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Overview of skills and skill levels

An overview of skills and skill levels on Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy

What are "SAT Skills"?

In Official SAT Practice, "skills" are specific areas that you can practice. For example, “Solving linear equations and linear inequalities” is one of the skills in the math section, and “Reading: Science” or “Writing: Argument” are skills in the Reading & Writing section. As part of your prep, Official SAT Practice will recommend "skills" for you to practice.
There are 41 skills in SAT Math and 28 skills in Reading & Writing. These can be viewed or accessed under your practice recommendations in the Practice tab, in the section that starts with “Or choose from the full list”.
In Math or Grammar and Effective Language use, skills tie directly back to a particular type of question. For example, if you practice the “Effective Language Use: Syntax” skill, you’ll be given only questions that relate to syntax. In passage-based Reading & Writing practice, however, you'll find multiple question types within a single skill.
The types of questions found in these Reading & Writing skills include:
Check out the links above for more information on these question types!

What are "Skill levels"?

You have a specific skill level for each of the many skills you will practice for the SAT.
When you reach a higher level in a skill, you will be asked harder questions or given more complex passages when you practice that skill.
Your overall levels for Math and Reading & Writing are averages that add up your individual skill levels and divide them by how frequently each skill appears on the exam.
Image of Math and Reading and Writing skill level icons, from "Level not set" up to "level 4". Math levels are various shades of blue squares with a white semicircle in the center that fills in as you increase levels. Reading is the same set of icons but with a purple background instead of blue.

How do practice recommendations work?

On your Practice tab, we recommend skills for you to practice based on how you’ve performed on that skill and how frequently it shows up on the SAT.
Let’s say there are two skills at two different levels:
  • Skill A, Level 3
  • Skill B, Level 2
You might think it would be more important to improve Skill B. However, our system may recommend that you practice Skill A because it shows up more frequently on the test and improving it to Level 4 would do more to raise your score.

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