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SAT Overview: Sections and Timing 2022

SAT overview

ٍSAT overview: Are you about to take the SAT or starting your preparations but unsure of what will be covered on the test? You may be aware that there are math problems and reading passages on the SAT, but what areas are covered in detail?

We’ll break down the subjects you should be familiar with for each SAT portion in this guide. We’ll wrap off with some advice on how to study for the SAT. Let’s first obtain a general overview of what the SAT covers before we begin to look more closely at the subjects that will be on it. Reading, Writing and Language, and Math make up the SAT’s three primary components. (There once was an optional essay, but it was removed in June 2021.)

Let’s first obtain a general overview of what the SAT overview covers before we begin to look more closely at the subjects that will be on it. Reading, Writing and Language, and Math make up the SAT’s three primary components. (There once was an optional essay, but it was removed in June 2021.)


Minutes Given

Number of Questions




Writing and Language







3 hours


What Topics Appear on the SAT Reading?

On texts, the SAT Reading exam’s questions are all based. There will be roughly 10–12 questions for each reading in the SAT Reading section, which consists of five passages and 52 multiple-choice questions. In addition to having graphics like tables, graphs, and charts, some texts are coupled with other passages.

At least one passage will be drawn from each of the following subjects:

U.S. or international literature
American founding charter or a work that was influenced by one Social science (such as economics, psychology, sociology, etc.)
Science (Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics) (Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics)

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SAT Reading assesses the following abilities: SAT overview

Finding evidence in a passage that backs up a claim is known as a command of evidence.
Words in Context: To ascertain a word’s meaning, consider its surrounding sentences.
Analyze theories, assess evidence, and consider ramifications in history, social science, and science

This Section’s Covered Topics
Despite the fact that the SAT Reading passages will cover a variety of topics, including literature, science, and social science, you don’t need to stress about already knowing the content of each passage. You won’t have to worry about memorizing facts about biology, American history, or other subjects because you’ll be able to respond to all the questions using the information from the passage.
The SAT Reading portion largely assesses critical reading abilities, including the capacity to comprehend the conclusions drawn by an author after reading a chapter, comprehend the meaning of specific words, and evaluate the relationship between pictures and the paragraphs they accompany.

When you read a book, article, or other piece of writing for this session, you will utilize similar skills to those you use in English classes. You’ll need to be able to evaluate the writing and the author’s intentions for both the class and the exam.

What Subjects Appear on the SAT Language and Writing Section?

Every question on the SAT Writing and Language is based on a passage, just like the Reading portion. There will be four passages and a total of 44 questions, meaning there will be 11 questions after each passage.

One of the following topics—Careers, Social Studies, Humanities, or Science—will be covered in each passage.

In chapters about careers, you might talk about current events or hot topics in industries like business, technology, or medical.
The focus of social studies passages may be on issues related to anthropology, political science, psychology, sociology, or history.
Humanities passages could discuss a writer or a literary, dramatic, artistic, musical, or dance trend.
Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics will be the main topics of the science passages.

The paragraphs may be argumentative, explanatory, or narrative nonfiction. At least one figure, such as a chart, table, or graph, shall also be included with each passage. There will be several punctuation, word choice, sentence structure, and organization problems in each of these passages. You will be asked to recognize and correct these errors in the questions in this section.

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Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions are the four main skill areas covered by the SAT Writing section.

The command of evidence, words in context, and expression of ideas will all be the subject of about 24 questions. These inquiries focus on language usage, organization, and development. The standard English conventions will be the subject of about 20 questions. These inquiries focus on grammar, use, and punctuation.

Subjects The SAT Writing and Language section’s three main subject areas are the emphasis of the questions. As you write and edit your own writing as well as the writing of others, you have probably covered these three topics in your English or writing lessons.

Your ability to rectify grammar mistakes and properly spot mistakes in verb tenses and forms, pronoun agreement, subject-verb agreement, run-on sentences and fragments, idioms, and punctuation rules will be tested by these questions. About 45% of the writing and language section’s questions are grammar-related.our ability to analyze word choice, sentence structure, and paragraph structure will be put to the test with style-related questions. About 7% of the section is made up of these questions.

