As the students gear up for the March SAT test day, they may also need to prepare for a time adjustment. It may be slightly longer than the 4-section, 3hour long test that they are expecting.
People familiar with the old SAT (2015 and before) would remember the “10th section” on the test, called the “experimental section”. Collegeboard used this section to pretest the questions for future use. This experimental section could appear as any section on the test, from sections 2 -10. However, unlike the regular test section, performance on this section would have no bearing on the overall scores.
With the advent of the New SAT, Collegeboard dispersed with this section and like the ACT, chose to create a test with no experimental section: a test where every section counted towards a student’s score.
However, it seems as though the experimental section is slowly making a comeback. In recent test cycles, students across the country have reported being tested on an additional 20-min test. . This new section comes after the Math (calculator) section. Initially, this experimental section was reserved for students who were taking the test without the essay. From the latest instructions being sent to the test administrators, it looks as though the March 2019 test may have the experimental section for students regardless.
Students taking the SAT test, need to mentally prepare themselves for a test day surprise of a 5th section and a slightly longer test day (by 20 min). This section ‘should’ have no bearing on the overall scores