SAT – Critical Reading

An essential part of the language section of the SAT is critical reading. This section analyzes your abilities in understanding English in the written form. In other words, it tests your critical skills related to English vocabulary and grammar both.


  • The Critical Reading section of the SAT consists of two types of questions namely Sentence Completion and Passage-based Reading.
  • The SAT Critical Reading section extends for 70 minutes and consists of 67 questions.
  • This means each question of this section gets just a minute to be answered.
  • Hence, you should be fast while being attentive to the accuracy of your answers too.

ExamFocus’ Practice Support

Ensure that you have practiced this section well before you decide to take the test. A perfect score can be achieved only if you practice and prepare well. Use ExamFocus’ Free Passage Based Reading Practice Tests and Free Sentence Completion practice tests to sharpen your skills.

Testing & Scoring Scheme

  • The comprehension passages in the SAT critical reading are usually of one or two paragraphs, which are excerpts from longer texts.
  • These texts are usually taken from periodicals, journals, newspapers etc. Hence, they can cover any subject from humanities to science to social issues etc.
  • Scores for this section are calculated in two steps. First, a raw score is calculated and then a scaled score is obtained. For each correct answer, you will receive credit and for each wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be subtracted from your total score.
  • The ‘raw score’ that you receive is now converted to a ‘scaled score’. This is done by considering the score that you receive for Critical Reading and Mathematics section as it is converted to a scale ranging from 200 to 800.