The College Board is changing the SAT again. The Post's Nick Anderson explains some things you might not know about the college admissions test and how it has evolved—starting with the meaning behind the letters "SAT." (Davin Coburn and Kate M. Tobey/The Washington Post)

The College Board plans to launch a revised SAT admission test in 2016. Here are a few sample and practice questions that illustrate portions of the current version of the test, drawn from The College Board’s Official SAT Study Guide.

The questions below are sorted into three categories: Sentence completion, improving sentences, and mathematics. There are three questions in each category.  To see the answers, click here or scroll to the bottom.


Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five words or sets of words labeled A through E. Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. (First question after the break.)


1) The research is so ____ that it leaves no part of the issue unexamined.

(A) comprehensive

(B) rewarding

(C) sporadic

(D) economical

(E) problematic


2) The Supreme Court’s reversal of its previous ruling on the issue of states’ rights  _____ its reputation for  _____ .

(A) sustained … infallibility

(B) compromised … consistency

(C) bolstered … doggedness

(D) aggravated … inflexibility

(E) dispelled … vacillation


3) Despite its apparent _____ , much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to  _____ assertions.

(A)   liberality … doctrinaire

(B)   independence … autonomous

(C)   intransigence … authoritative

(D)   fundamentalism … arrogant

(E)    legitimacy … ambiguous



The following sentences test correctness and effectiveness of expression. Part of each sentence or the entire sentence is underlined; beneath each sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Choice A repeats the original phrasing; the other four choices are different. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select Choice A; if not, select one of the other choices. … Your selection should result in the most effective sentence – clear and precise, without awkwardness or ambiguity.


4) He arranged the gems on the counter, the sales assistant proceeded to tell us about the origins of each stone.

(A)   He arranged the gems

(B)   The gems, which were arranged

(C)   The gems were first arranged

(D)   After arranging the gems

(E)    He, having arranged the gems


5) Scientists predict technological changes in the next century, they will be as dramatic as was the development of the transcontinental railroad in the last century.

(A)   century, they will be as dramatic as was

(B)   century, these will be as dramatic as

(C)   century; being as dramatic as was

(D)   century will be as dramatic as is

(E)    century as dramatic as


6) Underestimating its value, breakfast is a meal many people skip.

(A)   Underestimating its value, breakfast is a meal many people skip.

(B)   Breakfast is skipped by many people because of their underestimating its value.

(C)   Many people, underestimating the value of breakfast, and skipping it.

(D)   Many people skip breakfast because they underestimate its value.

(E)    A meal skipped by many people underestimating its value is breakfast.



Solve each problem and decide which is the best of the choices given.

7) All numbers divisible by both 4 and 15 are also divisible by which of the following?

(A)   6

(B)   8

(C)   18

(D)   24

(E)    45


8) The odometer of a new automobile functions improperly and registers only 2 miles for every 3 miles driven. If the odometer indicates 48 miles, how many miles has the automobile actually been driven?

(A)   144

(B)   72

(C)   64

(D)   32

(E)    24


9) Several people are standing in a straight line. Starting at one end of the line, Bill is counted as the 5th person, and starting at the other end, he is counted as the 12th person. How many people are in the line?

(A)   15

(B)   16

(C)   17

(D)   18

(E)    19




1) A

2) B

3) A

4) D

5) E

6) D

7) A

8) B

9) B