Bridgeman, B., Trapani, C., & Curley, E. (2004). Impact of fewer questions per section on SAT I scores . Journal of Educational Measurement , 41 (4), 291–310.

Journal Article

Bridgeman, B., Trapani, C., & Curley, E. (2004). Impact of fewer questions per section on SAT I scores. Journal of Educational Measurement, 41(4), 291–310.


College entrance test; Extended time; Postsecondary; U.S. context




This study investigated the impact on test scores of allowing more time for each question on the SAT I: Reasoning Test (extended-time). More time was allowed for each question by removing items from test sections. For example, questions were deleted from a 35-question verbal section to yield 2 forms: a 27-question form and a 23-question form. These forms were compared.


This extant dataset of nationwide (U.S.) test-takers consisted of more than 160,000 prospective postsecondary students. The exact number of participants were not apparent, and the number of participants with disabilities were not available nor were the analyses specifically comparing performance of students with and without disabilities.

Dependent Variable

The dependent variable was scores on altered forms of the SAT I: Reasoning Test (extant assessment data).


Allowing more time per question had 11 minimal impact on verbal scores, producing gains of less than 10 points on the 200-300 SAT scale. Gains for the math score were less than 30 points. High-scoring students tended to benefit more than lower-scoring students, with extra time creating no increase in scores for students with SAT scores of 400 or lower. Ethnic/racial and gender population score differences “neither increased nor reduced with extra time.”