Beginning in March 2016, the SAT has a new format. Question types are different; scoring is different. Check out the following table for a side-by-side comparison of the old and new exams.

Old SAT versus New SAT
Critical Reading: 67 questions, 70 minutes Reading: 52 questions, 65 minutes
Essay: Mandatory, 25 minutes, respond to a prompt with your own point of view and evidence Essay: Optional, 50 minutes, analyze writing techniques in a passage
Multiple-Choice Writing: 49 questions, 60 minutes Multiple-Choice Writing and Language: 44 questions, 35 minutes
Mathematics: 54 questions, 70 minutes, divided into 3 sections Calculators allowed for all 3 sections. Mathematics: 58 questions, 80 minutes, divided into 2 sections Calculators allowed for 1 section and not for the other.
Multiple-Choice and Grid-In Scoring: 1 point for each correct answer, 1/4-point deduction for each wrong multiple-choice answer. (No penalty for incorrect grid-in answers.) Multiple-Choice and Grid-In Scoring: 1 point for each correct answer (and one question worth 4 points), no deduction for wrong answers
Multiple-Choice Format: 5 possible answers Multiple-Choice Format: 4 possible answers
Score Types: 200–800 points each for Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics (total: 600–2400 points) Score Types: 200–800 points for a combination of the Reading and Writing and Language sections. Another 200–800 points for Mathematics, for a total of 400–1600 for the entire exam, separate essay score, cross-test subscores for analysis in history and science, section subscores for various skills

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Ron Woldoff is the founder of National Test Prep, where he helps students prepare for the SAT, GMAT, and GRE. He is the author of several books, including GRE For Dummies and 1,001 GRE Practice Questions For Dummies.

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