New SAT Exam

How is the New SAT Exam Different?

The first standardized SAT test was developed in year 1901 when a group of leading American universities assessed the need for a common entrance test to test the ability of students to take up college level courses. Thus, CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board) was formed for this purpose.

The New SAT Exam

The new SAT exam comprises three major test sections.

  • Critical Reading section
  • Mathematics section
  • Writing section

The total time allotted to the new SAT exam is three hours and 45 minutes. There are 10 sections. Three sections consist of Critical Reading questions, three sections consist of questions from the Writing section and three sections consist of questions from the Mathematics section.


Critical Reading Section

The total time assigned to the Critical Reading section of the new SAT exam is 70 minutes. The types of questions are as follows.

  • Sentence Completion question types consist of incomplete sentence with blanks. The blanks are to be filled up with the right options.
  • Passage-Based Reading comprises a passage that is followed by questions that are to be answered based on the passage.

All the subsections consist of multiple-choice questions. Two subsections are of 25 minutes duration and the third one is of 20 minutes duration.

Mathematics Section

The total time allotted to this test section of the new SAT exam is 70 minutes. The types of questions are:

  • Multiple-choice
  • Student-Produced Response wherein you have to fill up answers in grids available on the answer sheet

This section consists of three subsections. Two subsections are of 25 minutes duration wherein one comprises multiple-choice questions and student-produced response questions; the other subsection comprises only multiple-choice questions; and the third subsection is of 20 minutes duration that entails only multiple-choice questions.

Writing Section

The total time allotted to the Writing section is 60 minutes. This section consists of the following types of questions.

  • Improving Sentences question types comprise a given sentence that is underlined completely or partially. It is followed by the options to correct it.
  • Improving Paragraph consists of a paragraph that contains sentences that are numbered. It is followed by options for improvements and the best option has to be chosen.
  • Identifying Sentence Errors question types consist of a sentence in which you have to spot errors.
  • An essay which measures the ability to develop and express your point of view on an issue

The Writing section comprises three subsections. The Essay is of 25 minutes duration whereas; the other two subsections entail multiple-choice questions and are of 25 minutes and 10 minutes duration respectively.


  • You need to attempt an unscored test section that consists of questions from Critical Reading section, Mathematics section or multiple-choice writing questions.
  • The new SAT exam is machine scored except for the Essay section.

How is The New SAT Exam Scored?

  • The SAT exam consists of 2400 scores equally distributed among the major test sections of the exam.
  • For every correct answer, you are awarded one point. However, for a wrong answer ΒΌ point is deducted.
  • The total scores comprise total points acquired by the correct answers minus the total points deducted for the wrong answers.
  • No points are deducted for the incorrect answers to Student-Produced Response questions.

How is The New SAT Exam Different?

The major changes in the SAT test format took place in the years 2005 and 2008. These changes have refined the SAT exam. The details listed below highlight the differences between the new SAT exam format and the older SAT test formats.

  • The Critical Reading section of the new SAT exam was earlier known as the Verbal section.
  • There was no Essay test in the older SAT formats.
  • The verbal section and the Math section comprised confusing questions viz analogies in Verbal section and quantitative comparisons in Math section. They are absent in the new SAT exam.
  • Students had to submit all of their SAT scores to the educational institutions of their choice (SAT exam occurs seven times in United States round the year and six times in other countries). According to the new SAT exam format, you are free to select your best scores and send them to the colleges of your choice.

The SAT exam has undergone gradual revision through several years and it thus, came out to be a new SAT exam. The SAT exam had its birth in the year 1901 and since then it has seen several changes in its test format. These changes have been driven by refinements in various test sections, advances in the test methodologies and changes in the score reporting requirements at various universities. These changes have improved the test taking experience of the examinees and have increased the usability of the scores for both the examinees and the universities.

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