispose of. [3] To address the problem of disposal, farmers have found a number of uses for acid whey. [4] They can add it to livestock feed as a protein supplement, and people can make their own Greek-style yogurt at home by straining regular yogurt. [5] If it is improperly introduced into the environment, acid-whey runoff can pollute waterways, depleting the oxygen content of streams and rivers as it decomposes. [6] Yogurt manufacturers, food scientists; and government officials are also working together to develop additional solutions for reusing whey.

To make this paragraph most logical, sentence 5 should be placed

A) where it is now.
B) after sentence 1.
C) after sentence 2.
D) after sentence 3.

The Challenge

The main goal of this question is to see if you can figure out how a paragraph should flow logically.

What makes it hardisthat two of the answers (B and C) seem equally logically plausible.




In a paragraph, each sentence should introduce a little bit of new information, using what previous sentences said to push the point of the passage a little bit further.

Leaving the sentence where it is (answer A), or putting it after Sentence 3 (answer D) would make the paragraph sequence illogical. You’d suddenly be back to talking about acid whey in the environment after you’ve already explained how it can be disposed of properly.

It’s very tempting to put Sentence 5 after Sentence 1 (answer B). It seems plausible because Sentence 1 lays out the idea that acid whey is a problem, so ostensibly Sentence 5 could come next and spell out what the problem with acid whey actually is. Butthis is not thebest place. You have to firstexplainthat there is an overabundance of acid whey, and that it's difficult to dispose of it. Only then is it an ideal timeto introduce the concept of “acid whey runoff.”

So, putting Sentence 5 after Sentence 2 (correct answer C) usesinformation introduced in Sentence 2 and sets up what follows in Sentence 3, yielding this logical sequence:

  1. Sentence 2 explains why acid whey is a bigger problem for Greek yogurt.
  2. Sentence 5 explainshow damaging acid whey can be if it’s allowed to enter the environment
  3. Sentence 3 sets up the different ways of disposing of acid whey.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (4)Yogurt: delicious in parfaits, apparently deadly for the environment.

Question 2

Typically, the ice sheet begins to show evidence of thawing in late summer, following several weeks of higher temperatures. For example, in the summer of 2012, virtually the entire Greenland Ice Sheet underwent thawing at or near its surface by mid-July, the earliest date on record.

B) However,
C) As such,
D) Moreover,

The Challenge

This question is checking whether you understand how to use conjunctive adverbs, which are words that show how two sentences or two parts of one sentence connect to one another.

It’s very hard to seethe two sentences actually relate when reading them througha potentially wrong conjunction.

(Video) One of the Hardest SAT® Writing & Language Questions EVER!




One trick is just to cover up the conjunction that’s been put there, and read the two sentences without it. This way you can focus on the information that’s being presented and make up your own mind about how to make sense of the logical flow of this information.

In this case, we first get a sentence that explains what happens most of the time: usually snow melts in late summer.Then we get a sentence that contradicts the earlier one: in 2012, snow melted veryearly on. This means we need to find a conjunctive adverb that shows that the second sentence is an exception to the rule.

“For example” (answer A) means that what follows will demonstrate the rule, rather than break it. That’s not what’s happening here, so this is not the right choice.

“As such” (answer C) has to do with defining what just came previously. "As such" means, “given the definition of the thing just mentioned, here is an associated property of that thing.” But, we are not defining, but are showing how a pattern has been broken, so this is the wrong choice.

“Moreover” (answer D) means “in addition to, and potentially more convincingly,” and is used to add emphasis to an example or an argument. We aren’t doing that here, so this answer is incorrect.

“However” (correct answer C) is a conjunctive adverb that introduces a statement/idea that contradicts what has just been said, which is exactly what we need to do in this case.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (5)At this rate, our only source of polar ice will be old stock photographs.

Question 3

Also, studies have found that those students who major in philosophy often do better than students from other majors in both verbal reasoning and analytical writing. These results can be measured by standardized test scores.

Which choice most effectively combines the sentences at the underlined portion?

A) writing as
B) writing, and these results can be
C) writing, which can also be
D) writing when the results are

The Challenge

This question is testing your editing skills.In particular, it’s checking your ability to know when cutting something out is actually better than leaving more information in.

The challenge here is that because the word“results” occurs both in the original textandin two of the answer choices, it seems like a key piece of the sentence. Instead, it's a red herring.




