2016 SAT Changes

Everything you need to know about the new SAT

The SAT changed in 2016 and Veritas Prep’s new, advanced SAT curriculum was designed with these changes in mind. No other company will better prepare you for the SAT.Register now!

Structural changes to the SAT:

 Compare 2400 scale SAT 1600 scale SAT
Required Sections

Three required sections:
• Critical Reading
• Writing
• Math

Four required sections:
• Reading
• Writing
• Math (no calculator)
• Math (with calculator)

Essay Length

25 minutes / required

50 minutes / required

Essay Scoring

Scored as part of the writing section

Receives three scores (reading, analysis, and writing) ranging from 2-8. 1-4 points are given by 2 scorers (scores for each dimension are added)

Total Exam Time

Around 4 hours

3 hours without essay
4 hours with essay


Highest possible score is 2400, which includes essay

Highest possible score is 1600 with a separate score for essay (see above)


Calculator permitted throughout Math section

Math section includes some no-calculator segments

Incorrect Answers

¼ - point penalty for incorrect answers on multiple choice questions

No point deduction for incorrect answers

Testing Format

SAT delivered on paper only

SAT available in both paper and digital formats

Content changes to the SAT:

 Compare 2400 scale SAT 1600 scale SAT

Essay requires students to form their own argument. No fact based evidence is necessary

Essay is optional. Essay requires students to evaluate an existing argument through analysis and presentation of evidence (from the passage)


Passage-based questions do not require students to show work

Passage-based questions require student to be able to cite specific evidence in test to support answer choice (“new question type”)

Students aren’t asked to identify evidence to support an answer

Students will be asked to locate evidence in a passage that best validates the answer to a previous question

Reading passages draw from a limited number of academic disciplines

Reading passages focus on “Founding Documents”

Vocabulary tested includes obscure words and meanings

Vocabulary tested relates to “relevant words in context”. Words are widely used in college and professional life and have multiple meanings depending on the context

Critical Reading and Writing include no graphical information

Evidence-based Reading and Writing includes graphs and tables for science and social studies passages


Math section is a survey of varying levels of high school math

Math section focused on algebra, geometry, fundamentals and some advanced math concepts such as trigonometry


The College Board considers feedback from schools, students, faculty and advances and changes in higher education curriculum and technology. After much analysis and consideration, College Board wanted to update the tests to measure essential skills for college and career readiness.

Veritas Prep has a team of top curriculum developers who have created GMAT, GRE, ACT and SAT curriculum. We have spent months creating a new SAT curriculum designed to address the changes made to the SAT and have a fully developed program to prepare students for the new version of the SAT. Beginning in January 2016 all Veritas Prep SAT courses and private tutoring engagements will be taught using this new curriculum.

Veritas Prep is the world leader in computer technology for standardized exams. We are the only test preparation provider to have successfully reverse-engineered the world’s most famous existing computer-adaptive test, the GMAT, and have already built this proprietary technology into our SAT and ACT programs.

While some of the content from Veritas Prep’s SAT course in 2015 will overlap with content relevant to the redesigned, 1600 scale SAT, Veritas Prep no longer uses material from 2015 or earlier. Students who wish to continue their studies with Veritas Prep in 2016 can invoke their free retake (if applicable).

What should I do if I’m in the Class of 2017?

It’s time to choose your own adventure because you’ve got some options when it comes to the SAT. Before making any decisions, it’s important to think about what test will best highlight your talents and skills.  If you know (or have a pretty good idea of) the schools you’ll be applying to next fall, contact the schools to find out if or how they’ll view current SAT scores for the 2016-2017 admission cycle. Several schools have already gone on the record indicating they’ll accept EITHER the current (2400 scale) SAT or the new (1600 scale) SAT.  So if you already have your short list of target schools, take some time to do research before making your decision between these two choices.

Option 1: Prepare for and take the last administration of the 2400 scale SAT on January 23.

Option 2: Register for and take the new SAT in May (not March!) 2016. There isn’t much of an advantage to taking the test in March when it first launches. First, your scores won’t be available until after the May administration (per College Board), and chances are with any  new product, there will be some kinks to work out with the first administration. Plus, College Board typically makes a Q&A ordering service available during the May SAT administration. Take advantage of this service and order your test booklet and answers so you can take the summer to brush up on some of the areas you may have stumbled and re-test in Fall 2016.  Plus, by  Summer 2016 there will be much more available in the way of practice tests and preparation materials to help you do your best on the new SAT.

What should I do if I’m in the Class of 2018?

You’re in luck: the change will not affect you. Because you’ll take the new SAT, you should prepare for the 2016 PSAT (which will be in the new format) and plan to take the SAT during your junior year. By that point, the dust will have settled and the “new” SAT won’t be new anymore, so you won’t have to worry about flux and change. While many schools have indicated they will accept both for at least a year (see Class of 2017 notes), there are some schools like Yale who have already stated they will NOT accept SAT scores on the 2400 scale after 2017. So it’s probably not the best use of your time to take a test that won’t be valid in two years.

Option 1: Classroom

Full Course

Interact with your classmates.

  • Flagship 25-hour course
  • In person or online
  • All live instruction
  • $690

Option 2: One-On-One

Private Tutoring

Customized to fit your needs.

  • Private SAT Instruction
  • In person or online
  • Works with your schedule
  • $2,900$6,800


18 hours


An introduction to all the Veritas Prep strategies.


24 hours


The perfect balance of self study and tutoring.


36 hours


Ideal for those shooting for a 1400+ score.


48 hours


Work with an expert for your entire studies.

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