SAT Test Timing

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to the SAT. SAT exams are one of the most reliable and effective tools used to measure a student's college readiness. All across America, educational institutions are challenged with administering four to five separate timed sections with precision and uniformity.

For starter, test takers are advised to arrive at the test center no later than 7:45 a.m., unless their Admission Ticket says otherwise. The doors to the testing rooms close about 8 a.m. Testing starts between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Once testing has begun, latecomers cannot be admitted.

Except for students with accommodations for extended time, the SAT should take the same amount of time in any testing center in the U.S. or internationally. The SAT clocks in at 3 hours (3 hours and 15 minutes with breaks). And if the test taker chooses to sign up for the optional essay, the SAT takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete (or 4 hours, 5 minutes with breaks).

SAT test takers are also entitled to a 5-minute break after about every hour of testing. This means they get a break after the Reading section and a second one after the Math No Calculator. If they are taking the Essay section, they also get a break before starting.

SAT test

The SAT structure shakes out like this:

Order Section Time in Minutes
1 Reading 65
2 Writing and Language 35
3 Math No Calculator 25
4 Math Calculator 55
5 Essay (optional) 50
Total 3 hours, 50 minutes (3 hours without essay)

Time discrepancies between classroom clocks can potentially put testing sessions in peril and result in disruption or even disputes. Imagine if a student or proctor was referring to a wall clock that was slow. This could result in delayed start times. Or what if some some students have five minutes remaining to complete a section, and others are teeming the corridors during the break? This could potentially disturb the concentration of the test takers. It's no secret that many schools suffer from impaired clock systems. Common everyday wall clocks eventually suffer from "time drift", since each clock keeps time at a different rate. The end result-every clock displays a different time.

SAT test break

Synchronized Clock Systems ensure precisely synchronized timekeeping throughout any size educational facility or campus. A radio frequency transmitter uses industry proven 902-928MHz frequency hopping to capture and send a consistent time signal to analog or digital wall clocks. The end result - every clock displays the same exact time.

To tighten up timing, a Digital Timer System may be used in conjunction with a Synchronized Clock System. A digital timer provides a visual indication of time remaining or time elapsed during test sessions and allows the proctor to start and stop sessions with the press of a button.

digital timer

Synchronized clocks ensure precise timing and give SAT administrators the confidence of knowing the school wall clocks are right on time to the exact second.

Read up on more timekeeping product applications for educational facilities here.