Time plays a vital role when you are taking the SAT. As an SAT test taker, at times you might find it a bit longer. However, the trick is to plan and budget your time well and get the pacing tips to achieve your desired score.
How Long is SAT?
The SAT is a 3 hour duration test and if you opt for the optional essay, you will take 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete.
Understanding the Test Length
Let us have an understanding on how these 3 hours are broken up by section? Have a look on how your SAT test day schedule looks like:
|SECTION||TIME||NUMBER OF QUESTIONS|
|Writing and Language||35 min||44|
|Essay (optional)||50 min||1|
(230 min with Essay)
|154 + 1 Essay (optional)|
SAT Exam: The Structure & Format
1. The Evidence-based Reading and Writing section
The section consists of 52 questions which you need to attempt in 65 minutes. You will be given five passages in total. Let’s have a look.
- 1 passage on U.S. or world literature
- 2 passages of history/social studies
- 2 passages in science (which may include graphs and/or charts)
2. The Math section
It has two sections which you need to complete in 80 minutes. You will have25 minutes to solve 20 questions, but remember that calculator is not permitted in the first section.
3. The (Optional) Essay
In this section, you will be given a 650-700 word passage to read and then you will be asked to write an essay analyzing how the author constructed his or her argument. This section is graded on three broad parameters:
While taking the SAT, avoid spending too much time on hard questions. The problem is if you first rush on to answer the easy and medium questions, there are more chances that you might end up making careless mistakes.
Here are some tips to help you ace the test:
1. Slow Down to score well
Remember that your SAT score does not depend on the number of questions you answer; however, it is the number of questions you answered correctly.
2. Take the practice test as real
Time yourself exactly the same as you will be taking to complete the actual SAT. Find how much time you need to crack the hard questions and also develop a sense to utilize the time.
3. Don’t get trapped by tough questions
Don’t get trapped by tough questions or the time-consuming questions. Try not to spend much time on the questions you have been dealing with. If you’re running short on time, guess and move on.
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