SAT Timing: How Long is the Test Duration & Time Management - Leap Scholar (2023)

Scholastic Assessment Test or SAT is an aptitude test that must be given by students who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies in the USA or Canada. However, before appearing for it, one must be conversant with the syllabus and SAT time duration.This blog will elaborate on SAT timing, syllabus, eligibility criteria and application process. Keep reading the blog to know more!

Table of Contents

How Long is the SAT Exam?

SAT spans a total of 3 hours. If one has opted for the essay, one will be given an additional 50 minutes. However, this is entirely optional. This denotes the duration of SAT exam.

According to the College Board, the committee that administers this exam, 57% of approximately 2.2 million test-takers opted for the essay.In contrast, many experts believe that the essay was not a prerequisite for many colleges and will be eradicated. Not only that but subjects’ tests have also been curbed. However, international students are still allowed to appear for it in May and June. There were 20 subject areas which later got categorised into five subject areas, mainly, Languages, History, English, Mathematics and Science.Moreover, the total duration of the exam is 3 hours and its scoring ranges from 400 and 1600 points. The below table illustrates the scoring section and SAT time:

No of QuestionsSectionsSAT Time (in Minutes)


44Writing35Calculated alongside reading
38MathematicsWith Calculator: 55Without Calculator: 25200-800

How many Breaks are there During SAT?

The best guidance for your STUDY ABROAD DREAM

Start your journey with the best study abroad experts in India

Book a free session

(Video) Aptitude Made Easy - Problems on Calendar, Basics and Methods, Shortcuts, Time and Date

(Video) Study in USA: Top Universities, Courses, Fees | Leap Scholar

There are several breaks offered during the SAT. Firstly, there is a 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing Sections. Furthermore, there is a 5-minute break during the two math sections. Moreover, if one has opted for an additional essay, one will get a two-minute break.

When does the SAT Exam Start?

The test doors open at 7:45 am exactly and close by 8 am. Once students are in the examination room, the invigilator will take all electronic devices, and one must get approval for the SAT calculator beforehand.After students are checked in, the invigilator will distribute the test materials, and candidates must start reading the preliminary instructions. Then, the invigilator will announce the time a candidate has to finish the exam. A second warning is given when there are five minutes left.

Managing SAT Time during exam

Following are some tips to manage the SAT time during exam –1. Bring a watch to keep track of the time. This will further help you set time-based targets for each section of the SAT exam.2. Should have complete knowledge about the type of questions assigned under each section. The sections are as follows –

(Video) IELTS Speaking Test with Feedback 2022 | Band 8 | Leap Scholar IELTS

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section – Comprises 96 (MCQs and essay based MCQs) questions to be attempted in 100 minutes.
  • Mathematic sectionConsists of 58 questions to be attempted in 80 minutes.
  • Optional Essay SectionContains 1 essay to be completed in 50 minutes.

3. Individuals should have prior knowledge of the instructions under each section, which one can obtain through practice.4. Assess and skip questions that may take more time. Cater to them after answering the rest of the questions.5. If you are entirely unaware of the answer to a particular problem, don’t waste your time and turn to guess. SAT has no negative markings for wrong answers.6. Read passages and comprehension underline the essential pointers. Though it may seem to waste your time, it later manages your time fruitfully.7. Do not allow equal time for every question. Follow a pattern of answering easy questions quickly first to save your time attempting the tricky questions at last.8. For the reading section, attempt the detail-oriented passages to help you save time from re-reading it again to answer the questions.9. Don’t wander here and there if you have completed the exam paper with time left. Instead, assess the answers or try solving the problems whose answers you have guessed.10. Though you only have 25 minutes to complete the essay, it doesn’t mean you start writing from the word go. Take a couple of minutes to brainstorm and make a rough outline, including examples and supporting comments. This will make your essay stand out and help you manage your time.11. Set a target score. If you target 800 and answer 80% of the answers correctly, you can get a respectable score of 650. Further, if you don’t attempt one-sixth of the questions and have a few answers incorrect, you can still score 650. If you target for the following scores –

  • 700 – Leave one-twelfth of the questions unattempted
  • 600 – one-fourth of the questions can be left unattempted
  • 500 – one-third of the questions can be left blank

Experts suggest that candidates must answer easy questions at first and then deal with the difficult ones. One should be able to decipher the type of question and its difficulty level and then allocate a specific time.One should attempt to achieve the desired score by practising mock tests consistently. This will help understand the strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, one can also take the help of preparatory guides and online resources to amp the preparation. The cut off marks for some colleges are given below:

CollegesCut Off
Princeton University710-800
University of ChicagoOptional
Harvard UniversityOptional
Yale University740- 790
Columbia University700+ in Math
Massachusetts Institute of Technology730-780
Standford University1505
University of Pennsylvania1470-1550
Duke University1475
Dartmouth College750-770
Rice University1480-1550
University of Notre Dame1410-1540
University of California, Berkeley1330-1530
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign1300-1500
UC San Diego1490
Brandeis University1520
Boston University1510

When are SAT Exam Dates?

Before registering for the exam, one must choose the dates accordingly. However, one must ensure that it does not clash with English proficiency exams or university admissions. One can select SAT dates from the table underlined below:

SAT Registration Last DatesSAT Exam DatesAvailable Test/sResult Dates
26th April 20227th May 2022SAT20th May 2022
25th May 20224th June 2022SAT17th June 2022
16th August 202227th August 2022SAT & SAT Subject Test9th September 2022
20th September 20221st October 2022SAT & SAT Subject Test14th October 2022
25th October 20225th November 2022SAT & SAT Subject Test18th November 2022
22nd November 20223rd December 2022SAT & SAT Subject Test16th December 2022
28th February 202311th March 2023SAT & SAT Subject Test24th March 2023
25th April 20236th May 2023SAT & SAT Subject Test19th May 2023
24th May 20233rd June 2023SAT & SAT Subject Test16th June 2023

One can send his or her SAT scores to the desired universities they wish to apply to. However, candidates must select four to five universities during the registration process. Moreover, the College Board will be sending the scores without charging any additional cost. In addition, one can mail their scores.

How to Send SAT Scores?

One must follow the below-mentioned steps to send his/her SAT scores:

Step 1– Navigate to the College Board Website.

Step 2– Create an account and provide all the necessary information.

Step 3– Select the exam date and the test centre.

Step 4– Upload your photograph and documents.

(Video) Wheel of Fortune Player Was Acting Strangely With Her Letter Pick, Then Pat Sajak Realize Why

Step 5– Pay the application fee.Now that one knows SAT time, one must start preparing for it. However, one must check if one is meeting the eligibility parameters of the universities to which he or she has applied to.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does the SAT take?

The SAT exam duration is 3 hours and 15 minutes, with 15 minutes allotted for break time. If an individual opts for the optional essay test, the exam duration becomes 4 hours 5 minutes, with 15 minutes break (3 hours 50 minutes excluding break).

2. What do you need onSAT testday?

An individual appearing for the SAT should bring the admission ticket, valid photo ID proof, calculator for the mathematics section, pencils, erasers, and other permissible items to the test centre.

3. How long is the SAT test without an essay?

If an individual opts out of the optional SAT essay exam, he or she will have to deal with an exam duration of 180 minutes and 15 minutes break. The essay section comprises 1 question to be answered in 50 minutes.

(Video) USA Vs Germany Which Is Better For MS In 2021 | Leap Scholar


How long do SAT answers take? ›

You can order the SAS during your registration process, which is the easiest way. It is also available after you complete the test. When you order at registration, you can expect your SAS results about eight weeks after your testing date. If you are ordering after the SAT, there are three ways to get the packets.

How much time is enough to study for the SAT? ›

Studying for the SAT in a month is possible, though it's recommended that you spend 10 to 20 hours per week over the course of two or three months prepping for the SAT.

Is the SAT 5 hours long? ›

How Long does the SAT take? The SAT takes a total of three hours, or three hours and 15 minutes including the breaks. If the student also takes the optional essay test, then the SAT takes three hours and 50 minutes in all, or four hours and five minutes including the breaks.

How long is the SAT with 50% extended time? ›

For time and one-half (+50%), the SAT is 4 hours and 30 minutes of testing time, plus breaks: 98 minutes for the Reading Test. 53 minutes for the Writing and Language Test. 38 minutes for the Math Test – No Calculator.

How do I find my SAT answer key? ›

For students who decide to order QAS after having registered for a test date or having already taken the test itself, the easiest way to do so is to sign into their College Board accounts and select “Order Now” within the “My Score Reports” tab.

How many questions can you miss on the SAT and still get a 1600? ›

You can find official SAT practice tests and their scoring tables at the College Board. As you can see with the above SAT scoring chart, it's possible to get some questions wrong and still earn the max SAT score. Generally speaking, you can miss 1-2 questions on each section and still get a perfect 1600.

Is studying 1 hour a day enough for SAT? ›

How many hours should I study for the SAT a day? A. It is recommended you spend around 6–20 hours preparing for your first SAT. Give yourself enough time to take at least one full-length practice test and give yourself time to review the concepts you're struggling with.

