How Long is SAT Test





Timings of the test that you need to know!

How long do you think is the SAT test?

The SAT test has been in operation for more than the last 80 years which facilitates the admission officers of the colleges to make informed decisions of the student’s capability to tackle the courses in the colleges and scholarship institutions. The test is a benchmark to measure the college-readiness of the students and prepares the students to achieve and realize their goals in life. This test evaluates the subject matter that the student had studied in the high school level and how well the student can apply such knowledge in practical situations. This test is offered more than seven times in a year in the United States and six times at international testing centers. If you wish to know how long the SAT test is, then you need to know each and every section of the test and how the test-time is demarcated in between these sections.

What is the duration of the SAT test?

The SAT test is three hours and forty-five minutes long. It is separated into ten sections, which are individually timed. There are three sections of Critical Reading, three sections of Mathematics, three sections of Test Writing and one un-scored section which is variable. The last un-scored section can either deal with Critical Reading, Mathematics or Writing. The three sections of the Critical Reading and the three sections of Mathematics are of seventy minutes each. The three sections of Writing however, have 60 minutes, allocated to them. Finally, the last un-scored section has a duration of twenty five minutes. Now that you know how long the SAT test is, in the following sections, let us study about the time separation and how the time is allocated to each of the sections of the test.

What is the time allocated to the individual sections of the SAT test?

The SAT test consists of ten sections and it is divided in three major topics, namely, the critical reading, the mathematics and the writing. Time is allocated separately for these three topics and the details of the distribution are according to the tables below:

Mathematics section:

The Math section has two formats of questions in it. They are the standard multiple-choice questions and the student-produced questions. Here is the classification of the time allocated to each of these two formats:

Question type NO OF QUESTIONS TIME
Standard multiple choice questions 44 Two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute- section.
Student produced responses 10

Total: 54 Total: 70 minutes


Writing section:

The Writing section of the test lasts for 60 minutes. This section consists of the essay writing section sections and two separate sections for multiple choice questions. Following is the time distribution of these three sections.

Content Minutes TOTAL TIME
Writing (essay) 25 60 minutes total
Writing (multiple choice) 25
Writing (multiple choice) 10

Critical Reading section:

The Critical Reading section also consists of three sections of multiple choice questions which altogether lasts for 70 minutes. These three sections of the multiple choice questions are each of separate durations. Following is the table that shows the distinction of the sections:

CONTENT MINUTES TOTAL TIME
Critical reading (multiple choice) 25 70 minutes total
Critical reading (multiple choice) 25
Critical reading (multiple choice) 20


Variable (un-scored multiple-choice) section:

The variable un-scored section is the final section of the test and it is also known as the ‘equating’ section. This section may consist of critical reading, mathematics and multiple-choice questions and has a duration of twenty-five minutes. Whatever you score in this section, it is not added to the final score. However, this section serves as a platform to work out newer questions in order to ensure that the scores of the latest version of SAT are compatible with the scores of earlier versions.

Why is the SAT time important?

After knowing the timings of SAT test, you should know what is the importance of this limited time. To utilize the stipulated time successfully, you should be more involved in completing practice papers. Initially, you have to worry less about the test timings and concentrate more on knowing the question types. Once you are acquainted with the pattern, it would hardly matter how lengthy the test is as you will be more trained in completing the test with the time in hand.