About The SAT
On March 5th, 2014, David Coleman, President of the College Board, announced plans to substantially revise the SAT. The new specifications were released in April of 2014, and the format, scoring, and test items have all undergone change. The redesigned SAT will first be administered in March of 2016.
Some of the revisions include:
- Math items will be better aligned with mathematics high school students study
- Reading passages will be drawn more from social studies texts high school students read
- Guessing penalties will disappear, allowing students to feel more comfortable to attempt to problem solve even the most challenging items
In the U.S., the redesigned SAT will first be administered in March of 2016. In a standard school year, the SAT is administered on seven national test dates in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June.
Visit our test calendar and events page for specific test date and registration deadline information.
Test Format and Structure – Redesigned SAT
|Section||Time||Number of Questions||Content Covered|
|Evidence-Based Reading and Writing||100 minutes|
-Reading: 65 minutes
-Writing and Language: 35 minutes
Reading: 52 questions (4 single passages and 1 paired set, 500-750 words per passage or pair)
Writing and Language: 44 questions (4 passages, 400-450 words per passage)
|-Command of textual evidence
-Understanding of relevant words in context
-Application of skills across the curriculum
-Calculator Portion: 55 minutes
-No-Calculator: 25 minutes
-Calculator Portion: 30 multiple-choice questions, 8 student-produced response questions
-No-Calculator: 15 multiple-choice questions, 5 student-produced response problems
|-Heart of Algebra
-Problem solving and data analysis
-Passport to advanced math
-Additional topics such as geometry and trigonometry
|Essay (optional)||50 minutes||1 prompt||Varies|
The two sections – Evidence-based Reading and Writing and Math – are each graded on a scale from 200–800, making a perfect score 1600.
The optional essay is graded by two College Board graders. Each gives the writing sample a score from 1 to 4 in each of three areas. These two scores are added together to create three final essay scores in the three areas, each from 2 to 8. The essay score is reported separately from Evidence-based Reading and Writing score.
Because there is no penalty for incorrect answers, students should guess even if it means filling in random answer choices.
While the experience of difficulty will vary from student to student, the new SAT will feature novel evidence-based reasoning and data analysis question types at a high level of complexity. At Academic Approach, we welcome this change as we’ve taught rigorous logic and reasoning skills since 2001 and believe in the importance of these vital college readiness skills.
The primary goal of the redesigned SAT is for the test to better align with schools’ instructional practices. With that in mind, the best preparation for this assessment is undertaking rigorous classroom coursework and striving to excel in core curriculum at school. In addition, Academic Approach can provide additional instruction and resources to help smooth the transition and support the highest student achievement on the new SAT.
The College Board’s redesign is becoming more like the ACT. The parallels in the sections, test conventions, and skills assessed are now closer than ever. Those students who wish to prepare for both exams can experience a more seamless process of preparation as the skills required for success will become more transparent and related.