Is studying 2 hours a day enough for SAT? ›

We recommend you spend 6–20 hours preparing for your first SAT. Make sure you reserve enough time to take at least one full-length practice test (about 4 hours if you practice the essay as well), and give yourself time to review the concepts you're struggling with.

Is 2 weeks enough to study for SAT? ›

Two weeks isn't a lot of time to prepare, but it will give you ample time to at least practice your ability to take tests. For this reason, it's a good idea to do plenty of sample tests. Time yourself and go through the motions of the SATs.

Can you prepare for SAT in 10 days? ›

You need to create a strict study schedule and stick to it. With only 10 days to get a 200 point score increase, 30 minutes per day is not going to do it. Here at PrepScholar, we recommend fitting in about 80 hours of preparation if you're hoping for a 200 point score improvement.

Is 5 weeks enough time to study for the SAT? ›

Total hours per week: 2; 5-6 on weeks with full practice tests. If you're a first-time test taker, with only three months before test day, you'll likely need more time each week. Plan to spend at least an hour on general content review and then at least two hours on practice sessions and homework.

Is taking the SAT 3 times too much? ›

1 answer. Taking the SAT 3 or more times is acceptable if the admissions offices see some noticeable improvement or progression, so if you scored 1350, 1450, and 1520 with 3 SATs then undoubtedly, your upward score reflects your tenacity and hard work.

Do colleges know if you get extra time on the SAT? ›

Colleges will not know that you had extended time in school or on any standardized exams. Only after you enroll will you tell a college that you have accommodations so that you can receive those accommodations in college as well.

Is taking the SAT 6 times too much? ›

Luckily, you can take the SAT as many times as you want. Many students take the SAT more than once; most even plan to write it at least twice before their first attempt. Typically, students choose to take the test in the spring of their junior year and again in the fall of senior year.

How long does it take to improve SAT score by 200? ›

Even if you're already on a high score, improving your SAT scores by 200 points requires two months or even longer period of consistent studying and self-assessment. Here are some tips to improve your SAT score by 200 points: First of all, start appearing for the practice tests at least once a week.

Can you skip answers on the SAT? ›


What do you do if you don't know an answer on the SAT? ›

Guess the Answer

If you still can't find the answer, bubble in a guess. Never, ever leave a question blank—you won't be penalized for wrong answers, you just won't gain additional points. It's multiple-choice, so you've got a decent chance at guessing the right answer anyway.

What are the most common answers on the SAT? ›

Sometimes it seems like “C”—or its equivalent, “H”—is the most common answer choice, but this is merely a myth. In fact, the answer choice orders on the ACT and SAT are generated by a computer and are entirely random.

How many questions can I miss to get a 1500 on the SAT? ›

It is important to remember you don't have to get all answers right to obtain a 1500 SAT score. So, start answering the questions which you find easy. To get 1500 SAT, you need to get at least 48 right out of 52 in the Reading section.

What percent of test takers get a 1600 on the SAT? ›

What percentile is a 1600 SAT score? A 1600 SAT score is in the 99nth percentile, meaning that you scored higher than 99% of all other 2 million+ test takers.

How many questions can you miss on the SAT to get a 1200? ›

For Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, you can skip/answer incorrectly on average 9 questions on the writing portion and 12 questions on the reading portion. For Math, you can skip/answer incorrectly on average 17 questions between the calculator and no-calculator sections.

Can you study for the SAT in 1 day? ›

If anyone has told you it's possible to score your best with only one day of preparation, they're misleading you. Sorry to bait you in with a promise of how to study for the SAT in one day. To adequately prepare for the exam, however, last minute cramming simply won't cut it.

Is one week enough to study for SAT? ›

If you've only got a week or two to study, the information you learn won't have enough time to sink in. Ultimately, you have to give your brain adequate time to retain new SAT concepts! So try to study, at a minimum, at least two weeks before your test. A month or longer is, of course, even better.

Can I take SAT 1 and SAT 2 on the same day? ›

Students can take up to three Subject Tests on one testing date. However, students cannot take the SAT and the SAT Subject Test on the same day.

Should you study the day of the SAT? ›

You should not study the day (or the night) before the SAT! Professional athletes call this "tapering." After weeks or even months of training for a competition, athletes take a day or two off before the race or the game to give their muscles a chance to rest and rejuvenate. Your brain works the same way.

Is 3 months enough to study for SAT? ›

Three months is a great amount of time to prep for the SAT. You can spread out your studying and you'll have ample time to master the concepts tested on the SAT. It can be difficult to know where to start your SAT prep. The key is finding the right resources, staying organized, and sticking to your plan.

