In the current SAT exam there is ¼ point penalty for wrong answers; in the new SAT, however, there will be no penalty. Presently, scoring is based out of 2400 which includes 800 for math, 800 for reading comprehension, and 800 for writing; in the future the test will be based out of 1600 where 800 will be for math and 800 will be for evidence based reading and writing. The optional essay will receive a separate score. Sub scores and insight scores will be available in future. In the current exam there are three critical reading tests (20-25 minutes each), three math tests (10-25 minutes each), three writing tests (10-25 minutes each), one essay (25 minutes), one experimental test, and five answer choices for multiple-choice questions. In future there will be: one evidence based reading and writing test comprised of a 65 minute reading section and a 35 minute language and writing section; one math test comprised of a 55 minute section with a calculator and a 25 minute section without calculator; one optional essay (50 minutes); and four answer choices for multiple choice questions. Presently the test is administered for 3 hours and 45 minutes; the new test will be 3 hours or 3 hours and 50 minutes with the optional essay.
The test is presently available in print and focuses on a broad range of content and skills. In the future it will be available in both print and digital formats. There will be fewer questions with a greater focus on in-depth analysis of content and evidence. In the present pattern, the essay is mandatory and students have 25 minutes to draft a response. Quality of reasoning and accuracy of data is not assessed and the score is combined with multiple choice writing section. In the future, the essay will be optional and students will have 50 minutes to analyze a 650-750 word document and draft an essay. Future tests will focus on reading, analysis, and writing skills, and requires students to analyze a source document and explain how the author builds an argument. The present math section focuses on a wide array of topics, puts more emphasis on computational skills, includes multiple choice, grid-in questions, and calculators are permitted for all sections. Future exams will have a concentrated focus on problem-solving, data analysis, algebra, and advanced math. There will be real world problem solving questions accompanied by informational graphics and calculators will be permitted for 37 questions out of 57 questions. It will have multiple choice and grid-in questions with one enhanced grid-in question.
In the present exam critical reading is in two parts which includes sentence completion and passage based questions coming from short (100-150 words) to long (400-850 words) passages. The writing section combines the score of multiple choice questions and the essay. In the future, reading and writing will be an evidence based reading and writing section. The reading section will not have any sentence completions and instead will test understanding of passages from US and world literature, history/social studies, and the sciences (500-850 words). The writing and language tests expression of ideas and standard English conventions through passages relating to careers, history/social studies, humanities and science. The questions are pulled from extended prose (400-450 words).