The SAT has gone through a couple of major evolutions over the years. The first major change to the SAT added a mandatory writing section to the existing verbal and mathematics multiple-choice sections. This change increased the maximum score on the SAT from 1600 to 2400 points with an additional 800 points allotted for the writing section.
Coming up in March of 2016, the SAT will take another major turn. This time, the redesigned test will revert back to the 1600-point scale, removing the mandatory writing section. However, it is unclear which universities will require applicants to take the writing section, so students should plan to take it, unless all of the schools to which they’re applying have announced that they will not be requiring the writing section. The other major change in the new SAT is the end of negative points for incorrect answers, a feature that has long distinguished the SAT from the ACT, which has never penalized students for wrong answers. Other changes are expected that will change the format of the reading, math, and essay portions of the test.
In coming months, the College Board will release score conversions and norms that will make it possible to compare practice test scores between the redesigned SAT and the ACT.
For now, students who are testing this fall don’t have to worry about the redesigned test. If your child is on the fence about testing this fall or next spring, he or she can take a practice SAT with us next month to gauge their performance on the current test. If you have any questions about whether to test this fall or wait until the new SAT is released in March, contact our office and one of our specialists would be happy to help!