5 Changes You Need to Know About the New SAT for 2016

Comments Off on 5 Changes You Need to Know About the New SAT for 2016 02 March 2016


Beginning on March of 2016, the College Board will implement some big changes to the SAT that will effect the way students prepare and take this important test.  Taking note of the changes can help students adjust their test preparation as well as their day-of SAT strategy accordingly.

Below are five of these changes that all test-takers should know before sitting down for the 2016 SAT.

1. Scoring has changed.

Previously, the test has been scored out of 2400 but for this new version of the SAT, the highest possible score will once again be 1600.  The penalty for guessing has also been removed.

2.The essay is optional.

And it has moved! Test-takers now will have the choice to participate in the essay portion at the end of the test versus the beginning.

Students should also note that the prompts will now ask you to analyze and argument while in the past the essay was based on constructing an argument.

3. Calculators aren’t allowed in certain math sections.

Unlike previous years, some math sections won’t allow the use of any calculators.   Questions in the math section will also now limit answer choices to 4, down from the previous years’ 5 answer options.   Overall, the questions will be based more on science-based problem solving, as well as more “real life” and career-based scenarios.

4. The new reading portion will be evidence-based.

Reading portion will ask students to do consider evidence, analyze and interpret a wide-variety of different texts. These can include literature, but also historical and scientific documents from earlier time periods with less modern language than some might be used to. Students may also find charts and graphs they’ll be asked to interpret and analyze.

5. The vocabulary section is no more.

Forget those flash cards with “SAT words” you may never use again and their definitions.  While students will be asked to use context clues to develop definitions in the reading section, the vocabulary section as it has been in the past has been removed in the new SAT.


These changes may offer new challenges for students, but the key to success remains coming into the test prepared and knowledgeable as possible.

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