How is the SAT Organized?
The SAT has four components, three of which are mandatory and one of which (the Essay) is optional. However, for any student aspiring to apply to any competitive university, the Essay section is not truly optional, and admissions officers are likely to look down upon students lacking an Essay score. The three mandatory sections are (1) the Reading Test, (2) the Writing and Language Test, and (3) the Math Test. The timing and number of questions are as follows:
The Essay is optional, but some high schools and colleges require it. Depending on your high school and your college choices, you may already know whether or not you’ll take the Essay. If you have any uncertainty — for instance, if you can imagine that you might transfer from a school that doesn’t require it to one that does — consider taking the SAT with Essay.