New SAT Format – Changes You Need To Know

SAT is a standardized admissions exam for US universities and colleges. The College Board has announced that the new SAT exam will be held digitally from 2023 to 2024. Test scores will remain the same (Total: 400-1600; 200-800 Reading and Writing; 200-800 Math)

March 2023 – International test centres will start administering digital SAT. 

Spring 2024 – US test centres will start administering the digital SAT.


Key Changes

  • Format: The pen-and-paper exam will be completely digital. Candidates will take the test on a tablet or a laptop.
  • Duration: The new SAT test will be shortened to 2 hours, instead 3 hours.
  • Reading: Passages will be shorter and will be taken from a broader range of college tests. Students will only have to answer one question per SAT reading passage.
  • Math: Students can use a calculator for the math section, either the built-in calculator in the app or bring one of their own.
  • Stage Adaptive: Students will have unique tests. The difficulty of a section’s second stage is based on the performance of the first stage.
  • Unscored questions: Each test will have 4 unscored questions mixed in with the scored questions.
  • Results: Score reports for the new SAT exam will be available within days instead of weeks.

sat new changes


Aspects That Are Unchanged

  • The SAT scores will be calculated out of 1600. Each of the sections (Reading & Writing and Math) will be scored on a scale of 800 points.
  • Both sections will have multiple-choice questions. 
  • No penalty deductions for the wrong answers.
  • SAT optional essay discontinued.
  • Students will take the test at a school or test centre.
  • Accommodations will be available for approved students based on medical needs or learning differences.

Benefits Of The New SAT

  • The new SAT test will be shorter and more secure.
  • A better and more flexible experience for test takers.
  • More opportunities for test-takers who live outside of the United States to take it annually (7 instead of 5 previously).
  • Adaptive test with a calculator and timer on the screen that counts down the time to the end of the test and provides a 5-minute warning.
  • Questions will be more concise and straightforward.
  • Can be taken on candidates’ own devices or one from the examination centre.
  • More time per question will allow students to process each question.
  • Unique test for each candidate (the correct responses in the first stage of an SAT section will determine the level of difficulty for the questions in the next stage of the section).
  • Streamlined testing and a digital interface.
  • Easy movement between questions and accessible math formulae.

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