For the past few years, SAT has been in a lot of debate with respect to the changes in the format of the test. There has been a lot of discussion over its confusing structure, trick questions and ambiguous vocabulary. The redesigned SAT test focuses on the content that reflects the kind of reading and math students will encounter in college and future.

Change in the structure

SAT, redesigned in March 2016, aimed at making it more straightforward and the wrong answer penalty was removed. The new structure includes only one section of each type (except for the math), rather than three. The new SAT has one reading section and one writing section combined to one section of evidence based reading and writing and the other section is math section which is divided in one portion of no calculator and one portion of with calculator. The test is of 3 hours with 50 minutes for additional section of essay.



There have been major changes in the scoring of the redesigned version of SAT.

  • 400-1600 scale- Earlier each section carried 800 marks making the maximum score 2400 which has now been reduced to 1600. The two sections of reading and writing (carrying 800 scores each) count towards one section of evidence based reading and writing carrying total of 800 scores along with  math section of 800 marks.
  • Wrong answer penalty- There is no penalty of 1/4 point for every wrong answer. It was done so that the candidates are not encouraged to guess the answers. Later it was seen that this move didn’t affect the scores but actually reduced the students’ reliance on test-taking strategies.
  • The essay section score- Separate essay scores are given which doesn’t get added to the score on the 400-1600 range. Rather than one score between 2 and 12, now you get three scores for reading, writing and analysis between 2 and 8.

The salient differences are briefed below for ready reference: