How does the new SAT differ from the old one?
1. Optional essay portion
-The essay section is now optional. If you opt to do the additional essay, you will have 50 extra minutes to answer the essay question(in the old SAT, you only had 25 minutes to do the required essay section). The essay is scored separately.
(research on the college requirements for the essay, some schools require, some schools recommend, some schools do not care).
comprehensive but incomplete list here
2. Revised question policy
-There is no more guessing penalty. In the old SAT, you got a 1/4(.25)subtraction for every question you got wrong. Now there is no more point subtraction.
3. Fewer answer choices
The old SAT used to have 5 answer choices. Now there are only 4 choices.
4. Test sections
The new SAT only has 2 sections(exclusive of the optional essay). These sections are Math (which further breaks down into the calculator and non-calculator sections. In the old SAT you were allowed to have a calculator on all the math sections) and evidenced based Reading and Writing. You are scored on a 1600 point scale for both sections aside from the separately scored essay.
5. Content changes
According to the College Board, the new SAT is supposed to test what students learn in high school with more specificity and comprehensiveness. For example, the math section is supposed to focus more on math that is considered important for college readiness (i.e. geometry, trigonometry). One thing I personally really appreciate is a change to the reading section. The reading section used to have what I consider arbitrary questions(ie. What did person (x) feel at this point in the passage, then the list of answers would be like “A) happy, B) Sad, C) Depressed, D) Angered, E) Joyful.). Now there is a new question type, where students are required to locate evidence from the test. Now students have a chance to justify their answers to relatively subjective questions.
Hope you find this blog on Demystifying the new SAT useful!