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The SAT: Format, Time & Subjects

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How is the SAT test formatted?

The SAT is accepted as a college entrance exam by all four-year colleges in the United States.  Here is the basic information about the test.

Here’s the basic information about the SAT test.

 What does the SAT cover?

The SAT covers three basic areas.  Those are Math, Critical Reading and Writing.  Generally students who are in their junior or senior year of high school will take the test as a regular part of the process of applying for college.

How long does it take?

The SAT has a total test time of three hours and forty five minutes.  That time is broken down into six 25 minute sections, two 20 minute sections, one 10 minute sections and one 25 minute essay.

Here’s what those sections look like:


  • Total time for the Math section is 70 minutes.  That breaks down into two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section.
  • There are 44 multiple choice questions on the SAT
  • There are also ten questions where the student provides the response
  • Areas covered include:  number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; data analysis, statistics, and probability

Critical Reading

  • Total time for the Critical Reading section is 70 minutes.  That breaks down into two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section.
  • There are nineteen sentence completion questions which covers the areas of vocabulary and the ability to comprehend complex sentences
  • There are also forty eight reading passage questions.  These questions cover reading and interpretation to include what is state or implied in the selection


  • The total time for the Writing section is 60 minutes.  This is broken down into one 25 minute section.  One 10 minute section and one 25 minute essay
  • The 25 minute essay assesses writing skills
  • Writing and grammar usage is assessed by 25 sentences to improve, 18 sentences to identify errors, and 6 questions to improve paragraphs

While it does not impact the student’s score, the SAT also includes an additional 25 minute multiple choice section that covers Math, Critical Reading or Writing.

Find more information about the taking the SAT.

Our SAT tutoring and ACT tutoring courses help students to earn higher test scores. One-on-one tutoring in your home and is available 7-days a week so ACT prep can be done when it’s convenient for your student. Every tutor from SchoolTutoring Academy is certified and college-trained with extensive teaching experience. Whether you’re looking for a math tutor or any other type of tutoring, SchoolTutoring can help. To learn about tutoring programs in your area, feel free to contact us for more information.

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