What Is A Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)?

SAT Fundamental Principles: Meaning, Length, Purposes, Scores, and Tips

Whatever test you’re going to take, it’s vital to embrace yourself for this responsible activity in order to avoid fatal mistakes. You need to know all the exam’s basics, length, sections, cost, score and many other factors that will help you pass an exam without effort. If you are going to take the SAT, make sure you’re ready to exercise in timing as well. This exam consists of difficult content yet special duration including different time sections. To deal with a fatigue test, dive into its basic principles and get familiar with its procedure and rules.

What Is Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)?

SAT is a type of college admissions tests performed by the non-profit organization – the College Board. The majority of US colleges and universities use this test to check whether a high school student is ready to enter their academic institution. SAT is a full-fledged entrance ticket alongside with other admissions like a high school GPA, letters of recommendations, essays, etc. It helps colleges to verify student’s readiness for college life and his or her intellectual potential, however, the importance of its scores vary from uni to uni. Some states including Michigan, Delaware, and New Hampshire, require all applicants to take this standardized test since its score is vital for them.

When to take the SAT? It is held several times every year throughout the country on Saturday mornings.

How Long Is SAT with Breaks?

One of the biggest concerns that applicants have is, “what is the total time for SAT?” Its total duration is 3 hours or 180 minutes. If your test comes with the optional essay, it will take 3 hours and 50 minutes or 230 minutes.

Let’s look through the SAT length by section:

  1. Reading section is 65-minutes long and consists of 52 questions.
  2. Writing and Language section takes 35 min including 44 questions.
  3. Math with No Calculator coming with 20 questions accounts for 25 min while Math with Calculator includes 38 questions and lasts 55 min.
  4. SAT with Essay includes an extra 50 minutes time length.

As you see, the exam includes three sections separated by short breaks.

Let’s overview them:

  1. A 10-min break after the first Reading section gives you an opportunity to have a bite to eat or to have a rest.
  2. A 5-min break is offered between the Math sections: after the No Calculator and before the Calculator one.
  3. A very short 2-min break can be taken before your personal essay section if you take it. Otherwise, your test is ready and you may leave.

NB: For the first two 10- and 5-min breaks you are permitted to leave the room but for the last 2-min one you have to stay in the room since it’s given only to put ideas in order prior to writing an essay.

The SAT seems to be a very long and tiring test – more than 3 hours. However, there are a huge amount of questions in each section, except for an essay. So, you will take no notice of how the time goes by.

How to Get a Great Score and Stay within Your Allotted Time?

The SAT is long, but if you get ready for it properly, it won’t be too painful. Just try to stay motivated throughout the entire exam in order to deal with all the difficulties. Take into account the following tips allowing to make this process less tiring.

  1. Planning for SAT test day is critical. Pack your bag with 2 pencils, a calculator, and snacks.
  2. The SAT is a real exercise in timing. That’s why while preparing for it, you need to time yourself that gives you an opportunity to know what to expect. This will help you stay calm and avoid an extra nervous situation.
  3. As the test usually starts between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM, it’s recommended to arrive at the center about 7:45 AM when all the centers open. Thus, you will have about an hour to spend checking in, looking for your room and seat, filling your personal data, etc. If you’re late, it’s better to reschedule your test because it will cost less in comparison with re-registering.
  4. You can take the seat assigned to you. You can’t choose it yourself.
  5. Listen carefully to the test coordinator that will read all the instructions. He or she can answer questions about the procedure, but not about the test questions.
  6. You can’t exceed the time allotted.
  7. Haste makes waste. While taking the test, try to answer correctly but not to look through all the questions in a rush. You’re scored on how many correct answers you give, but not how many questions you answer.
  8. If you feel that the question is very difficult for you, don’t get bogged down in it. Spending so much time answering one question will diminish your chances to give more correct answers in bulk.
  9. Prepare for intensity especially if you take the SAT with essay. It will last extra hour.
  10. Try to have a bite and drink during the first 10-minutes break, otherwise, you won’t have such an opportunity later. As the test goes on, the breaks get shorter.
  11. Remember that you won’t have a chance to go back to a previous section as well as go ahead to the following section if the previous one has not finished. It’s impossible to skip sections. If you do it, it may result in score cancellation.
  12. While the break, keep your ID and admission ticket near yourself.
  13. Keep in mind that you are not permitted to use electronic devices during the test. The center staff can collect and hold it until the exam is passed.
  14. Each question has 4 response options to choose from. If you have no idea about the right answer, just try to eliminate even one possibility. Maybe it will be easier to choose the right variant from the remaining choice.

If you wonder why the SAT has to be so long, the answer will become obvious when you pay attention to the number of questions it contains in each section. Such a timing is optimal. This test is a real challenge for juniors and an exercise of endurance. But it shows how good you are for a college or university.