We hope you had a wonderful holiday and a well-deserved break! As the new year begins, it’s time to start thinking about the redesigned SAT, which will become a reality on March 5, 2016! Over the next few months we will be exploring the new exam’s content in more detail; for now, though, we want to provide you with an overview of the new SAT’s specifications.

Total Testing Time
3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the Essay [optional])

1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

2.  Math

3.  Essay (optional)

Important Features

• Focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success

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

• Correct answers-only scoring (no penalty for a wrong answer)


• Optional and given at the end of the SAT; postsecondary institutions determine whether they will require the Essay for admission

• 50 minutes to write the essay

• Tests reading, analysis, and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided source text

Score Reporting

• Scale ranging from 400 to 1600

• Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 200 to 800 for Math; 2 to 8 on each of three dimensions for Essay

• Essay results reported separately

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

Test Length and Timing

Component Time Allotted (min.) Number of Questions/Tasks
Reading 65 52
Writing & Language 35 44
Essay (optional) 50 1
Math 80 58
Total 180 (230 w/Essay) 154 (155 w/Essay)

The above information comes from the College Board’s website: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat?navId=gh-nsat

Make sure to familiarize yourself with this site; it has a lot of valuable information!

Lastly, you should devote some time every day to preparing for the SAT. A great place to start is the SAT Question of the Day, found on the Daily Question App at:

Best of luck as you begin preparing for the new SAT; we’ll see you next month!


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