What’s New With the New SAT?

scantronThe Newly Revised SAT (SAT-R)

Starting in March 2016, there will be major changes coming to the SAT leaving many students, mostly current juniors, wondering how this change will impact them.

So, what is changing, exactly?

  • They are dropping the entire Writing section, formerly worth 800 points.  Now, a perfect score on the SAT will be 1600, based on Critical Reading and Math, and not 2400, which included the Writing section.
  • There will be an optional essay, similar to the ACT.  (Once you know which test works better for you, the SAT or ACT, make sure to take at least one version with the optional essay.)  Some colleges may no longer require the essay but students should keep your options open.
  • Students will no longer lose points for wrong answers, thus eliminating the penalty for guessing.  This is similar to the way the ACT scores.
  • The vocabulary words will change so that they are words that most well-read students would have a chance of encountering.
  • Colleges who have finalized their plans have told us they will take both versions of the SAT for the Class of 2017.

STRATEGY– The source with the most accurate and free material for the new SAT/PSAT is available on KhanAcademy.com. The interactive video prep site, Eprep.com, has already updated its PSAT prep program and should have its SAT program ready soon. However, none of it has been tested and proven yet (see link below).

Many professional SAT and ACT tutors with whom we have consulted suggest that juniors (Class of 2017) may want to focus most of their energy and efforts on the current version of the SAT this fall and take the test in either December or January since the new SAT has too many unknowns this year and too little test prep material available. The PSAT results should  be available in December and will have a link to Khan Academy to help them prepare for the revised SAT.

Juniors can also study for the ACT, which will be offered at CSD in March.  Our test prep class follows the current timeline: focus on the old SAT in the fall, the ACT in the early spring and college essays in late spring.

See below for additional resources:

College Board website




Online Test Prep resources



Junior Year Test Dates for the Class of 2017


Redesigned PSAT

ACT Current SAT Redesigned SAT (SAT-R)
October 14, 2015

(At CSD – no registration required)
Scores available in December

December 12, 2015

February 6, 2016

April 9, 2016

June 11, 2016

December 5, 2015

January 23, 2016

March 5, 2016

May 7, 2016

June 4, 2016


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