SAT Spotlight- Current Vs. Redesigned SAT

SAT Spotlight

Current Vs. Redesigned SAT

The College Board will roll out a totally redesigned SAT in spring 2016. What exactly is changing? Here’s a side-by-side comparison:


Current SAT

Redesigned SAT

Total Testing Time


3 hours and 45 minutes

3 hours without essay

3 hours 50 minutes with essay (optional)


  1. Critical Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Mathematics
  4. Essay (required)
  5. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
  • Reading Test
  • Writing and Language Test
  1. Math (calculator and No calculator)
  2. Essay (optional)

Section Length










67 questions

49 questions

1 question

54 questions


171 questions


52 questions

44 questions

1 question

57 questions


154 questions with Essay

Important Features

Emphasis on general reasoning skills

Emphasis on vocabulary, often in limited contexts

Complex scoring (a point for a correct answer and a deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)

Emphasis on reasoning. Clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills and understandings most important for college and career readiness

Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone and impact

Rights-only scoring (a point for a correct answer but no deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)


  • Required and given at the beginning of the SAT
  • 25 minutes
  • Tests writing skills; students take a position on a presented issue
  • Optional and given at the end of the SAT (colleges determine whether they will require the essay)
  • 50 minutes
  • Tests reading, analysis and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided source text

Score Reporting

  • Scale range: 600 to 2400

200 to 800 for Critical Reading

200 to 800 for Mathematics

200 to 800 for Writing

  • Essay results scaled to multiple-choice Writing
  • Scale range: 400 to 1600

200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

200 to 800 for Math

2 to 8 on each of three traits for Essay

  • Essay results reported separately

Subscore Reporting


Subscores for every test, providing insight for students, parents, admission officers, educators, and counselors






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