Redesigned Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)


The SAT is now scored out of 1600 (the old SAT was out of 2400), and there are new subscores and cross-section scores to consider as you evaluate your performance.

The new SAT tests skills that you are learning in high school that you are likely to encounter in college and beyond.

Section Breakdown

Here are the main components of the SAT:
  • Reading Test (65 minutes, 52 questions)
  • Writing and Language Test (35 minutes, 44 questions)
  • Math Test – two sections: No calculator (25 minutes, 20 questions) | Calculator permitted (55 minutes, 38 questions)
  • Optional essay section (50 minutes)

Content Areas

Here are some of the new content areas and format changes you can expect to see on the new SAT:

Words in context

You will be tested on words that appear frequently in high-school-level and college-level texts.

Command of evidence

The evidence-based reading and writing section of the SAT will ask you to analyze, synthesize, and interpret data from a wide range of sources. These sources include informational graphics—such as tables, charts, and graphs—as well as multi-paragraph passages in the areas of literature and literary nonfiction; the humanities; science; history and social studies; and work and career.

Essay analyzing a source

The new essay is optional and asks you to analyze how an author uses evidence, reasoning, and other stylistic evidence to craft a persuasive argument.

Math that matters most

The math test focuses in depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math.
  • Questions from the Problem Solving and Data Analysis area will require you to use ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in science, social science, and career contexts.
  • Questions from the Heart of Algebra area focus on the mastery of linear equations and systems, which help students develop key powers of abstraction.
  • The Passport to Advanced Math questions focus on more complex equations and the manipulation they require.


Let’s take a look at what we’re working with:

  • Your total score is your overall score and is a combination of your section scores (see below). The highest composite score for the redesigned SAT is 800+800, or 1600. The average score is 1000.
  • Your section scores are the individual scores for the two main sections of the SAT: reading/writing and math. Each of these sections is scored out of 800, and they are added together to get your overall score.
  • The essay is optional in the redesigned SAT and will not be factored into your overall SAT score. The essay scores will be shown separately on the report.
  • Your essay, should you choose to write one, will be scored on three measures: Reading, Analysis and Writing (a good way to remember it: RAW). You will receive a score of 2 to 8 in each of these areas.


TCC Recommends that you attempt all questions on the SAT. The essay is really not optional. Most Colleges want you to show your writing skills. And there is no better way of showing how you can perform but during the SAT.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Scoring Pattern for Undergraduate Applications – Find more on