Length Of The SAT

Understand the Lengths of Different Sections of SAT

Deciding to take the SAT is probably one of the most concrete steps a student makes towards his future career and life as an adult. Preparing for the test, registering in time, taking the test, applying to colleges and universities and clearing their admission conditions, all this is nothing short of a mini battle the student has to wage for nearly two years in his senior years at school. No soldier should enter the battlefield unarmed; and with respect to the SAT, complete information about the test is more than necessary. So, if details about the test length and the time taken for it to finish are questions that perplex you, then you need to arm yourself with this information and read on and see your doubts gradually dissolve.

The SAT Reasoning Test

The test is of three hours 45 minutes which is divided into three components, namely, Critical Reading, Writing and Math. These three then have further divisions of 10 sections in total (3 sections each with one unscored section). The Critical Writing and Mathematics sections are of 70 minutes each and the Writing section is of 60 minutes time. The unscored section is a 25 minutes section and the questions for this are present all over the SAT test, in different sections and are difficult to weed out. Students are therefore, advised to attempt all the questions. This test measures critical skills and abilities learnt by the applicant at school level and whether or not the applicant is ‘ready’ for college life and its rigors. The time provided for each section is fixed and the test does not change even though the section may have grid-ins, multiple-choice or essay questions. It is often advised for students to take the SAT at least once before they appear for it the final time, this is so that they familiarise themselves with the test length, format, content and difficulty level.

SAT Test Length

For all the three components of the SAT, a specific time is scheduled and a number of questions set for its content. The Critical Reading component for example has all multiple-choice based questions and the time for this section is 70 minutes. Each of its three sections will have a reading comprehension based questions that require the applicant to read a passage and answer questions pertaining to it, critical reading and sentence completion. There will be two sections of 25 minutes each and one 20 minutes section. The time for the Mathematics component is of 70 minutes too and has a combination of both grids-in (student responses) and multiple-choice questions. Here as well, there would be two sections of 25 minutes each and one of 20 minutes duration. The range of questions would be from Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Probability, Data Analysis and so on. The Writing component of 60 minutes would have a 25 minutes exercise of an essay writing task and two exercises of total 35 minutes having multiple-choice questions on grammar usage and word choice.

A Last Word

Fretting over how long one would have to sit for the exam is probably not a wise thing to do. Instead, being well-prepared to handle such pressure is what an applicant should aim at doing. The test length of three hours and 45 minutes has three short breaks for the applicant during which he could grab a snack or go around the corner or maybe both if he is quick enough! Focus and a calm attitude on the day of the test are things that actually take an applicant through with the exam. The exam time of three hours and 45 minutes generally seems long when you read or hear about it, but just ask the test-taker who actually has taken the exam, and you would know that there’s hardly ever time to do anything else but think over and write out your answers.