How Long Does The SAT Take?

How long is the SAT

These questions; How Long Is The SAT with Essay? and How Long Is The SAT without Essay? has always been on the lips of almost all the high school students demanding for answers.

Below is a comprehensive article put together by one of our team of professional writers to provide answers to the following questions;

  • What is SAT?
  • How Long Does The SAT Take?
  • What is on the SAT?
  • When should i take the SAT?
  • How long is the SAT with Essay?
  • How long is the SAT without Essay?
  • How many breaks are there during the SAT?
  • When does the SAT start?
  • How do i effectively and efficiently manage my time
  • How do i know how much time left?
  • How do i get ready for test day?
  • How is the SAT scored?
  • How do i register for the SAT?


High school juniors and seniors applying to colleges and institutions take the Scholastic Aptitude Test, popularly known as the SAT. This test is offered six times a year, in six different locations throughout the world. As we delve deeper into the SAT, you’ll learn when, how, and why to take it.

In the United States, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the SAT, is a widely accepted standardized test used to determine admission to schools and universities.

About the SAT

Most colleges and institutions need students to take the SAT as part of their application process. The SAT is a College Board-created and -administered multiple-choice test that uses pencil and paper.

This test measures a student’s preparation for college and provides universities with a standard data point from which all candidates can be evaluated against one another.

Standardized test scores, high school grades, courses taken, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays will all be considered by college admissions officers. The weight colleges place on SAT scores in the admissions process varies by school.

Generally speaking, the better your SAT or ACT scores are, the more alternatives you’ll have for going to college and paying for it.

When should I take the SAT?

Students in their junior and senior years of high school take the SAT and/or ACT, or both tests, depending on when they register. Allow time to retake the test if necessary before submitting an application to an institution.

It is possible to take the SAT exam anywhere throughout the country on eight different dates each year: August, October, November, December, March, May, and June View all upcoming SAT test dates.

What is on the SAT?

The SAT is divided into two sections: one for math and one for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

An optional Essay part is included on the SAT. Results on the SAT Essay are not included in the total exam scores. The SAT Essay may be required by certain universities. On the school’s website, you may find out more about each college’s admissions procedures.

How long is the SAT?

The SAT is divided into three sections, each of which has four examinations, as well as a fourth section, the SAT Essay, which is optional. The SAT takes 180 minutes to complete without breaks, while the SAT Essay takes 50 minutes.

  • Reading: 65-minute segment with 52 questions (75 seconds per question)
  • Writing and Language: 35-minute portion with 44 questions (about 48 seconds per question)
  • Math – No Calculator: 25-minute portion with 20 questions (75 seconds per question)
  • Math – Calculator: 55-minute portion with 38 questions (about 87 seconds per question)
  • Essay (optional): 50 minutes, one essay

READ ALSO: How Long Does FAFSA Take to Process? The Complete Guide.

How Many Breaks Are There During the SAT?

The SAT schedule includes a number of breaks. Before the Writing and Language Test, there will be a 10-minute break. Two Math Tests are followed by a five-minute break. After the Math Test – Calculator, you’ll have a 2-minute break if you’re doing the SAT Essay or if your test includes an extra 20-minute part.

How long is the SAT with Essay?

The SAT with Essay takes 5 hours and 50 minutes to complete or (4 hours, 5 minutes with breaks)

How long is the SAT without Essay?

The SAT is a three-hour test (3 hours and 15 minutes with breaks).

When Does the SAT Start?

Doors to the testing facility open at 7:45 a.m. and close at 8 a.m. on test day. Once students have entered the testing room, the proctor will collect all electronic devices and backpacks and will verify that all calculators are SAT-approved before handing them over to the students.

Students may require some more time in order to complete the SAT Essay on-site. As soon as everyone is settled in, checked in, and ready to take the exam, the proctor hands out the test materials and gives a brief explanation of what will happen throughout the assessment.

Depending on how long these steps take, the test will begin between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. local time.

How Do I Know How Much Time I Have Left?

During each segment, the proctor will state how much time is left. The first announcement is timed according to the duration of that part, however, it comes halfway through the segment. With 5 minutes left, a second warning is issued. When the timer runs out, you’ll hear the old adage, “Please stop working and put your pencil down.

The proctor will also note the precise start and finish times of each exam portion, as well as when the test will resume after any breaks.

Time Management on the SAT

Experts suggest that knowing how much time to spend on each question is an important part of a successful test strategy. The average time allotted to each question on the SAT exam is one minute and ten seconds, however, some of the more difficult issues may require more time.

It is recommended that you start with the easy questions that you can finish quickly and then go on to the more difficult ones that require more time management. In order to properly answer these types of questions, you must first sort them out and then grasp their difficulty level so that you can answer them in a timely manner.

To avoid running out of time on later questions, students should not spend too much time on the first section.

A California-based admissions consulting company’s director of college counseling, Joe Korfmacher, believes that students waste too much time early on second-guessing themselves and going back and forth. “I think they’ve squandered that time,” says Korfmacher.

One alternative for students who are pressed for time is to make educated guesses in order to answer the most questions. The absence of a guessing penalty on the SAT, says Korfmacher, may allow students to boost their scores significantly as time expires.

In addition, Applerouth suggests that test-takers become familiar with their own natural pace. It’s possible to learn how long it takes you to answer a question with practice, according to him.

According to Applerouth, “your watch is absolutely one of your essential tools to help you manage your time.”

However, keep in mind that there may be limits on test day, such as the prohibition of recording, transmitting, receiving, or playing back devices. The College Board’s Test Day Checklist webpage places limits on items like smartwatches and other forbidden gadgets.

Besides what to bring and what to expect, the College Board also offers guidance on when to arrive at your destination. To prevent huge queues, the College Board recommends getting to the testing center at least 15 minutes before the start of the test. It’s customary to dismiss students about noon.

How to Get Ready for Test Day

Experts believe that a student’s SAT score can be influenced by variables besides test-taking and time-management tactics.

Overwhelmed high school students have a tendency to underperform. Test-prep experts attribute students’ poor performance to lack of sleep.

According to Applerouth, “it’s critical that students get enough sleep because it will have an impact on their ability to maintain that level of focus for that long.”

Furthermore, he says, students in high school aren’t frequently required to focus on a single task for three hours straight. According to him, success usually requires a number of practice tests in order to build up the mental stamina necessary to maintain concentration for such an extended period of time.

Another aspect that’s often neglected but might have a negative impact on your SAT score is… Hunger. Applerouth recommends that students pack a snack to eat during the breaks so that they can stay energized and maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the exam.

Relaxation and other stress-relieving techniques are popular among students, according to Korfmacher. Because of their preparation, he argues, students should remain calm and confident during the exam.

Half the battle is believing in yourself, Korfmacher tells his children.

Looking for a university to attend? See the complete list of the best universities in the country.

READ ALSO: 9 Easiest Top Schools To Transfer Into.

Why was there a 5th Section on the SAT?

An extra 20-minute section of your SAT exam may be included. We pre-test new test items on occasion to see whether they should be included in future SAT test forms. Pre-test items may be found in any area and are not included in students’ final results.

This implies that students taking the SAT and the SAT with Essay will have their exam length increased by 20 minutes. Before the exam starts, the test center supervisor will offer instructions on whether there will be a fifth section.

When is the SAT Over?

Students taking the SAT might expect slightly different release times depending on where they take the test and even what room they are in inside the testing facility. Each section lasts three hours, with a 15-minute break in between.

In addition, there is setup time before the test begins, as well as time to go over instructions before each section begins. The SAT Essay, which takes an additional 50 minutes to complete, is an option for certain students. There may also be a 20-minute part added to your test to practice questions for future SATs.

Test takers who don’t have to write the SAT Essay should finish the test between 12:15 and 12:45, while those who do should finish between 1:20 and 1:25 pm.

The proctor will return all electronic devices and backpacks once the test has been completed and all test booklets have been returned.

How is the SAT scored?

The SAT is graded on a range of 200 to 800 points for each section. The sum of your section scores determines your overall SAT score. The highest SAT score achievable is 1600. You will obtain a different score if you take the Essay.

Should I take the SAT or the ACT?

Most schools and institutions accept scores from both the SAT and the ACT and do not prefer one over the other. College-bound students, on the other hand, are increasingly taking both the SAT and the ACT.

The SAT’s 2016 changes have made it simpler than ever to prepare for both exams at the same time—and to get competitive results on both! Taking a timed full-length practice exam of each type is the best way to determine if the SAT, ACT, or both tests are suited for you.

Because the SAT and ACT are so similar in content and style, things like how you manage time pressure and what sorts of questions you find the most difficult might help you figure out which exam is a better match.

How do I register for the SAT?

Each exam date has a five-week registration deadline, which is a good amount of time to prepare. Online registration is available through the College Board’s website.


Having read through the article above and assimilated it, you should have found the answers you looking for especially the question; how long is the SAT with essay? However, if you still have questions that were left unanswered, kindly drop us a message using the comment box below.

Frequently Asked Questions on How Long Does The SAT Take.

The SAT is a three-hour test (3 hours and 15 minutes with breaks). The SAT takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete if you opt for the optional essay (or 4 hours, 5 minutes with breaks)

The SAT with Essay takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete or (4 hours, 5 minutes with breaks)

The SAT is a lengthy and difficult exam, but the good news is that it includes built-in breaks for students to refresh themselves between sections. Between the Reading and Writing sections of the SAT, there is a 10-minute break, and between the Math No-Calculator and Math Calculator sections, there is a 5-minute break.

The SAT is graded on a range of 200 to 800 points for each section. The sum of your section scores determines your overall SAT score. The highest SAT score achievable is 1600. You will obtain a different score if you take the Essay.

A strong SAT score can raise your chances of getting into a particular college. While there’s no standard for a “good” SAT score, it’s best to aim for at least 1200. More importantly, aim for an SAT score that’s within or higher than your school’s middle 50%

There is no limit to how many times the SAT should be taken. Students can take the SAT as many times as they want

The SAT format includes 154 multiple-choice questions and 1 optional essay.

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