The secret to good editing is understanding the context. Here, we need to reread the two sentences to see what information we actually have.

In this case, there areno results mentioned in the first of these twosentences. What we do have is information about studies that show philosophy students performing better. But this better performanceis not a “result” – it isn't a goal reached after a specific course of action. In other words, although philosophy students perform better, they didn't study philosophy in order to get better test scores. This means answers B and D are out.

Answer C is wrong because of the word “also.” This word seems to point to the testing being an additional example or piece of evidence – but there is nothing for it to be in addition to.

So, the right answer A is also the most economical, the one that removes everything that clouds the sentence’s meaning.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (6)Plato and Socrates recommend at least tenyears of philosophy grad school for optimal standardized test performance.

Question 4

The share of library materials that is in nonprint formats [1] is increasing steadily; in 2010, at least 18.5 million e-books were available for circulation.

At point [1], the writer is considering adding the following information.

—e-books, audio and video materials, and online journals—

Should the writer make this addition here?

A) Yes, because it provides specific examples of the materials discussed in the sentence.
B) Yes, because it illustrates the reason for the increase mentioned later in the sentence.
C) No, because it interrupts the flow of the sentence by supplying irrelevant information.
D) No, because it weakens the focus of the passage by discussing a subject other than librarians.

The Challenge

The SAT is full of these decision-tree editing questions, which ask you not only about correctly identifying editing changing, but also about justifying your answer.

This question is hard because two of the answers (answers A and B) seem plausible, since putting a list in dashes can either put an explanation or a set of examples into a sentence.




Answer C is wrong becausethere’s nothing irrelevant about the added text. The sentence and the addition are both talking about the kinds of materials available at the library.

Answer D is also wrong – the passage as a whole is not specifically about librarians, so there is no reason that this insertion would have to be.

To eliminate answer B, we have to realize that the added text doesn’t give areason. Providing a list of types of materials doesn't explain why there are so many e-Books.

Instead, the added textsupplies a definition for thenon-obvious term “nonprint formats,” by giving a list of examples that fall under this nonprint category. This means answer A iscorrect.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (7)Nonprint, huh. How long until we no longer think of bookshelves when we say the word "library"?

Question 5

The first time I visited the Art Institute of Chicago, I expected to be impressed by its famous large paintings. For example, I couldn’t wait to view painter, Georges Seurat’s, 10-foot-wide A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte in its full size.

B) painter, Georges Seurat’s
C) painter Georges Seurat’s,
D) painter Georges Seurat’s

(Video) ❌Hardest❌Grammar Questions [ SAT Writing ]

The Challenge

To get this one right, you have to knowhow to punctuate modifiers.A modifier is a piece of a sentence that is used to explain, define, or clarify some other part of the sentence.

What makes this one hard is figuring out whether this modifier is necessary to the sentence or not.




Modifiers come in two flavors. Some are so necessary to the sentence that it would lose its meaning without them; these don't get set off by commas. Others are not crucial for the sentence to make sense; theydo get surrounded by commas.

In this case, the modifier is “George Seurat.” Now ask yourself – is this piece of information necessary to make the sentence work?

One trick is to read the sentence without the modifier to see if the sentence still makes sense. Here,we’d just be left with the strange formulation “I couldn’t wait to view painter’s 10-foot-wide A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”That is clearly not correct, since you need the name George Seurat to make the word "painter" have any meaning.This means that the modifier "George Seurat" is crucial.

Since answers B and C neither surround the modifier with commas nor take them all out, they both are incorrect.

Crucial modifiers don’t get set off by commas, so the right answer is D, the one that leaves the commas out.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (8)Here is what that giant painting looks like, by the way.

Question 6

It has long been known that the sea otters living along the West Coast of North America help keep kelp forests in their habitat healthy and vital. They do this by feeding on sea urchins and other herbivorous invertebrates that graze voraciously on kelp. With sea otters to keep the population of sea urchins in check, kelp forests can flourish. In fact, even two years or less of sea otter presence can reduce the sea urchin threat in a coastal area. Without sea otters present, however, kelp forests run the danger of becoming barren stretches of coastal wasteland known as urchin barrens.