Comprehension of Reading
You must be able to comprehend why particular words or sentences are used in a text in order to answer questions about reading comprehension in this section. You must also be able to determine whether the words or sentences in question should be changed. About 48% of the portion is made up of questions on reading comprehension.

Which Courses Appear on the SAT Math?

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Two components make up the SAT Math. The first test, which lasts 25 minutes and has 15 multiple-choice questions and 5 grid-in questions, won’t allow you to use a calculator. The second section, which lasts 55 minutes and is calculator-friendly, consists of 30 multiple-choice questions and 8 grid-ins, one of which requires extended thinking.

The three primary topic areas that the College Board divides the question types into are:

The Algebraic Heart, Advanced Math Problem Solving and Data Analysis Passport
Additionally, there is a fourth category called Additional Topics, which accounts for 10% of the SAT Math section and has questions on complex numbers, geometry, and basic trigonometry.

Subjects This Section Addresses the SAT Within its four primary parts, mathematics includes 24 major topics. Basic algebra and advanced algebra, the first two sections below, are both included in the College Board’s “Heart of Algebra” subject area.

Simple Algebra

linear processes
equations with a single variable
linear equation systems
Absolute worth

Advanced Algebra

working with polynomials
quadratic formulas
polynomial division
Exponential formulae
Useful notation
Exponential equations to solve

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Decision-making and Data Analysis

proportions and ratios
Charts with scatterplots
Data in categories and probability
Scientific interpretation
Standard deviation, mode, median, and median

Further Topics

Geometry of coordinates: lines and slopes
Nonlinear functions in coordinate geometry
Circles in geometry
Angles and lines in geometry
Dimensional solid geometry
Triangles and polygons in geometry
intricate numbers

Algebra will be covered in more than half of the questions, therefore you should concentrate most of your study time on this topic.
Only simple questions on geometry and trigonometry will be asked in the 10% of questions that at most address these topics, so even if you haven’t attended classes in either of them, you should be able to pick up the knowledge you need to know rather quickly.

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There are four examinations in each of the SAT’s three main components. After the final Math section, some students will take an additional 20-minute experimental section. Students who take the SAT are randomly allocated to take this fifth test, so you won’t know if you have to take it until test day.
Your SAT administration will end when you complete these test sections because there is no longer an optional Essay section.

The SAT takes 180 minutes to complete (excluding breaks). The test lasts three hours and fifteen minutes when the two breaks—one of ten minutes and the other of five—are taken into account. Plan to extend your test administration by 22 minutes if you are given the experimental portion (20 minutes of testing and an additional two-minute stretch break)

There are four primary examination components that take up the entire three hours of the exam (with a potential fifth section of experimental questions)

Reading Section: You have 65 minutes to respond to 52 questions (75 seconds per question)
35 minutes are allocated for answering 44 questions in the writing and language section (48 seconds per question)
Math (No Calculator) (No Calculator) Section: You have 20 questions to respond to in 25 minutes (75 seconds per question)
Math (Calculator) (Calculator) Section: You have 55 minutes to respond to 38 questions (about 87 seconds per question)
20-minute experimental portion with a variable number of questions

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There are multiple breaks incorporated into the allotted time for each SAT exam administration.

The Reading section Test and the Writing and Language section Test are separated by a 10-minute pause. Later, a 5-minute intermission separates the various Math part assessments.

That’s it for most students. The Math Test with Calculator will be followed by a 2-minute break, unless your test has an additional 20-minute session.

The test center’s doors open at 7:45 a.m. on each administration day and close at 8 a.m.
The assigned proctor takes all electronic devices and backpacks once test-takers enter the testing room. Every calculator is also examined to ensure that it is a model that has been approved.

