College Corner: Taking a look at the new SAT

Kyrah Hunter

The start of a new year  means out with the old and in with the new, which is exactly what the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has done. Starting March 6, the SAT will be undergoing changes The changes share both the good and the bad for students looking to take the test. The SAT is said to resemble more of its testing counterpart, the American College Testing (ACT) and is even teaming up with Khan Academy, an academic tutoring website, to inform students of the changes. Here are the changes to expect for the new SAT:


Scoring: 600-2400

Timing: three hours and 45 minutes

Sections include:

– Writing (scoring: 200-800),

– Math (scoring: 200-800)

– Essay (which is included in writing score).

Guessing penalty: ¼ of score


Scoring: 400-600 (scoring becomes more holistic, including cross-test and subscores)

Timing: three hours and 50 minutes for the optional essay

Sections include: Stimulus-based reading and writing (200-800), Math (200-800) and an optional essay which is separately scored.

Guessing penalty: no guessing penalty.


A big help is that there’s no penalty for guessing, which reinforces the phrase “at least you tried.”

The five answer choices have been cut down to four, similar to the ACT.

More familiar vocabulary within the test. Meaning no more cramming student’s brains with fancy words.

No more sentence completions!


The test includes questions that are looking to make the test-taker work to get the answer.

Reading passages will be riddled with complex structure and vocabulary.

Students are going to have to remember various math formulas to get a clue of what the math section is asking.

Critical thinking and reasoning become key. The mind is on full ride.

Though there will be fewer sections, the sections will be even longer.