New SAT : Exam to be redesigned from 2016


2 mins read18.7K Views
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Aug 2, 2022 17:33 IST

The SAT exam is undergoing a big change. The new SAT will make its debut in March 2016 and it will impact students in the class of 2017 or later. Changes include a new structure, new score, new sections, and a new approach to testing. The important thing to note is that the changes are not minor. Here is a comparative table showing what exact changes to expect.


Current SAT 
(till January 2016)

New SAT 
(from March 2016 and after)


- 1/4th penalty for wrong answers

- Score out of 2400

  • 800 for Math
  • 800 for Reading Comprehension
  • 800 for Writing

- No penalty

- Score out of 1600

  • 800 for Math
  • 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

- Sub-scores and insight scores available

- Optional Essay to be scored separately


- 3 Critical Reading sections

  • 20-25 minutes each

- 3 Math sections

  • 20-25 minutes each

- 3 Writing sections

  • 10-25 minutes each
  • Includes 1 Essay test (25 minutes)

- 1 Experimental test

- 5 answer choices for multiple choice questions

- 1 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing test

  • 65-minute Reading section
  • 35-minute Language and Writing section

- 1 Math test

  • 55-minute section with calculator
  • 25-minute section without calculator

- 1 Essay test (optional) - 50 minutes

-  4 answer choices for multiple choice questions


- Total 3 hours 45 minutes

- Total 3 hours; 3 hours 50 minutes with essay ( optional)


- Only available in print format

- Focused on broad range of content and skills

- Available in print and digital formats

- A greater focus on in-depth analysis of content and evidence


- Essay is required

- Students have 25 minutes to draft the essay

- Quality, reasoning and accuracy of data not tested

- Score combined with Writing section

- Essay is optional

- Students have 50 minutes to analyze a word document and draft the essay

- Tests analysis, reading, and writing skills

- Factual accuracy is important

- Scored separately


- Focus on wide array of topics

- More emphasis on computational skills

- Calculators allowed for all sections

- Multiple choice and grid-in questions

- Concentrated focus on:

  • Problem-solving and data analysis
  • ‘The Heart of Algebra’
  • ‘Passport to Advanced Math’

- Real-world problem solving accompanied by informational graphics

- Calculator allowed for 37 questions; not allowed for 20 questions

- Multiple choice and grid-in questions; 1 item set grid-in question

Reading and Writing

- Critical Reading

  • Sentence Completion
  • Passage based questions
  • Passage based questions from short (100-150 words) and long (400-850 words) passages

- Writing

  • Combined score of writing multiple choice questions and Essay

- Evidence Based Reading

  • No Sentence Completion
  • Tests understanding of passages from US and world Literature, History/Social Studies, and Sciences (500-750 words)

- Writing and Language

  • Tests ‘Expression of Ideas’ and ‘Standard English Conventions’ through passages related to Careers, History/Social Studies, Humanities and Science
  • All questions from extended prose (400-450 words)

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About the Author
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio




Ben Samuel

4 years ago

I'm taking the SAT in Oct.When should I apply for MIT?Should I apply immediately or after taking SAT subject tests too.Please let me know.

Reply to Ben Samuel

Hi Ben, you can apply after getting the scores only as they will ask for your scores first while filling the form. Also, you would need to meet the requirements for the particular course according to MIT. Thanks!


Mohammed Ahmed

4 years ago

Mam can commerce/arts sit for SAT exam? Please reply ????

Reply to Mohammed Ahmed


Mohammed Ahmed

4 years ago

Mam can commerce apply for Sat examination

Reply to Mohammed Ahmed


Jahanvee Nagda

4 years ago

Ma'am I wish to apply for Colby College in Maine but it's a private college. I have just begun my 12th grade and wish to give the SAT exam but I don't know how or when to start. Can you kindly help me with this dilemma?

Reply to Jahanvee Nagda

Swameeka Medhi

4 years ago

Hi Jahanvee, you may take the SAT during 12th or immediately after your board exams. Firstly you should check the college websites for admission deadlines and timelines so that you can schedule and prepare your test and application accordingly. You can submit your application via Common Application




4 years ago



Swameeka Medhi

4 years ago

Hi Anuj, please specify your program choice. Alternatively, you can take help of this list

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