Digital SAT Timing - The SAT Crash Course

The Digital SAT has two sections: Reading and Writing, and Math, and each section has two equal-length modules of test questions. The Reading and Writing section allows 64 minutes to complete, while the Math section allows 70 minutes. The Reading and Writing section consists of two 32-minute modules and the Math section consists of two 35-minute modules. There is a 10-minute break in between Reading and Writing and Math section.

The new digital SAT format appears to be designed to reduce stress and boost focus among test-takers, given that the digital SAT clocks in at just 2 hours and 14 minutes, about 46 minute less time than the traditional format. The digital SAT also has 98 questions only, which is far less than 154 questions in the previous SAT. Below is a table that shows the comparison between paper SAT and digital SAT in terms of the timing and the number of questions.

As you can see in the table, time per question in the digital SAT is generally longer than in the paper SAT. Given that the new SAT also has shorter passages and more straightforward questions, the digital SAT can be more manageable for students than the paper SAT. You can learn more about how the digital SAT is structured with our thorough examination on the digital SAT format.


Why Is the Digital SAT Shorter?

The digital SAT can be shorter than the paper SAT for a few reasons. First, the reading passages are shorter in digital SAT, with only one question tied to each passage. This will simplify students’ reading comprehension process and reduce the amount of time needed for solving each question.

What’s more, adaptive testing can also reduce the time needed to assess a student’s ability. Since the test adjusts to students’ level, it allows for more targeted testing experience for students in a shorter amount of time.


What Time Does Digital SAT Testing Start?

Students will have to be on the testing site between 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. local time, which is the same as before. About 15-30 minutes later, the the testing will begin with the proctor reading the script.


How Do I Pace My Time Wisely?

There are a few ways for students to use their time efficiently in the digital SAT.

  • Spend more time on the difficult questions and less time on the easy questions.
  • Use Mark for review tool in the testing app to go back to the questions you need more time on.
  • Refer to the testing timer that counts down the time in each module.
  • Learn how to use the calculator proficiently beforehand.

Since the level of the questions may vary in a given module, it’s best to leave yourself some time to spend on more difficult questions. Mark for review tool is useful in this case, which is a feature in the Bluebook testing app that lets students flag questions they wish to go back to later. At the end of each module on the review page, students will see the flagged questions that they can revisit by just clicking on them. Note that it is only possible to move between questions in a module, not between modules. So, make sure to check all your answers before you move on to the next module.

Students can consult the timer provided on top of the screen to keep track of their time. They will get an alert 5 minutes to the end of each module.

Lastly, knowing how to use the graphing calculator to solve different types of problems will save students a great amount of time. Since the entire Math section allows calculator use, this skill will be your best friend for the half of the digital SAT test.


What’s Next?

Above all, you may want to get some hands-on practice sessions to get a sense of how to pace yourself in the new format. If you wish to get a complete experience of the new SAT testing, try using our digital SAT practice tests that emulate the digital SAT with exact timing and test structure. You will also be able to learn to use the tools in the testing app to your advantage that will help you successfully complete the test in time. Start now!