College Board Announces New Changes to the SAT

This week the College Board announced new changes to the SAT. The new SAT focuses more on the important academic skills and delivers “no new mysteries.” New changes won’t go into effect until the spring of 2016 so this only applies to Freshman and middle school students.

Some of the changes include:

  • No longer will points be deducted for wrong answers to multiple-choice questions.
  • The essay will no longer be required. It will be optional. Essay writing students will need to read a passage and analyze how its author used evidence, reasoning, and stylistic elements to build an argument.
  • Anxiety causing SAT words will be replaced with words that are widely used in college and career.
  • The perfect SAT score will be 1600 points, based on a top score of 800 in reading and math. The essay will be scored separately.
  • The nonprofit Khan Academy will provide students with free tutorials in math and other subjects via
  • Every exam will have a reading passage from one of America’s “founding documents.” It could be the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights or one on “Great Global Conversation they inspire.”
  • Math questions will focus on three areas: linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning.
  • Students will be able to use calculators on only part of the math section.
  • The reading and writing sections will cover a broad range of disciplines, including science and social studies.
  • The test will be 3 hours long – 3 hours and 50 minutes with the essay.
  • New programs will help low-income students. Fee waivers will allow them to apply to four colleges at no charge.

On April 16th, The College Board will reveal the new test. For more information about changes to the SAT, go to

For recommendations on tutors for the SAT, contact International College Counselors.


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