What was less well-known, until recently at least, was how this relationship among sea otters, sea urchins, and kelp forests might help fight global warming. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased 40 percent. A recent study by two professors at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Chris Wilmers and James Estes, suggests that kelp forests protected by sea otters can absorb as much as twelve times the amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as those where sea urchins are allowed to devour the kelp.

B) dispatch
C) overindulge on
D) dispose of

The Challenge

Words that seem similar but have crucial differences in meaning are at the heart of this tricky question.From the context, it’s clear that the word has to have something to do with making less of something – but since all of the word choice options carry this connotation, it’s challenging to figure out which one fits best.




“Dispatch” means to send away, or to deal with efficiently. The kelp is certainly going away, but the sea urchins aren’t sending it anywhere, so this (answer B) is not the right word.

“Overindulge on” can mean overeat. The sea urchins are certainly eating the kelp, so answer Cis a tempting choice. However, “overindulge” carries a moral judgment with – it’s describing an action that is being done despite the knowledge that doing so much of it is wrong. The sea urchins aren’t equipped to deal with right and wrong – and they also aren’t overeating the kelp. They are eating as much as is in their nature to eat. So, scratch that answer.

“Dispose of” is another tempting word choice. It means “to get rid of,” which is definitely what is happening to the kelp at the hands of the sea urchins. Answer Dcould arguably fit into the sentence without a problem, except that we have a word that is even better.

“Devour” means to eat copious amounts of in a short time.This exactly describes what the sea urchins do, so answer A is undoubtedly the best choicein this context. Not only does it mean just what the passage needs it to mean, but it also echoes a piece of the previous paragraph, where the sea urchins were described as “invertebrates that graze voraciously on kelp.” Graze voraciously = devour.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (9)If the only other option is picking these horrific-looking things up by hand, I say let the sea otters have at them.

Question 7

Circadian rhythms, which are controlled by the bodies biological clocks, influence body temperature, hormone release, cycles of sleep and wakefulness, and other bodily functions.

B) bodies’ biological clocks’,
C) body’s biological clocks,
D) body’s biological clock’s,

The Challenge

At the heart of this question is knowing how to properly make nouns into plurals and possessives, and when to use one or the other.What makes this sentence doubly confusingis that when you say the sentence out loud, clearly both nouns - "body" and "clock" - need to end in an“s” sound.




To figure outwhether nouns should be plural, possessive, or both, you have to understandthe context of a passage.

Here, thesentence is explaining how circadian rhythms affect the human body.

Because we are speaking in general terms, the word “body” should be singular.That means that the original wording (answer A) is wrong: “bodies” is the plural form of “body.”

Answers B iswrong for the same reason: “bodies’ ” is the plural possessive of “bodies,” meaning “belonging to several bodies.”

So, what belongs to the human body in the sentence? Several timing mechanisms called biological clocks.Does anything belong to these clocks? No. Thus, answer D is wrong: “clock’s” the possessive form of “clock,” meaning “belong to a clock.”

The right answer C uses the singular possessive form of the word “body” and the regular plural form of the word “clock”: "body’s biological clocks," meaning "the clocks that belong to a generic human body."

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (10)Some adorable circadian rhythms at work.

Question 8

In 1883, he placed an advertisement seeking educated, well-mannered, articulate young women between the ages of 18 and 30. Response to the advertisement was overwhelming, even tremendous, and Harvey soon replaced the male servers at his restaurants with women.

(Video) Hardest SAT writing Topic [2021] sat writing tips

B) Response to the advertisement was overwhelming,
C) Overwhelming, even tremendous, was the response to the advertisement,
D) There was an overwhelming, even tremendous, response to the advertisement,

The Challenge

One of the things that the SAT tests is your understanding of redundancy, wherethe same piece of information or description is needlessly repeated.

What makes this question complicated is the way the original passage is punctuated, and the fact that three of the answer choices contain both original adjectives, making it seem like these adjectives are important to the sentence.




Setting off the word “tremendous” with commas, and modifying it with the intensifier "even,” makes it sound as if the word “overwhelming” doesn’t fullyconvey the enthusiasm of the women answering the ad. This can lead you to think that you need the phrase “even tremendous” to really sell how gung ho women were to work for Harvey.

In reality, “overwhelming” and “tremendous” both mean “surprisingly large and robust,” so using both is repetitive.

Thus, the correct answer is B, which is the only choice that deletes the repeating (redundant) adjective.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (11)Harvey House: basically the Hooters of 19th century America.

