What is the length of the SAT (including breaks)

You need to have a lot of mental stamina to survive through the SAT test - how long is the SAT!? That is an obvious follow-up question. In this article, we aim to elaborate about the different sections, breaks and the overall amount of time taken to complete the test.

The SAT breaks can be an important component for all the students taking the test; a time to recuperate and mentally prepare for the next section.


Order on Test

  Total # of Questions

  Total Time (Minutes)





Break 1



Writing and Language




Math No Calculator




Break 2



Math Calculator




Break 3



Essay (Optional)





Total exam time

The examination goes on for 4 HOURS AND 7 MINUTES, including breaks. The different sections of the test include The Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, Math Calculator Test, Math No Calculator Test and the Optional Essay.


Total number of breaks

The test consists of three breaks. After the reading section, there is a 10-minute break; and then you continue writing the ‘Math No calculator section’ and the ‘Writing and Language section’. The second break is a 5-minute break. These breaks can be used to rejuvenate- have food, use the washroom etc.

The last of the 3 breaks is used just to stretch, and during this break, you will not be allowed to leave the room. You can stretch at your desk, and again, get ready for the next round.

If you opt out of taking the essay, the total time of the exam reduces to 3 HOURS and 15 MINUTES.


Why are breaks important?

Understand what glucose (sugar) levels do to your body. During an examination, make sure that you remain hydrated and have optimum sugar levels. When sugar levels drop below normal, you might shiver and lose focus; while the loss of water can be tiring. So, make sure that you use the breaks to your advantage.

Breaks can be a crucial component of your testing; please do plan them properly, and make them a part of your strategy. As we keep reiterating- A minute can make a difference.

Plan your SATs and talk to us, at Jamboree if you have any concerns- All the best!

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