2016 SAT Changes

Everything you need to know about the new SAT

The SAT will change 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 New SAT.

Structural changes to the SAT:

 Compare Current SAT New SAT
Required Sections

Three required sections:
• Critical Reading
• Writing
• Math

Three required sections:
• Reading and Writing
• Math

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 Current SAT New 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 been staying abreast of updates from College Board and are working diligently to be well prepared for the new SAT and PSAT. We will be rolling out a new SAT course in January 2016 and currently offer private tutoring to prepare students for the new SAT. Keep in mind – the SAT is evolving but not going away. Most of Veritas Prep’s popular strategies from our current program will remain relevant to students taking the SAT in 2016 and beyond.

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.

The “new” SAT is mostly a paring-down of the current SAT (removing the essay, trimming the breadth of math content, etc.) so our current SAT lessons are still effective for the 2016 test, but younger students will simply want to focus on the 75% of lessons that reflect the narrowed scope. Veritas Prep SAT instructors have been fully trained on which areas to emphasize for such students.

The last test administration in the old SAT format will likely be either December 2015 or January 2016. Veritas Prep’s current SAT program will remain live until the end of 2015, as long as students still need to prepare for the current format. All Veritas Prep SAT classes in 2016 will prepare students for the new test, the first administration of which is in March. Since the new SAT will be a more focused treatment of the comprehensive subject matter covered in Veritas Prep’s current SAT course, students studying with our current course will have an easy time transitioning over to the new test format.

All Veritas Prep students taking an SAT course in the fall of 2015 will get a free upgrade to the new course, which starts in January 2016. To upgrade their course, students simply need to call and request their free upgrade within one year of their first course and they will be enrolled in the new program.

While some of the content in Veritas Prep’s current SAT course will overlap with the content relevant to the redesigned SAT, Veritas Prep will retire its current course materials at the end of 2015. Students who wish to continue their studies with Veritas Prep beyond that point can invoke their free upgrade (if applicable) or purchase a new program in order to gain access to the new classroom materials.

What should I do if I’m in the Class of 2016?

You’re in luck! You will not be directly impacted by the launch of the new SAT so prepare for the current SAT. Be sure to sign up early as there may be an influx of underclassmen (Class of 2017 & 2018 students) trying to test before the new SAT launches in March 2016.

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 current SAT in November, December, or January. Dedicate 6-8 weeks to prepare well and do your best so that you can bank your best score for next fall.

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?

Much like the class of 2016, you have the advantage of timing. Take the PSAT in October 2015 so you can have a feel for what the new SAT is going to be like (and so you can gear up to do your best on the 2016 PSAT). Then, sit back and do the best you can in your high school courses, be active in your community and participate in extracurricular activities. By the time you start thinking about preparation during your junior year, the dust should have settled on the new SAT (and it won’t be quite as new) so you should have much less anxiety around 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.

Prep options for the New SAT

Option 1: Classroom

Full Course

Interact with your classmates.

  • Flagship 24-hour course
  • In person or online
  • All live instruction
  • $690 $590

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 $2,400$6,800 $5,800


18 hours

$2,900 $2,400

An introduction to all the Veritas Prep strategies.


24 hours

$3,800 $3,300

The perfect balance of self study and tutoring.


36 hours

$5,400 $4,400

Ideal for those shooting for a 1400+ score.


48 hours

$6,800 $5,800

Work with an expert for your entire studies.

Questions? We’re here to help!