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The New SAT: The Updated Version of the SAT Examinations from March 2016 Onwards

The New SAT is based on a 1600-point scale for scoring; will comprise of an optional essay and the duration of the examination is nearly four hours.

The New SAT will do away with the usage of vocabulary in the reading section as students will have the option of ‘vocabulary in context questions. Out of the two Math sections, it will not permit the use of a calculator in one of the sections. Another amendment is that it will eliminate the penalty for incorrect answers, which was an integral feature of the previous version. These changes will enable it to accurately present the Common Core Curriculum and thus appeal greatly to both students and the admission committees of colleges and universities alike.

What does the New SAT comprise of?

The earlier SAT examination (2005-2015) had a format which comprised of three distinct sections:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Mathematics
  3. Writing

Each one of the sections was scored on a scale of 200-800 points. The Writing component also had a mandatory essay that usually impacted the scoring of the section.

However, the New SAT, implemented with effect from March 2016, would follow a different pattern when it comes to structure and scoring.

The first change is that the New SAT has reduced from the previous 2400 point scale to a 1600-point scale.

The new structure now comprises of four sections as well as an optional essay. Here is a break-up:

  1. There are two math sections, where only one section permits the use of calculators, while the other does not.
  2. There is one reading comprehension section
  3. One writing and comprehension section
  4. An optional essay

The Math scores of a student from both the sections are put together to arrive at a 200-800 point math score.

The reading score would scale from 100-400 points.

The score of the writing+language section would be taken from a scale of 100-400 points.

A single ‘evidence based reading and writing score’ on a scale from 200-800 points would be arrived at by adding both the reading and writing+language scores.

Both these scores are added to arrive at a final 400-1600 point scaled score.

The essay, on the other hand is given a separate score, which does not impact the scale score of a student.

Every section of the exam has strict time limits and this leads to a greater scoring capacity amongst the students.