An overview of the Reading Test content.

In this series of articles, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the SAT Reading Test. On the Test, you will encounter a variety of passages broken into three content areas:

U.S. and World Literature.

Includes prose fiction texts, both contemporary and classic, by American and international authors. These texts may be intact short stories or passages from novels and short stories and written by either well-known or less well-known authors working in the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, or twenty-first centuries.

History/Social Studies.

The History/Social Studies domain comprises texts in two subareas: Social Science and Founding Documents/Great Global Conversation.
  • The Social Science subarea includes passages that deal with information and ideas drawn from the fields of anthropology, communication studies, economics, education, human geography, law, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology and their various subfields. Social Science passages will sometimes include graphics or pairs of passages. Questions will ask you to determine relationships between the graphic or to analyze how two paired passages relate to one another.
  • The Founding Documents/Great Global Conversations include classic and contemporary texts by American and international authors who are grappling with political, legal, social, moral, and ethical issues in an attempt to answer a simple but profound question: How should we live together? Founding Documents and Great Global Conversation texts may also appear in pairs.

Science.

Includes passages that deal with information and ideas drawn from biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth science and their various subfields. Passages may discuss recent discoveries, interesting hypotheses and theories, and innovative research studies and methods. Science passages will sometimes include graphics or pairs of passages. Questions will ask you to determine relationships between the graphic or to analyze how two paired passages relate to one another.
On Official SAT Practice with Khan Academy, students will see the categories of Literature, History, Social Science, and Science. The Founding Documents and Great Global Conversation texts can be found under the History category.
You will not need to know the names of these categories for the test, but this gives you an idea of the passage content.

Attributions

This article was adapted from the following sources:
“SAT Practice Tests” from The College Board.
Loading