Question 9

The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s greatest art museums, has long had a productive partnership with a much loved animal: the cat. For centuries, cats have guarded this famous museum, ridding it of mice, rats, and other rodents that could damage the art, not to mention scared off visitors.

B) scaring
C) scare
D) have scared

The Challenge

Here, the challenge comes in two parts.First, you have to be able to recognize the grammar of parallel structures.And second, you have to know how to match verb tenses inside a sentence.




There are many different verbs in the sentence, so the first thing to do is the figure out who is doing the action of the verb in question – the cats or the rodents. Who or what is doing the scaring?

The cats heredo two things: they guard the museum, and they rid it of pests.This means that it’s the mice and rats that scare visitors.

After realizing this, we can see that the phrase “not to mention” sets up our parallel construction: rodents could do (verb 1) one thing, not to mention do (verb 2) another thing.This means that verbs 1 and 2 have to be in the same tense and form. Verb 1 is in the present tense: “damage.” So the matching version of verb 2 has to be answerC, “scare.”

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (12)Then they'll have to get dogs to catchthe cats, then goats to catch the dogs, then cows to catch the goats... all in the museumthat Catherine the Great built.

Question 10

At the same time, a social and civil rights movement for Mexican Americans was working to raise awareness of Mexican American cultural identity. Artists associated with this began to rediscover and promote the work of the Mexican muralists, particularly Siqueiros.

B) it
C) them
D) this movement

The Challenge

To get this question right, you have to have a solid grasp of pronouns and their antecedents, the nouns that pronouns stand in for. This question is hard because the problem with this pronoun isn't agreement (the usual pronoun/antecedent issue), but instead clarity.




If there are too many nouns that could be a particular pronoun’s antecedent, then that pronoun needs to be replaced with a noun for clarity.

That is the problem with this passage: in theory, the pronoun“this” could refer to: “cultural identity,” “awareness,” or “social and civil rights movement.” So leaving it as is (answer A) doesn't fix the problem.

Replacing “this” with “it” (answer B) isn't a good solution– like the original "this," the pronoun “it” could also haveany one of those nouns as its antecedent.

Replacing “this” with “them” (answer C) creates a logical problem. The antecedent of "them" would be "Mexican Americans," which would mean that the artists being discussed were associated with themselves.

The right choice, answer D, is simply to add a clarifying noun to the confusing pronoun. Writing that the artists were associated with “this movement” simplifies the sentence and allows the passage to flow.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (13)One ofSiqueiros's murals,"El Pueblo a la Universidad, la Universidad al Pueblo."

Question 11

The designer envisions the game’s fundamental elements: the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique, and is thus a primary creative force behind a video game.

B) elements: the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique—
C) elements—the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique—
D) elements; the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique;

The Challenge

One of the things the SAT tests is how to punctuate explanations.This question is hard because it mixes up twodifferent kinds of explanatory punctuation styles: dashes and colons.




Different kinds of explanations are punctuated in different ways. In this case, the structure of the sentence is:

designer makes game elements + list of game elements + this means the designer is the game creator

(Video) SAT Writing + Language / ACT English - The Ultimate Walkthrough

When we lay it out this way, we can see that the bit in the middle (the list of game elements) is an explanatory modifierfor the vague term “game’s fundamental elements.” This modifiernot crucial to the sentence, since the sentence will make perfect sense without it. Instead, it's a parenthetical aside that clarifies something.

The original punctuation (answer A) and the punctuation in answer B focus on the list aspect of the modifier. You can tell because each suggests introducing the set of game elements with a colon. This would work fine if the list ended with a period, but since it doesn’t, these options are out.

Answer D suggests using semi-colons to set off the examples. However, semi-colons are either for separating lists where a single list item has commas in it (not the case here), or for separating independent clauses (also not the case here). So answer D is wrong.

Answer C fixes the sentence by setting off the set of examples with dashes, which are basically like parentheses you can wrap around a piece of a sentence that interrupts the main train of thought.

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (14)The brilliant minimalist design of Minecraft makes every player the creative force behind the game.

Question 12

Some people buy organic food because they believe organically grown crops are more nutritious and safer for consumption than the people who purchase their conventionally grown counterparts, which are usually produced with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

B) the purchase of
C) purchasing
D) DELETE the underlined portion.

The Challenge

This question is checking to see whether you can spot an illogical comparison. However, the answer choices make it seem as though this is actually a question about the correct form of the word "purchase."




One trick to remember is that the word "than" announces that a comparison is about to happen. This is your cue to check whether the sentence is setting up an illogical comparison.

In this case, the sentence is trying tocompareorganic and conventional food, which means that conventional food has to immediately follow the word“than.”

The original text(answer A) is worded so that it incorrectly compares “organically grown crops” with “people who purchase.” This doesn't make sense, so the sentence can't be left as is.

Answers B and C change the comparison, but stillends up comparing “organic crops” with “the purchase” or the act of "purchasing." You can compare crops with a purchase, sothese answers are out.

Correct answer D, however, eliminates the problem and fixes the sentence so that like is compared with like: “organically grown crops are more nutritious and safer for consumption than their conventionally grown counterparts.”

The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (15)Conventional, organic - once you throw them on the grill, it's all good.

The Bottom Line

The hardest questions on the SAT Writing and Language section are challenging because they:

  • test several grammar, editing, or punctuation skills at once
  • have two or more very plausible answer choices
  • have answer choices that make it look like the question is testing one concept, when it's really testing something totally different

Oneway to work through these difficult parts of the test is to cover up the answer choices (including the original text), and read the parts of the passage that aren't in question. This way, you can form your own uninfluenced opinion about:

  • the logical progression of the passage's argument
  • the way the different sentences, or the different parts of one sentence, relate to one another
  • how you would fill in the missing piece

Then, you can find the answer choice that most closely matches your own thoughts, rather than being led astray by working backwards from the answer choices.

What’s Next?

Did you make any mistakes?If so, you can use these problems to help pinpoint the areas you struggle with and focus your studying to get a great score on SAT Writing.

Want to learn other strategies for SAT Writing?Check out our articles on improving your score, getting a perfect score, and how best to study.

Want to improve your overall SAT score by 160 points?

Check out our best-in-class online SAT prep program. We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your SAT score by 160 points or more.

Our program is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also have expert instructors who can grade every one of your practice SAT essays, giving feedback on how to improve your score.Check out our 5-day free trial:

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The 12 Hardest SAT Writing Questions Ever (17)

Mary Ann Barge

About the Author

Mary Ann holds a BA in Classics and Russian from the University of Notre Dame, and an MA from University College London. She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages.

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(Video) Stop guessing on these SAT Writing questions!


Which SAT is hardest? ›

In online forums, students also tend to identify Test #3 as the hardest of the official practice tests, so there truly seems to be a clear consensus.

How to answer SAT writing questions? ›

The Top 7 SAT Writing Tips to Boost Your Score
  1. Focus on Using Grammar Rules to Answer the Questions.
  2. Use Process of Elimination to Rule Out Answers.
  3. Given Two Grammatically Correct Answers, Pick the More Concise One.
  4. Watch for Consistency Issues.
  5. Know that "Being" Is Almost Always Wrong.
Aug 11, 2015

Is the SAT writing section hard? ›

Getting to an 800 SAT Writing score isn't easy. It'll require near perfection and a mastery of both grammar rules and essay writing. But with hard work and my SAT writing strategies below, you'll be able to do it. I've consistently scored 800 on Writing on my real SATs, and I know what it takes.

Do SAT questions get progressively harder? ›

SAT questions are not arranged in order of difficulty (so that easier problems come earlier in the test than the hard ones). Instead, it's important to identify the questions that YOU find easy or hard. Remember, you're not scored on how many questions you do. You're scored on how many questions you answer correctly.

Which SAT is easiest? ›

Fact: There's no such thing as “the easiest SAT test date.” While it's true that some versions of the SAT are easier than others, it's false that some test dates are predictably easier than others. For one thing, there's no way of knowing which form of the SAT will be administered on any given test date.

What is lowest SAT score possible? ›

The highest SAT score you can possibly earn is 1600. The lowest SAT score is 400. Your total SAT score is comprised of a Math section score and an Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score. Each SAT section is scored between 200 and 800 points.