The proctor hands out the exam materials and reads the instructions once everyone is situated, checked in, and ready to begin. Depending on how long these preceding tasks take, the test starts between 8:30 and 9 a.m.
In order to find your test room and settle in without worrying about being late, it is advisable to arrive early.

You must first wait till your seat is allotted. You won’t be able to pick your seat, so you’ll probably have to wait outside the testing area until the proctor examines your identification and admission documents and assigns you a seat.
Here is what follows:

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  • All directions from the official manual will be read by the proctor, who will also address any queries concerning protocol on their own.
  • The proctor will also specify the start and end times for each test section.
  • Then, throughout the specified time, you will only focus on one component of each test.
    Once a section is over, you can’t go back to the questions in that section.
  • If you complete a segment early, pause. If you finish the current segment before it’s time, you can’t move on to the next one.
  • Don’t skip any paragraphs. This could result in delays, cancellation of the score, or both.
  • The proctor will gather and count all test books after the test is over to make sure everything was received before releasing you.


  • Keep in mind that you are only permitted to eat and drink during your two main breaks.
  • Keep your ID and admittance ticket on you at all times. Every time you enter the testing room, they will be examined.
  • During breaks, you must still have your calculator, answer sheet, and test book nearby.
  • Do not use this time to charge any electronics, such as cell phones. Score cancellation serves as the consequence.
  • Only in authorized areas are meals permitted. Find out where these locations are in advance by getting to the test administration site early.
  • You will have a 2-minute stretch break if you have a fifth section. You are not permitted to leave the room, eat, or drink during this break.
SAT overview
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How much time is left for each section will be announced by the proctor.

Depending on how long each part is, the first announcement will usually occur halfway through. With five minutes left in the section, the last caution is issued.

You’ll be informed when the allotted time has passed to stop working and put your pencil down. Additionally, the proctor will announce the precise times that each exam portion begins and ends, as well as the times that testing resumes following scheduled breaks.

Each testing center has a somewhat different release timing.

Keep in mind that the main sessions last three hours, with a 15-minute break in between. Before each segment starts, there is setup time, a set of instructions, and there may be a fifth portion added.
Between 12:15 and 1:00 p.m. is when students should finish.

Now that you are aware of the SAT’s time split, it will be up to you to figure out how to handle this time most effectively in order to achieve a high SAT score.
Here are some test-taking strategies to help you manage your time effectively.

Take your SAT practice exams in the same testing circumstances that you will experience on test day.
Even if you may have infinite time to complete the Reading questions properly, it is crucial that you are able to predict how well you will perform with only 65 minutes to spare.

This will teach you how to adapt your responses so that you can quickly respond to all of the questions. Perhaps you should skim the passages from the reading. Perhaps you should use your calculator less when doing the math questions. If you haven’t used these time limitations before exam day, it won’t be clear to you what approach you need to use to stick to the deadline.

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DON’T WASTE TO MUCH TIME on difficult questions.
Keep in mind that you only have roughly 75 seconds to complete each question in the reading portion, 48 seconds in the writing and language section, 75 seconds in the math (without a calculator), and 87 seconds in the math (with a calculator) section (Calculator section).

Spend no more than a minute trying to figure out the answer if a question is especially challenging. Make an informed or blind guess, mark it as a question to come back to at the conclusion of the exam section if you have more time, and move on to the next one.

You should feel free to jump around to different questions within a test section as long as you have a decent system in place for marking questions that you don’t immediately answer and you are careful to write your responses in the correct position on your answer sheet.

There is a significant likelihood that there will be a lot of questions that are simpler and take less time near the middle and finish of any particular section because the questions are not arranged in sequence from easiest to toughest.

When you have time left over, go back to the questions that you have a better probability of getting right after answering these easier ones.

It is best to wear a watch so you can keep track of your time even though your exam room is supposed to contain a clock and the proctor will publish the start and stop times for each section. Being forced to turn your head and twist your neck in order to see the time is the last thing you want.

If you decide to wear a watch, be sure it is not a smartwatch or one that can “record, send, receive, or playback audio, picture, text, or video content.”

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