The actual time of the test is 3 hours and 45 minutes, and along with orientation, distribution of materials, completion of biographical sections, and fifteen minutes of breaks, the total time taken amounts to about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
The SAT is partitioned into 10 sections which belong to four categories:
Under this category, there are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. Each section has two types of multiple-choice questions: 5–8 Sentence Completion questions at the beginning and the rest, Paragraph-based ones.
Under this category, there are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. The 20-minute section has 16 multiple-choice questions and one 25-minute section has 20 multiple-choice questions whereas the other 25-minute section has 8 multiple-choice questions and 10 grid-in questions.
Answers to grid-in questions have to be written out as well as filled into a 4-column grid-box below each question. Unlike for multiple-choice questions, there is no penalty for incorrect answers to grid-in questions.
On the Math sections, four-function, scientific, and graphing calculators are allowed. However, on any of the other sections, calculators are not allowed.
Under this category, there are two 25-minute sections and one 10-minute section. One 25-minute section requires an essay to be written in response to a given prompt. The essay section is always presented at the beginning of the SAT. The other 25-minute section has Sentence Correction, Sentence Improvement, and Passage Improvement questions. The 10-minute section has only Sentence Improvement questions.
Under this category, there is only one 25-minute section. It is not identifiable because it looks exactly like a 25-minute section of any of the above three categories. Since this section contains questions that the College Board is considering for future use, it is not scored.