How to get 400 in SAT writing? ›

The Key to Scoring a 400 on the SAT Writing Section
  1. Test Overview. ...
  2. #1 Memorize your grammar rules! ...
  3. #2 SAT tests reading skills, not just grammar skills! ...
  4. #3 Categorize the grammar skills into type! ...
  5. #4 Look for the second meaning of the word in words in context questions! ...
  6. #5 Look for the most concise answer!
Aug 4, 2020

What is the most common answer on SAT? ›

Every answer choice on the SAT will have a statistically even distribution of 1 in 4 for each answer choice letter, A, B, C, or D. In other words? There is no most common answer on the SAT. Ultimately, guessing C (or any letter!) will give you the correct answer only a statistical 25% of the time.

How do I get my SAT answer key? ›

Ordering the QAS

Call Customer Service at 866-756-7346 (U.S. and Canada) and 212-713-7789 (International).

Do colleges look at SAT Writing? ›

The SAT essay is generally considered one of the least important aspects of a student's college application, so an average essay score isn't necessarily an automatic indication that you need to retake the test. The foremost focus should be on your composite score.

What is a perfect SAT Writing score? ›

The total score is the sum of the two section scores; its range is 400–1600. Students receive scores in the range of 200–800 for each of two sections. For the paper-based version, the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score combines the scores for the Reading Test and the Writing and Language Test.

What is the highest Writing score on SAT? ›

Total SAT® scores range from 400 to 1600. Your total score is the sum of your section scores. The section scores for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and for Math each range from 200 to 800.

How many questions can I miss on the SAT to get a perfect score? ›

You can find official SAT practice tests and their scoring tables at the College Board. As you can see with the above SAT scoring chart, it's possible to get some questions wrong and still earn the max SAT score. Generally speaking, you can miss 1-2 questions on each section and still get a perfect 1600.

Why shouldn't you take the SAT more than 3 times? ›

The SAT does not place any limits on how many times a student can sit for the exam and students can superscore their best sections or choose which test scores to include in college applications, so there are many benefits to taking the SAT multiple times if needed.

Which month is best for SAT? ›

It's generally best to take the SAT in the fall or spring of your junior year and then again in the fall of your senior year. The specific month you choose depends on your outside commitments and how much time you want to prepare for the exam.

Is SAT easier now than 30 years ago? ›

In many ways, the new SAT is much easier than the older version. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't study and be prepared! While the format may be better for some students, the questions are still designed to test your ability and skills in each particular subject.

Is SAT Math 1 or 2 harder? ›

Essentially, Math 1 is the easier exam only if you don't know the advanced topics tested on Math 2. If you do know the Math 2 concepts, you'll find it easier than Math 1 because the material will be fresher in your mind, the questions are more straightforward, and the curve is kinder.

What is a perfect SAT score 2023? ›

Your total SAT score will be between 400 and 1,600 points. There are two primary sections, Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW), and each one is worth 200 to 800 points.

What was Mark Zuckerberg SAT score? ›

Mark Zuckerberg.

The founder of Facebook scored the perfect 1600 on the SAT and attended Harvard University. There's no surprise there on the score or prestigious university!

Can you get a 0 on the SAT? ›

While it's impossible for you to get a zero on the test (everyone who takes the SAT will receive at least a 400), you have almost similar odds of doing very well on the test without studying.

What is the lowest SAT score for an Ivy League? ›

The minimum SAT score to get into an Ivy League school ranges from 690 to 730 for the reading section and from 700 to 730 for the math section. Getting 700 or 710 (or higher) on both of these sections will give you an advantage at most Ivy League universities.

Is it hard to increase SAT score by 200? ›

Even if you're already on a high score, improving your SAT scores by 200 points requires two months or even longer period of consistent studying and self-assessment.

How do you get a 1500+ on the SAT? ›

5 SAT study tips to score higher
  1. Know what concepts the SAT will test. The benefit of the SAT is that it tests a very specific – and fixed – list of concepts. ...
  2. Build stamina with timed practice. ...
  3. Choose quality practice materials. ...
  4. Track your mistakes. ...
  5. Pace yourself with your prep.
Nov 21, 2022

Is 700 good on SAT? ›

A good SAT Subject Test Score is one that fits within the range of scores your college usually looks for or accepts. Many colleges are happy with scores of 650 or above, but highly selective schools may want to see a 700 or 750—or even higher.

Is C usually the correct answer? ›

Myth 2: C is the best guess letter and is right more often than any other letter. C or H are right (and wrong) as often as any other answer choice. The only guess letter you don't want to use when you are completely guessing is E or K because they only show up on the math test.

