How Long Is The SAT (And Why)?

How Long Is The SAT (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 Hours

As part of the admissions process, many institutions demand SAT or ACT test scores. In college admissions, your SAT score is very essential. Few elements are as critical as the time when it relates to the SAT. You’ll be devoting a lot of emphasis to time on the SAT, from carefully timed prep work to pacing yourself in each portion of the test.

You’ll also need to consider the precise scheduling of your test date to ensure that you arrive on time and without incident. Don’t miss out on learning more about how long the SAT takes in this post.

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How Long Is The SAT?

SectionBreak Time
Between Section 1 and 210 Minutes
Between Math Sections5 Minutes
Before Optional Section2 Minutes

The SAT is divided into 3 sections, each with four examinations, and a 4th section, the SAT Essay, which is optional. The SAT takes 180 minutes to complete, not including breaks, while the SAT Essay takes 50 minutes.

  • Reading: 65-minute/ 52 questions
  • Writing and Language: 35-minute section/ 44 questions
  • Math – No-Calculator: 25-minute section/ 20 questions
  • Math – Calculator: 55-minute/38 questions
  • Essay (optional): 50 minutes/ 1Essay

The SAT schedule has a number of breaks built-in. In between Reading Comprehension and the Writing and Language Test, there is a 10-minute pause. Between the two Math Tests, there is a 5-minute pause. Finally, after the Math Test – Calculator, you’ll have a 2-minute break if you’re taking the SAT Essay or if your test has an additional 20-minute part.

On exam day, the test centre doors open at 7:45 a.m. and close at 8 a.m. Once students are in the testing room, the proctor will collect all electronic devices and backpacks, as well as double-check that all calculators are SAT-approved.

Students may require additional time to complete the SAT Essay on-site. The proctor distributes the exam materials and provides the preliminary instructions when all students have been seated, checked in, and are ready to begin the test. Depending on how long these stages take, the test will begin between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.

Why Does SAT Last That Long?

Owing to its difficulty, the SAT lasts about 3 hours. Students will need time to finish all of the questions, thus they are allotted three hours to complete this exam.When it comes to SAT day, timing is essential. You won’t be permitted in if you arrive late, so be sure you know when the cutoff is.

The best part is that the SAT is always given at the exact local time, so no matter what time zone you’re in, you can expect the same check-in time. You should be at your testing centre no later than 7:45 a.m., according to the CollegeBoard.

Although there is no set start time, timing becomes highly rigorous once testing begins. Without the optional essay, the exam takes three hours and 50 minutes to complete; with the optional essay, the test takes three hours and 50 minutes to finish, not counting breaks.

If you’re on the verge of losing out on time, make sure you’ve answered as many of the questions you know you can easily answer first. If you truly have no idea what the answer to a question is as you go along, guess right away. If you can rule out one or more options, write down a probable response and save the question to come back to later.


You may easily ace the SAT if you understand the format of the exam and follow these guidelines. That was a lot to take in, but perhaps this post covered everything you needed to know about the SAT.

The SAT is a university entrance exam that most campuses use to determine admissions. The goal of the SAT is to assess a high school student’s college preparation and give universities a single point of comparison for all candidates.

Benchmark test scores will be evaluated with your high school Grades. Overall, the higher your SAT and/or ACT score, the more alternatives you’ll have for going and paying for college.


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