Reading and Writing Content Alignment

Texts in the Reading and Writing section are aligned with the growing text complexity demands across successively higher grades of schooling and with college and career readiness requirements.

The Reading and Writing sections across assessments in the SAT Suite (SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9) are the same in terms of content specifications and reflect one of three complexity bands (grades 6–8, grades 9–11, and grades 12–14). There is one exception: PSAT 8/9 does not include passages from the highest (grades 12–14) text complexity band.

The range of difficulty of questions students are administered differs from assessment to assessment. In addition, the multistage adaptive nature of the testing engine, and the PSAT 8/9 text complexity constraint, ensure that students taking the various tests are given age- and attainment-appropriate questions, with allowances for higher- and lower-achieving students within each test-taking population to demonstrate the full extent of their ability.