Old SAT vs. New SAT: What’s the Difference?

Gillian Corallo

More stories from Gillian Corallo

College Board has been revising the SAT to give students across America the best results possible from the test.

The SAT itself hasn’t seen too many changes, the last being in 2005, which introduced the maximum score of 2400 and the 25 minute essay. The old SAT also had three categories: critical reading, math, and writing (which includes the essay). A student could earn between 200 and 800 points for each category, plus their essay score between one and 10. The essay question was usually based on a situation and a more personal response, based on beliefs or personal thoughts.

A student would get a quarter of a point off for guessing. Considering the fact that new standards have risen among other countries, America had catching up to do.

So, what’s different between the two?

The first date for the new SAT is March 5th, 2016. Therefore, Santaluces juniors are going to be taking this.

The major difference is that the new SAT has a top score of 1600. How did it drop that much? Well, the essay became optional. The test itself is now three hours, but if you decide to take the essay portion, you get an extra 50 minutes to write it. The new essay is now completely focused on comprehension and how the author of the passage tries to persuade readers.

The new SAT has only two categories: evaluation-based reading/writing and math. The math portion has two sections, one allowing for a calculator, and the other not. There is also no guessing penalty and only 144 questions altogether.

It seems like a lot to take in and get ready for, doesn’t it? Luckily, College Board has teamed up with Khan Academy to offer free SAT prep for the new test. This includes new passages and math problems, along with essay prompts.

The best way to prepare is to start early. So, start practicing now to do well on the test, Chiefs.