SAT Format and Test Dateswebvolve2016-07-12T18:09:36+00:00
What is the SAT?
The SAT has been redesigned for the first time in eleven years. The SAT test was redesigned in March 2016, while the PSAT launched in October, 2015. The test has been redesigned to more accurately assess student preparedness for the demands of collegiate academics.
The SAT is a 3 hour 50 minute exam (including an optional essay which takes 50 minutes), consisting of five sections: Reading, Writing, Math (with calculator), Math (no calculator), and Essay (optional).
SAT Test Section
# of Questions and Types
reading & writing
52 standard multiple-choice
44 standard multiple-choice
Relevant words in context (Reading, Writing)
Command of evidence (Reading, Writing)
Expression of ideas (Writing)
Standard English conventions (Writing)
100 minutes Reading
One 65-minute section
One 35-minute section
45 standard multiple-choice
13 student-produced response
The heart of algebra
Passport to advanced math
Problem solving & data analysis
One 25-minute section (no calculator)
One 55-minute section (calculator allowed)
1 evidence-based essay
Analyzing a source
One 50-minute essay
The SAT is a paper-based test administered at schools and sites around the country on select dates throughout the year. Students are allowed to take the test as many times as they want; most universities will only look at the highest score or the super-score (a combination of the highest sections). However, since the scoring format has changed, schools may tweak their policies accordingly. For more accurate information, please contact individual universities to confirm their score acceptance policy.
SAT Scoring/Guessing Penalty
College Board does not deduct any points for an incorrect question. This means that you should not leave any questions blank on the test. With the sections being longer than before however, pacing and timing, which your tutor will help you master, are critical.
The SAT scoring model has become more complex, providing a more detailed analysis and breakdown of students’ scores. Area scores, each scored out of 800, are combined to create a composite score for a maximum possible score of 1600. For a more detailed breakdown of what each score means, please see the table below.
This score is the sum of the two area scores
Evidence-based reading & writing Math
The Evidence-based reading and writing score is the sum
of the Reading test score and Writing & Language test score
Reading Writing & Language Math
These scores tell you how you performed on individual test sections
The essay is scored in three categories: Reading, Analysis, and Writing
Each category is scored from 2-8
History/Social Studies Science
These scores reflect your performance, categorized by the context of each question
Questions may span different test sections.
Relevant words in context (R, W&L) Command of evidence (R, W&L) Expression of ideas (W&L) Standard English convention (W&L) Heart of algebra (M) Passport to advanced mathematics (M) Problem solving & data analysis (M)
These 7 subscores will tell you how you did on specific question types or content.
Some subscores pull questions from multiple tests.
R – Reading test
W&L – Writing & Language test
M – Math test
Order of Difficulty
Currently, College Board does not offer any information about the order of difficulty on the redesigned SAT. It is likely that only the math section will remain in order of difficulty for both the multiple choice and student-produced response questions in the Math section. Depending on your performance, your tutor can use order of difficulty to choose the pacing and test-taking strategies that will help you achieve the highest possible score.
SAT Test Dates
College Board has not officially released test dates and deadlines for the 2016-2017 year. The dates below are estimates only. However, based on past data, these tentative dates should be accurate within one week of the actual test date.