The Redesigned SAT

In the Spring of 2014, the College Board announced that it would be redesigning the SAT in order to align more closely to the work encountered by high school students in the classroom. Effective March 2016, the new 1600-point SAT will emphasize the use of evidence to support answers, will move away from testing obscure vocabulary to testing vocabulary relevant in the real world, and will focus on fewer areas in mathematics.

In essence, the new SAT will be aligned with the Common Core standards, and aims to measure the knowledge and skills that matter most for college readiness and success. The College Board asserts that the new exam will be more straightforward, and that the significant changes – including a new scoring system that does not penalize for incorrect answers, a no-calculator mathematics section, and an optional essay that requires students to analyze persuasive elements within a passage – will reward productive use of classroom time and a focus on demanding coursework.

Comparison of the 2400-Point SAT and the Redesigned 1600-Point SAT
Category Old SAT  New SAT
Testing Time 3 hours and 45 minutes 3 hours(plus 50 minutes for optional essay)
Components Mathematics
Critical Reading
Writing (Essay)
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (Reading Test, Writing and Language Test)
Essay (Optional)
Essay Required and counts toward Writing score
25 minutes allotted
Students take position on given issue
Optional and scored separately
50 minutes allotted
Students provide analysis of a given source text
Scoring System +1 point for Correct Answers
+0 for Omitted Answers
-0.25 points for Incorrect Answers
No penalty for incorrect answers (no deductions for guessing)
Score Reporting Total score range from 600 to 2400
Section-specific scores (Mathematics, Critical Reading, Writing) range from 200 to 800
Total scores range from 400 to 1600
Section-specific scores (Mathematics, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) range from 200 to 800