What is the Experimental Section on the SAT Test? Why is it there?
The SAT Test consists of three sections: Reading, Writing, and Math. Each of these sections gets subsequently divided on the test itself into three sub-sections. Math breaks down into one 20 question section, one 18 question section, and one 16 question section. The writing portion of the test constitutes an essay, one 35 question section, and one 14 question section. Lastly, the reading section breaks down into two 24 question sections, and one 19 question section. These nine sections make up the scored portion of the SAT Test.
Yet, you’ll notice when you take the SAT Test that you have to complete ten sections.
One of the sections on every SAT Test is an experimental section. This extra section, which the College Board (the administrators of the SAT Test) inserts into the SAT Test, allows the test-makers to try out new questions for future SAT Tests.
Luckily for you, your performance in this section does not factor into your scoring. So how do you know which is the experimental section? Well, you don’t. You have no way of telling which section on the SAT Test is the experimental one. At the end of the test you can evaluate if you completed 4 sections of either reading, writing, or math, but you have no way of knowing which exact section was the experimental one. Thus, when taking the SAT Test, treat each section as if it counts, because chances are, it does. In fact, every single student we have worked with who thought they knew for sure which section was experimental has been wrong!