Is Khan Academy enough for SAT? ›

Is the Khan Academy a Good Way to Study for the SAT? Yes! Khan Academy offers personalized and interactive tools and resources for SAT study and prep. The site gives students a tailored practice plan based on their practice scores or previous scores.

Can I do well on the SAT without studying? ›

Although it's possible that you will earn a higher score without studying, even if you are a strong student, you will likely score slightly below the average SAT score of 1051. The SAT was designed to create a bell curve where the average score falls around 1000-1050 each year.

How can I improve my SAT score by 200 points in a week? ›

How to Increase SAT Score by 200 Points?
  1. Set a goal. The first step you need to take if you want to increase your SAT score between administrations is to set a goal or a target score that you want to reach. ...
  2. Set aside time to study. ...
  3. Study effectively. ...
  4. Learn section-specific tips and tricks. ...
  5. Take an SAT Prep course.
Jun 1, 2021

Does the SAT get harder every month? ›

While you might have heard that taking the SAT during certain months can yield better results curve-wise, the truth is that this exam is equally difficult at all times of the year.

Can I improve my SAT score by 100 points in a week? ›

It's possible to raise a low SAT score by 100 points in a week. Getting familiar with the test format and strengthening weaknesses can make it happen. In contrast, raising an already high SAT score by 100 points in a week is hard as it requires learning new skills, which require more time.

How do I cram the night before the SAT? ›

  1. Take it Easy. There are two ways you can mess this up. ...
  2. Pack Your Bag. ...
  3. Get a Good Night's Sleep is a great SAT strategy. ...
  4. Wake Up! ...
  5. Get Your Heart Pumping. ...
  6. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. ...
  7. Stick with Your Routine. ...
  8. Leave Early.

How do I finish my SAT fast? ›

8 Ways to Improve Your Speed on the SAT/ACT
  1. Use a dull pencil. ...
  2. Cross out incorrect answers. ...
  3. Circle answers first, then bubble in your scantron one test page at a time. ...
  4. Skip the hard stuff on a first pass. ...
  5. Locate line-specific questions before reading the passage. ...
  6. Practice, and time yourself by individual passages.
Feb 9, 2019

Is 7 weeks enough time to study for the SAT? ›

We usually recommend 12–20 weeks of study and practice, but we understand that sometimes it's just not possible. So, if you've got only 8 weeks before your test, get cracking on the plan below!

Is 6 weeks enough time to study for the SAT? ›

It is recommended that you start studying for the SAT as early as six months - that way, you'll have a great understanding of what to expect, and, with practice, your answers will improve and improve. If you don't have six months, you'll simply have to adjust your study schedule and spend more hours studying per week.

Is 30 hours of studying enough for the SAT? ›

To raise your SAT score by 100 points, you'll need to devote about 20-30 hours of studying. On the other hand, if you're trying to drastically improve your score by 300 points or more, you may need to dedicate 80+ hours to test prepping.

Do colleges care how many times you take SAT? ›

Can colleges see if a student takes the SAT more than once? The short answer is no—nothing automatically shows colleges how often a student took the SAT. Most colleges let students who take the SAT multiple times select which of their test scores, by date, they send to colleges.

Is 4 SAT attempts too much? ›

The short answer is that students can take the SAT as many times as they want. Students can do the SAT once, twice, thrice or more. That's right, there's no limit students can sit on the SAT. Knowing what to take to the SAT will help for each test taken.

Is it OK to take the SAT twice? ›

You can retake the SAT as many times as you want. The College Board, which administers the SAT, recommends taking the SAT at least twice: once in the spring of your junior year and once in the fall of your senior year.

Do kids with ADHD get more time on the SAT? ›

However, if you have ADHD or a documented learning disability, extra time may allow you to actually complete the test. Not everyone with ADHD benefits from extra time, but many do—particularly those with slow reading rates and processing speed.

How much extra time do you get on the SAT if you have ADHD? ›

The total time for 100% extended time is 6 hours. On the ACT, the extended time testing is self-paced, which is a better option for most students with ADHD. The student can use their extended time in the way that benefits them best.

Why do some kids get extra time on tests? ›

Physical disabilities or learning disabilities that affect your ability to successfully complete a timed standardized test will qualify you for accommodations.

What happens if you do worse on second SAT try? ›

Additionally, if you retake the tests, you can choose which scores you send. And even if you sent all of your scores, many colleges will only consider your highest. So even if you were to get a lower score the second time, it would not matter.

