SAT: Evidence-Based Reading & Math Sections


Get a closer look at the Evidence-Based Reading and Math sections of the NEW SAT as Testive Coach, Ben Flores, provides commentary on some sample problems and tips on how you can prepare for them.

Evidence Based Reading Overview

One of the biggest (and most welcome) changes to the New SAT Reading section is that there will no longer be sentence completion questions. That’s right—no need to memorize obscure vocabulary!

The new Reading test will be made up of four single passages, each followed by 10‐11 questions, and 1 dual‐passage set, also followed by 10‐11 questions. There will be three different types of passage: (1) U.S. or world literature; (2) history or social studies; and (3) science. Some of these passages will be primary sources pertaining to significant events and ideas in history. Other passages—especially in science and social studies—will contain charts or graphs that you will be expected to interpret and use in connection with the text.

And the questions themselves? You’ll still need to identify the main point, the tone or attitude, and the meaning of certain words or phrases. You’ll also need to identify the evidence that supports an answer choice, which means that some questions will be connected.

Our learning team has been busy creating questions for the NEW SAT based on extensive documentation from the College Board outlining the specifications for the Redesigned SAT. They’ve analyzed it in great detail and used their expertise to ensure that the content of the questions will closely align with these changes.

Right now Testive has practice questions for the NEW SAT covering each of the four sections. Students can see the questions and start practicing them by signing up for a FREE account at and after logging in choosing “NEW SAT” at the top of the screen.


These questions are a preview of the full NEW SAT prep platform Testive is building and gives students an opportunity to experience both the content that is aligned with the NEW SAT as well as new adaptive learning mechanics Testive will be applying across the board for all test prep platforms.

Closer look and sample problems

We will have high quality practice passages including contemporary scientific topics and historical primary sources. Each passage will have a full set of associated questions that are specifically aligned to the specifications of the Redesigned SAT.

Each question has in-depth answer explanations written by Testive coaches. So if you get one wrong, there will be a clear explanation why you got it wrong and additional opportunities  to get it right.


Just like on the NEW SAT, every passage will have sets of linked questions in which you will be asked to provide text-based evidence to support the correct answer to a previous question. You’ll be able to see your previous work from linked questions as you work on new questions.


Other changes that are occurring are that instead of memorizing a lot of vocabulary words, students now have to understand words that may have multiple meanings as they are used in the context of a passage.


Math with calculator

Overall, math questions on the NEW SAT are more difficult than those on the current test. Not only do the math sections test new subject areas, such as trigonometry, but they also look different. For example, you can expect to see a single set of data serve as the basis for several questions, and an extended response grid‐in question (for which answer choices are not provided) with multiple parts.

Questions on the new Math test fall into four “content categories” ‐ Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and Additional Topics in Mathematics. There are fewer geometry questions and more word problems, with questions based in both science and the social sciences (for example, economics).

These problems, which can be in each of the four content categories, often ask for exact answers (rather than equations or formulas). Calculator math problems may also ask you to provide answers that are precise to the nearest tenth or hundredth decimal place, and you may need to multiply or divide large numbers in order to reach the correct answer.

There will also be an increased emphasis on interpretation and manipulation of data sets as shown below.


Math with No Calculator

While no‐calculator questions may ask for a numerical solution, they will not require you to multiply or divide large numbers, or to provide an answer carried out to several decimal places. No‐calculator questions will often ask for the correct equation or formula necessary to solve a problem, but sometimes won’t ask you to “do the math” to find the answer.

This question is a representative example of the mathematical thinking that NEW SAT will ask students to demonstrate. Students will often be asked to show an understanding of problems by providing expressions or equations that could be used to solve the problem accurately.


There will also be a bigger emphasis on geometry this year and Testive has a deep library of geometry questions that we’re continually adding to align with the NEW SAT, such as the example question below.



Although there are a fair amount of changes happening on the NEW SAT, there is nothing to be alarmed about.The key to any standardized test is preparation. We recommend 100 hours of prep leading up to the test broken out over 3-4 months. That way you’re not “cramming” for the test, which will undoubtedly lead to undue stress that won’t do anybody any good.

Happy prepping!

Download our FREE eBook – NEW SAT: Everything You Need to Know to have all of this content in one place. You can also watch our pre-recorded webinar The NEW SAT What it Means for YOU & Why it Matters. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *