SAT Suite

How Long Does the SAT Take?

The total time for the digital SAT is 2 hours and 14 minutes, not including breaks, and the test consists of:

  • Reading and Writing: 64-minute section with 54 questions (1 minute 11 seconds per question)
  • Math: 70-minute section with 44 questions (1 minute 35 seconds per question)

Compared to the ACT®, the SAT® provides 67% more time per question. 

Each section of the digital SAT is divided into 2 equal-length modules, and there’s a 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing section and the Math section.

Because the digital SAT is adaptive, the same knowledge and skills can be accurately measured faster. The first module of each section contains a broad mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. Based on how you do on the first module, the second module of questions will either be more difficult or less difficult. Either way, the module will always have the same number of questions.


What About the Essay Section? 

The Essay is only available in states where it’s required as part of SAT School Day administrations. Students scheduled to take the SAT on a school day can check with their school to see whether the Essay will be included. If it’s included, the Essay section will be an additional 50 minutes. 


When Does the SAT Start?

If you’re taking the SAT on a weekend, test center doors open at 7:45 a.m. on test day and close at 8 a.m. Once students are checked in and seated in their testing room, the proctor reads the preliminary instructions. The test begins between 8:30 and 9 a.m., based on how long these steps take.


How Do I Know How Much Time I Have Left?

A testing timer in Bluebook™ will let you know how much time is remaining in each part of the test. You can hide it until 5 minutes remain. Then you’ll get an alert.

The proctor will be able to see when each student starts and finishes each section.


Other Time Factors

Travel Time – Figure out travel time to your test center, and make sure you can be there before the doors close at 8 a.m. on test day.

Special Accommodations – Students with specific needs due to medical conditions or other circumstances can get either extended or more frequent breaks or extra testing time for each section. If you think you may qualify, you can request accommodations.


Additional SAT Test Day Information

Access more information on what to expect on SAT test day so there won't be any surprises to delay you or your fellow test takers. Don’t forget to bring your fully charged device with the Bluebook application installed, a valid ID, and a pencil or pen for scratch work. Use our test day checklist as a reminder of everything you need. And remember, the proctor will hold your electronic devices until the test is over.


Now you know how long the SAT takes and everything that impacts timing on test day. Good luck!