Is C the most common multiple choice answer? ›

Most people (and tutors) tell students that, if they have no idea on a question, to just guess answer choice “C” — the middle answer on most multiple choice tests.

Why is C always the answer? ›

The idea that C is the best answer to choose when guess-answering a question on a multiple choice test rests on the premise that ACT answer choices are not truly randomized. In other words, the implication is that answer choice C is correct more often than any other answer choice.

How do you get a 1400+ on the SAT? ›

To get a 1400+ (700 Math, 700 Reading & Writing) you need:
  1. all of the math and grammar content – no gaps at all.
  2. a superior vocabulary. ...
  3. excellent reading skills.
  4. excellent reasoning skills – in other words, you need to be spot on with your problem solving techniques and approaches.

Can SAT scores be wrong? ›

If your score is very different from what you expected, you may have made an obvious mistake in marking your answers, in which case we will attempt to rescore your test. Examples of obvious errors: gridding your answers in the wrong section or marking a skipped question by mistake.

How do you get a 800 on the SAT? ›

Here's how to find it:
  1. Find a practice test you haven't done before.
  2. Do the reading section untimed and with a dictionary app open.
  3. Look up the words you don't know in the passages and in the questions.
  4. Really try to get every question right. ...
  5. Once you're done, calculate your score using the scale for the exam.

Do Ivy Leagues care about SAT essay? ›

Surprisingly (and in contrast to how it's been in the past), top schools mostly do not require the SAT essay. Currently, no Ivy League School requires students to take the SAT with Essay; the same is true for Stanford, Caltech, Duke, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Northwestern, NYU, and UChicago.

Is it hard to get 1600 on SAT? ›

A 1600 is only achieved by around 300 test takers per year and makes you eligible and highly competitive for admission at every college. Looking at this from another angle, a 1600 SAT score is in the 99nth percentile, which means you scored higher than 99% of all other 2 million+ test takers.

Does Harvard look at SAT essay? ›

Harvard admission officers review all material that an applicant submits, so if you have already taken Subject Tests or the essay portion of the SAT, you may still submit it along with your other application materials.

Is a 1600 SAT better than a 1570? ›

In the eyes of an admissions committee, a 1560, 1570, 1580, 1590 and 1600 are the same thing. They indicate an excellent student who can perform well on the SAT.

Is 590 a good SAT reading and Writing score? ›

590 SAT Score Standings

Out of the 2.13 million test-takers, 2119126 scored the same or higher than you. You can apply to 19 colleges and have a good shot at getting admitted. You have a very low chance of getting into 1479 schools with this score.

Who got 1600 on SAT? ›

List of celebrity SAT scores
CelebrityScoreKnown for
Paul Allen1600Microsoft co-founder
Will SmithRumored to be perfectActor and recording artist (Men In Black, Bad Boys)
Ke$haNear perfectRecording artist (Take It Off, Die Young)
Ben AffleckAlmost perfectActor and director (Argo, The Town)
18 more rows

What SAT score is required for Harvard? ›

Harvard SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

There's no absolute SAT requirement at Harvard, but they really want to see at least a 1460 to have a chance at being considered.

Is 18 a good SAT essay score? ›

Historically, the UC schools like UCLA and Berkeley like to see an 18 or above, and Stanford, when they were considering the essay, would like to see a 20 or above. About 1/2 the Ivys are still considering the Essay so the higher the score the better, try to get a 20 or better.

Is 19 a good SAT essay score? ›

Now let me be clear - an 19 would be on the lowest-possible end for what I'd consider basically a “good” SAT Essay score. That's definitely not a great SAT Essay score. But it does put you somewhere around the top 20% of students. If you can get above 22 out of 24, now you're looking at an excellent SAT essay score.

How many questions can you miss on the SAT to get a 1200? ›

For Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, you can skip/answer incorrectly on average 9 questions on the writing portion and 12 questions on the reading portion. For Math, you can skip/answer incorrectly on average 17 questions between the calculator and no-calculator sections.

How many questions can I miss to get a 1500 on the SAT? ›

It is important to remember you don't have to get all answers right to obtain a 1500 SAT score. So, start answering the questions which you find easy. To get 1500 SAT, you need to get at least 48 right out of 52 in the Reading section.

