SAT Redesign - Know the changes in the test pattern
Updated on Jul 24, 2015 - 11:56 a.m. IST by Bedasree Das
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From March 2016, the most popular international standardised exam for entry into undergraduate courses- SAT- incorporated new elements in its test pattern. According to College Board, the conducting authority of the exam, the changes have been made to make SAT more ‘relevant in the changing times’.

“The test has been redesigned to make it clearer and useful for the students both at the college level and also in their career paths,” says Lisa Jain-India Representative of College Board.

One of the most important elements that has been changed is that the exam will be scored on a total of 1600 while the Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math sections will each be scored on a 200 to 800 point scale.

Below are the few other changes effected in SAT

  1. The Essay will be optional

  2. The duration of the exam will be about 3 hours, with an additional 50 minutes for the Essay

  3. No points will be deducted for incorrect answers

  4. Calculators will be permitted only on certain portions of the Math section, and not throughout.

Before we bring you the changes in the redesigned SAT, let us first take a look at the current SAT pattern.

SAT, basically, has two types of tests. They are: SAT Reasoning Test or SAT and SAT Subjects Test. Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based exams that assess a candidate's strength in specific subjects. 

The SAT pattern has the following sections:

Writing: This section includes multiple-choice questions as well an essay, which has been optional now.

Critical reading: This section includes reading passages and sentence completions. The questions are multiple choice based questions and seek to evaluate a student's understanding ability.

Mathematics: This section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability.

SAT is taken by more than two million students every year and is accepted by most colleges in the USA and some other countries.

Here we have a table comparing the Current SAT with the redesigned one- both in terms of elements and length of the exam.

Comparison of the Major Features: Current SAT vs. Redesigned SAT


Current SAT

Redesigned SAT

Total Testing Time*

*Redesigned SAT testing time subject to research

3 hours and 45 minutes

3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the Essay [optional])


Critical Reading




Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Reading Test

Writing and Language Test


Essay (optional)

Important Features

Emphasis on general reasoning skills

Emphasis on vocabulary, often in limited contexts

Complex scoring (a point for a correct answer and a deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)

Continued emphasis on reasoning alongside a clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills and understandings most important for college and career readiness and success

Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone and impact

Rights-only scoring (a point for a correct answer but no deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)


Required and given at the beginning of the SAT

25 minutes to write the essay

Tests writing skill; students take a position on a presented issue

Optional and given at the end of the SAT; postsecondary institutions determine whether they will require the Essay for admission

50 minutes to write the essay

Tests reading, analysis and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided source text

Score Reporting*


*Redesigned SAT scores subject to research

Scale ranging from 600 to 2400

Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Critical Reading; 200 to 800 for Mathematics; 200 to 800 for Writing

Essay results scaled to multiple-choice Writing

Scale ranging from 400 to 1600

Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 200 to 800 for Math; 2 to 8 on each of three traits for Essay

Essay results reported separately

Subscore Reporting


Subscores for every test, providing added insight for students, parents, admission officers, educators and counselors

Length and Timing

Comparison of Test Length and Timing: Current SAT vs. Redesigned SAT

Current SAT

Redesigned SAT


Time Allotted

Number of


Allotted (minutes)

Number of 

Critical Reading









Writing and Language



















(230 with Essay)

(154 with Essay)

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Questions related to SAT

Showing 48 out of 48 Questions

the cutoff for qualifying was40% in both sat,mat in sat i have scored 48 and in mat 40 but i have not been selected why when i have scored 40%in both?

vignesh 21st Feb, 2020

Dear Daniyel,

Both the SAT and the MAT exams that you have taken are strictly percentile based.

Applicants appeared for the exams would have got more percentile that yours and that would be the reason for your rejection.

However you can take the exam in the next session and try scoring a percentile of more than 85 which may be a better chance to get qualified.

Best of luck.


hi sir jee 2020 my percentel home state Karnataka . sc category wide i want computer science course seat in you college pl send me answer.

Singampalli sai rahul Student Expert 14th Feb, 2020
Hello aspirant,

Based on your percentile score and cadte I will list out the top colleges in which you can get a seat in CSE Branch-

  • IIIT Delhi - Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIITD)
  • DTU - Delhi Technological University (DCE)
  • Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology
  • UIET - University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University

Jee Mains college predictor tool-

What is the difference between subject SAT test and General SAT ???If one has to give SAT for biology what will be the syllabus ???

hrithik jain 10th Feb, 2020


The main and the biggest difference is that General SAT tests for the general Knowledge and critical reasoning while SAT subject test your knowledge in specific areas say: biology, math etc.

Also, General SAT is around 3 hours paper whereas, SAT subject is a 1 hour paper. General SAT is offered for around 7 times a year and SAT Subject is offered for like 6 times a year that too, depending on the subject (date wise).

There are two test for SAT Biology- Biology (E) and Biology (M), you cannot take both of them on the same date. (E) stands for Ecological and (M) for Molecular. The syllabus topics are as follows:

1. Cellular and Molecular Biology- 15%(E) and 27%(M)

2. Ecology - 23%(E) and 13%(M)

3. Genetics - 15%(E) and 20%(M)

4. Organismal Biology- 25%(E) and 25%(M)

5.  Evolution and Diversity - 22%(E) 15%(M )

*Consider these figures to be approximate and cross check before finalizing.


Can I get admission into IIT or NIT based on my SAT subject test scores?? if so how to apply for it???

Koyel Bagchi 8th Feb, 2020


No iit or nit can not accepts sat.

Because the majority of students are selects here through jee not by their talents. Even if the pattern of jee is changed then also it is not similar as sat.

Hope it helps you.

Thank you.


I am going to complete my 11th standard in March 2020.Then can I write SAT exam in the month of June 2020.

AnkiT KunwaR 3rd Feb, 2020
Hello Aspirant,

Basically there is no eligibility criteria specifically for SAT 2020. Generally candidates can opt for the exam in their junior or senior years of high school (Indian Grades 11th or 12th), to be precise, aspirants are roughly between 17 or 18 years of age.

So, you will be eligible for SAT 2020.

Good Luck
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