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2016 SAT Test Changes

As many students and parents already know, the College Board recently announced significant changes to the SAT exam. For students preparing to take the SAT in the next two years, there’s no need to panic or change studying plans. The announced changes to the SAT won’t go live until 2016 and for students who will need to take the “new” SAT, rest assured that Veritas Prep is already working on updating its Veritas Prep SAT 2400 curriculum to reflect these changes. In the meantime, we’ve put together a comprehensive list (PDF download) of changes between the current and “new” SAT.

Content Changes

Current SAT Redesigned SAT
Essay requires students to form their own argument
No fact based evidence is necessary
Essay requires students to evaluate an existing argument through analysis and presentation of evidence
Passage-based questions do not require students to show work Passage-based questions require student to cite specific evidence in test to support answer choice
Reading passages draw from a limited number of academic disciplines Reading passages will include texts from science, history, social studies, and literature
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
Math section is a survey of varying levels of high school math Math section focused on 3 areas:
1) Ratios, percents, proportions
2) Linear equations and functions
3) Complex equations
Critical Reading and Writing include no graphical information Evidenced-based Reading and Writing includes graphs and tables for science and social studies passages
Students have no prior knowledge as to passage content Each exam will feature a passage from a founding document in American history or from a text that is part of the “great global conversation.”

Technical Changes

Current SAT Redesigned SAT
Three required sections:
1) Critical Reading
2) Writing
3) Math
Two required sections:
1) Evidenced-based Reading and Writing
2) Math
Essay is 25 minutes and included in Writing section Essay is 50 minutes and is optional
Total exam time of around 4 hours Total exam time of around 3 hours without essay
Total exam time of around 4 hours with essay
Highest possible score is 2400, which includes essay Highest possible score is 1600
Separate score for essay
Calculator permitted throughout Math section Math section includes some no-calculator segments
¼-point penalty for incorrect answers on multiple choice questions No point deduction for incorrect answers
SAT delivered on paper only SAT available in both paper and digital formats


How will Veritas Prep prepare me for the new SAT?
The “new” SAT is in many ways shifting to be more like the ACT. Over the past year, we’ve had our top curriculum developers for both the GMAT and SAT working on a brand-new ACT curriculum and we have already begun implementing the relevant content areas into our 2016 SAT program. Keep in mind – the SAT is evolving but not going away. Most of Veritas Prep’s popular SAT 2400 strategies from our current program will remain relevant to students taking the SAT in 2016 and beyond.

How will Veritas Prep help prepare me for the computer-based version of the SAT?
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-based test, the GMAT, and have already built this proprietary technology into our SAT and ACT programs.

What if I begin preparing for the SAT now using Veritas Prep SAT 2400 but plan to eventually take the new version of the SAT?
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.

When will Veritas Prep transition to a course designed around the new test?
The last test administration in the old SAT format will likely be either December 2015 or January 2016. Veritas Prep’s current SAT 2400 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 2400 classes in 2016 will prepare students for the new test, the first administration of which is likely to be in March. Since the new SAT will be a more focused treatment of the comprehensive subject matter covered by Veritas Prep SAT 2400, students studying with our current course will have an easy time transitioning over to the new test format.

What if I need to repeat my SAT course around the time of the transition?
All Veritas Prep students taking an SAT 2400 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.

Will my study materials be useless in 2016 if I take a Veritas Prep SAT 2400 course in 2015?
While much of the content in Veritas Prep SAT 2400 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.