SATs are just around the corner and some of you may be wondering at this point, the key differences between the old SATs and the new SATs that you are about to take part in. First, we will start off by giving a simple explanation on why the SAT changed at all. The new SAT is newly designed to give students the kind of reading and math skills that they will likely need for college and the future there on out – After all, times have changed and it calls for evolved skillsets and education that is appropriate.



Old SAT – 600 to 2400

New SAT – 400 to 1600



Old SAT – 3 hours 45 minutes

New SAT – 3 hours + optional 50 minute essay



Old SAT –

  • Critical Reading 200 to 800
  • Writing 200 to 800
  • Math 200 to 800
  • Essay which is included in the writing score

New SAT –

  • Evidence based reading & writing 200 to 800
  • Math 200 to 800
  • Optional essay which is separately scored


Guessing Penalty:

Old SAT – ¼ guessing penalty

New SAT – no guessing penalty



Old SAT – print

New SAT – print or computer


More About the New SAT


  • 65 minute Reading section
  • 45 minute Writing and Language section
  • 25 minute Math no calculator section
  • 55 minute Math with calculator section



  • 52 Reading questions
  • 44 Writing and Language questions
  • 20 Math no calculator questions
  • 38 Math with calculator questions


From here on out, the new SAT is the format that is required to be taken as the old SAT is no longer administered. If you’ve been practicing for SATs before the change, it is best to make the leap to study, practice, and take mock tests to best prepare yourself for the new SAT exams. Though it shouldn’t be much of a big deal to students that this new change has happened, the SATs hasn’t seen a change like this in about 30 years. You may notice things that you really enjoy that the new format has taken on, and also things that you do not like about them.


Some things to prepare for that you may not enjoy about the new exams:

  • Questions now require multiple steps to get to your answer
  • Reading passages are more complex with newer vocabulary
  • Foundational math skills are very important
  • Your critical reading skills need to be sharp for this exam
  • Though there are fewer sections in the new exam, they are longer in time as well

Socrato sends well wishes for a successful end of high school career, and step into the college world after your SAT exams. Remember to stop by for all of your most up to date study material and check back for our latest blog posts.