What is a perfect score for SAT without essay? ›

The highest composite score for the SAT is 800+800, or 1600. The average score is 1000. Your section scores are the individual scores for the two main sections of the SAT: reading/writing and math. Each of these sections is scored out of 800, and they are added together to get your overall score.

Do colleges care how many times you took the SAT? ›

The short answer is no—nothing automatically shows colleges how often a student took the SAT. Most colleges let students who take the SAT multiple times select which of their test scores, by date, they send to colleges. However, some colleges do require applicants to send all their test scores.

Do colleges care if you take the SAT multiple times? ›

No, colleges do not care about how many times you take the SAT!

What happens if I retake the SAT and get a lower score? ›

Additionally, if you retake the tests, you can choose which scores you send. And even if you sent all of your scores, many colleges will only consider your highest. So even if you were to get a lower score the second time, it would not matter.

Which SAT date is the easiest? ›

Fact: There's no such thing as “the easiest SAT test date.”
The March SAT test date offers a good solution:
  • It's early enough to avoid conflicting with exams.
  • It allows plenty of time for any necessary summer test prep.
  • It allows plenty of opportunities to retest if needed before college applications are due.
Jan 28, 2019

Is SAT school day easier? ›

SAT School Day is an initiative designed to make it easier for students to take an official SAT.

How early should I wake up for SAT? ›

Wake up 2 hours before your test.

It takes the human brain over 90 minutes to “boot up” completely, so make sure you're fully awake before taking the SAT or ACT. Set your alarms and have your parents wake you up as well.

Is December the hardest SAT? ›

While you might have heard that taking the SAT during certain months can yield better results curve-wise, the truth is that this exam is equally difficult at all times of the year.

Is the old or new SAT harder? ›

In many ways, the new SAT is much easier than the older version. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't study and be prepared! While the format may be better for some students, the questions are still designed to test your ability and skills in each particular subject.

Which state has the hardest SAT? ›

Wisconsin takes the cake for highest average SAT score with 1252. This is 192 points higher than the national average! But wait—Wisconsin also has lower test participation than most of the US at 2%.

How rare is a perfect math SAT score? ›

The College Board doesn't report the exact number of students who receive a perfect score, but we do have some understanding of its rarity. Based on tests taken between 2020 and 2021, the 99th+ percentile score range was 1560-1600. This means that less than 1% of test-takers scored in that range.

What is the highest math tested by SAT? ›

Trigonometry and Other Advanced Concepts

The SAT is designed to test basic high school math, from courses up to and including Algebra II. Students who wish to demonstrate more advanced skills may consider taking the ACT, which covers trigonometry, or the two SAT Math Subject Tests.

Is the SAT more algebra or geometry? ›

Essentially, the SAT tests a whole lot of algebra, some arithmetic, statistics, and a bit of geometry. When we say a “bit,” we mean it. There are only 6 geometry questions at most on the test.

What month is the best SAT curve? ›

You may have heard it before: take the SAT in December because the curve is easier. Students are taking it for the first time and will be less prepared. Avoid the October test, because rising seniors will be taking it and therefore the curve will be very difficult.

What month is best for SAT? ›

It's generally best to take the SAT in the fall or spring of your junior year and then again in the fall of your senior year. The specific month you choose depends on your outside commitments and how much time you want to prepare for the exam.

Will the SAT ever go away? ›

The tests are not likely to go away, though. Students seeking admission will still be able to use them as part of their portfolio for admission, along with other accomplishments in high school, but test scores are likely to become less of a focus in the admission process. Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc.

How does SAT score change from 2400 to 1600? ›

by two-thirds (because 1600 is two-thirds of 2400). So, if you got a score of 1940 on the old SAT, you'd multiply it by two-thirds and get a score of about 1290.

When did the SAT switch to 1600? ›

The new SAT scoring system placed the process of interpreting scores into uncharted territory. Before March 2016, the test was out of 2400, but the new test is out of 1600.

Is the SAT getting easier in 2023? ›

The College Board announced big changes to the format and delivery of the SAT for high school students in 2023 and 2024. The new SAT will be "easier to take, easier to give, more secure, and more relevant," said Priscilla Rodriguez, the company's Vice President of College Readiness Assessments.

What is the lowest SAT score for Harvard? ›

There's no absolute SAT requirement at Harvard, but they really want to see at least a 1460 to have a chance at being considered.


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