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The SAT consists of ten separately timed sections that include a 25-minute essay. There are 3 critical reading sections, 3 math reasoning sections and 3 writing sections. Now, 3, 3, and 3 is only 9. There is actually one additional section in the SAT that is known as the experimental or the equating section, that's not going to count toward your score. The 25 minute essay is always the first section of the SAT test and a ten minute multiple choice writing section is always the last section of the test. The other sections can appear in any order.
On the critical reading test in the SAT, there are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. On the SAT math reasoning test, there are two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute section. On the writing test, there's the 25-minute essay, and 25-minute multiple choice section, and a 10-minute multiple choice section.
The unscored section of the SAT, which is known as the "equating" or "variable" section (although it's most commonly referred to as the "experimental" section), is a 25-minute section that will be either math, critical reading, or multiple choice writing, but it won't count toward your score. Basically, this section is used for the test makers' purposes. They use it to test new questions. They also use it in the statistical analysis of the exam, basically to make sure that one SAT test isn't any harder than another, and that a score of let's say an 1,8 on one test really is equivalent to an 1,8 that's taken on another test.
Most colleges will say that they do give more weight to the critical reading and the math reasoning section of the SAT. Those are really the old verbal and math section of the old style SAT, and many colleges will use the writing as part of the admissions process, but will use the writing score more like a SAT two. It's a good idea to talk to your guidance counselor and to check with the specific college that you're interested in to find out their policy on SAT weighting.
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