Why shouldn't you take the SAT more than 3 times? ›

The SAT does not place any limits on how many times a student can sit for the exam and students can superscore their best sections or choose which test scores to include in college applications, so there are many benefits to taking the SAT multiple times if needed.

How many times does the average student take the SAT? ›

Most people end up taking the SAT two or three times. Some people take it a fourth time, but generally, twice or three times works.

Is 2 months enough time to study for the SAT? ›

Studying for the SAT in a month is possible, though it's recommended that you spend 10 to 20 hours per week over the course of two or three months prepping for the SAT.

How much can Khan Academy improve my SAT score? ›

NEW YORK and MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — New data show studying for the SAT® for 20 hours on free Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average score gain of 115 points, nearly double the average score gain compared to students who don't use Khan Academy.

How many hours does it take to improve your SAT score? ›

As a rule of thumb, here is the amount of time students need to improve their SAT scores: 10+ hours of studying to maintain their score. 20+ hours of studying for a score improvement of 10-100 points. 40+ hours of studying for a score improvement of 100-150 points.

How many questions can you miss to get a 1500 on the SAT? ›

To get 1500 SAT, you need to get at least 48 right out of 52 in the Reading section. 41 right out of 44 in the Language section and 55 right out of 58 in the Maths section.

Can I see the questions I got wrong on the SAT? ›

After going to your report's Score Overview, click Test Questions near the top of your screen to view: A summary of questions you answered correctly, incorrectly, or left blank. The difficulty level of each question and what content areas it's designed to measure.

How long does it take the average person to take the SAT? ›

The SAT is three hours long, but the time it ends can vary by test center. Generally, those who are not taking the essay portion should complete the test between 12:15 and 12:45 p.m., and those who are taking the essay portion should finish between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m.

How rare is a 1600 SAT? ›

A 1600 is only achieved by around 300 test takers per year and makes you eligible and highly competitive for admission at every college. Looking at this from another angle, a 1600 SAT score is in the 99nth percentile, which means you scored higher than 99% of all other 2 million+ test takers.

What percent of kids get a 1500 on the SAT? ›

A 1500 puts you in nearly the 95th percentile of all 1.7 million test takers. Just 100 points shy of a perfect score, a 1500 makes you eligible to apply to every college and university in the country and be competitive for admission at almost every single one, including elite institutions.

Is a 1200 Easy on SAT? ›

Utilizing a scoring scale of 400 to 1600, the SAT's best possible result is a 1600. A score of 1200 demonstrates an above average performance and shows that you answered a majority of the questions on the standardized test correctly.

Do unanswered SAT questions count against you? ›

Students will be awarded points for each correct answer with no points taken away for any incorrect ones. This is why never leaving an answer blank on your test is so important. You can only gain by taking a stab at the question.

Do wrong answers hurt your SAT score? ›

At present, a wrong answer on either test does nothing to your score—it won't hurt it, but it can't help it either. Many students (and their parents) remember the old guessing penalty, and they are afraid to take a chance on a question.

What is your SAT score if you miss one question? ›

Typically, if you get 0-1 wrong answers on the Math section you score a perfect 800. If you miss 1-3 questions, you lose 10 points and score a 790. If you miss 10 questions, you can expect a Math section score in the 680-710 range.

How many times on average do students take SAT? ›

While there is technically no limit to the number of times you can take the SAT, most students choose to take the SAT two or three times before submitting college applications. On average, 63% of students see a score improvement when they retake the SAT at least once.

How many times does the average high schooler take the SAT? ›

How many times do students usually take the SAT? Students typically take the SAT between two and three times. It's a good idea to take it at least two times, to ensure that you didn't have a fluke day on your first go. Furthermore, you can use the results you get back to focus your studying and improve your next score.

How many times on average do people take the SAT? ›

Most people end up taking the SAT two or three times. Some people take it a fourth time, but generally, twice or three times works.


1. Complete Guide to Study in Ireland 2023 | Universities | Scholarships | Fees
(LeapScholar - Study Abroad Expert)
2. If It Were Not Filmed No One Would Believe It
(#Mind Warehouse)
3. HHS Dual Enrollment, AICE, AP Night Advanced Studies at Horizon High School 02/23/2021
(Horizon High OCPS)
4. IELTS Speaking | Extend your answers in Part 1 | Leap Scholar
(IELTS Prep by LeapScholar)
5. SAT vs ACT: The Differences, the Timelines, and the Expectations of Colleges
(Applerouth Education)
6. GlobEd 2022 Day 01 Session 01
(RV College of Architecture)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 03/20/2023

Views: 5799

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.