The SAT, Redesigned - Student Resources

The SAT, Redesigned

a child's hand bubbling a scantron for standardized test prep

Created by the College Board, the SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. The SAT was recently redesigned to more closely follow what students are learning in school and to correspond with the Common Core. Students can take the new SAT starting in March 2016.

There are significant revisions to the format and scoring of this test that are relevant to SAT takers.


  • The new SAT will return to the previous 1600-point scale, with a maximum of 800-points for the Math section and 800-points for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections.
  • The new test takes three hours, which is 45 minutes less the previous format.
  • The multiple choice questions have four rather than five answer choices.
  • The practice of penalties for wrong answers is discontinued.
  • There no longer is an experimental section for research purposes.
  • SAT takers can take a paper and computer-based version of the new SAT.
  • There are two cross-test scores: Analysis in History/Social Studies and Analysis in Science.



For the first time in over 20 years, SAT takers will not be able to use a calculator on one third of the test. Having strong calculation ability and number sense is paramount to being successful on the new SAT. The new SAT will focus less on geometry and more in depth on three categories that will be given three subscores: Heart of Algebra; Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math.

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is comprised of two tests.

  • The Reading Test has two subscores for Command of Evidence (including analysis of text, graphs and charts) and Words in Context (such as interpreting vocabulary words and author’s intention). SAT takers will not only be required to identify the correct answer, but will need to use evidence from the text to support their answers.
  • The Writing and Language Test has two sub-scores for Expression of Ideas and Standard English Conventions categories. SAT takers need grammatical and editing skills such as correction ability to improve passages by finding mistakes and fixing them. Kumon Students routinely practice this editorial skill by correcting errors on their worksheets.


Lasting up to an additional fifty minutes, the optional essay component will be scored separately. The content of the essay will vary from an opinion piece to the analysis of evidence within a passage.