What is the format of the SAT Exam?
The SAT has 10 sections. This seems like a lot, but there are really just three math sections and three reading sections, two writing sections, one essay and a “wild card” or “experimental” section.
The wild card can be another math, reading or writing section, but you wont ever have to write two essays! This is where the Educational Testing Service ("ETS"), the company that administers and scores the SAT, tries out questions that might be used on future exams. Even though the wild card section doesn’t count toward your score, you won’t know which section it is. ETS does this on purpose. It knows that if you knew which section did not count, you probably wouldn’t try your hardest on it! So you’ll have to do your best on all 10 SAT sections.
Each section is timed to take either 20 or 25 minutes with one 10 minute writing section. The whole test will take just under 4 hours to complete. This chart will give you a good idea of what to expect. Note, though, that the order of the sections can vary.
Format of a typical SAT exam: