The Redesigned SAT

The redesigned SAT was first administered in March 2016, replacing the SAT format used since 2005. College Board wanted to make the SAT more reflective of the material learned in high school, measuring the skills most needed for college and careers. Aligned closely with Common Core, the redesigned SAT is:

– Two required sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math
– Three hours long, plus the 50-minute, optional Essay
– 1600 maximum possible score instead of the previous 2400
– Free of the penalty for wrong answers, like the ACT
– Offered in printed version and, at selected locations, on computer

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section
Evidence-Based means demonstrating the ability to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources, including informational graphics and multi-paragraph passages excerpted from literature; texts in the humanities, science, history, and social studies; and career-related sources.
– Defining common-usage words in context instead of more obscure words used in the past
– Selecting specific quotes from passages to support the answers chosen
– Analyzing sequences of paragraphs for meaning and correctness of construction and grammar
The scoring of this section is on a scale of 200-800.

Math Section
Calculators are not allowed on 34% of the math questions. Algebra is by far the largest area of content.  The focus has shifted to the three areas believed to contribute most to readiness for college and career training:
– Problem Solving and Data Analysis: ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning
– The Heart of Algebra: linear equations and systems
– Passport to Advanced Math: more complex equations
The scoring of this section is on a scale of 200-800.

In the new SAT Essay format, students read a passage and explain how the author builds an argument.  They need to support their claims with evidence from the passage.  Just like the ACT, the SAT Essay is now optional. The essay score is reported separately and is not included in the composite score.