Redesigned SAT FAQ

General Redesigned SAT Questions

When will students first take the redesigned SAT?

The first students will take the redesigned SAT in March 2016. 

Why change the current SAT?

  • For years, colleges and universities used SAT scores in combination with other student achievements (GPA) to predict student success in college.
  • Years of data have proven that students are not performing better on the SAT over time. The data also shows that almost 60% of students are graduating from high school without being “College Ready” as defined by the SAT, despite many of those students successfully completing college. 
  • The redesign will better reflect the work that students complete in high school.
  • The redesign will provide institutions of higher education with a clearer picture of student readiness for college by focusing on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that are essential for college readiness and success.

What are the general differences between the current SAT and the redesigned SAT? And the ACT?

  • The redesigned SAT will be more aligned to Common Core and what students learn in school/need to master to be prepared for college-level coursework.
  • The redesigned SAT will contain two sections: Evidence-based reading and writing and Math, plus an optional essay.  These will be covered over fewer, longer test sections.
  • The redesigned SAT will have rights-only scoring, meaning there is no guessing penalty.
  • See this SAT Comparison Chart for more details. 

Is the redesigned SAT harder than the current SAT?

  • The redesigned SAT will be more aligned to what students are learning in their core content area classes in school than the current SAT.
  • The redesigned SAT will go more in depth with fewer topics.  If students have a strong grasp of those topics, they will be well-poised for success on the revised SAT.
  • See this Test Organization for a comparison of the organization of the current and redesigned SAT.

How is the redesigned SAT scored?

  • Major changes to scoring include:
    • The SAT will have a 400- to 1600-point score scale instead of a 600- to 2400-point scale.
    • Scores for the Essay section will be reported separately.
    • The redesigned exam will give credit for every correct response but will not deduct points for incorrect answers (rights-only scoring).
    • The test includes 2 section scores (“Evidence-Based Reading and Writing” and “Math”) with a scale of 200-800 points each.
    • The test also includes cross-test scores (scaled 10 – 40) including questions from across the sections.
    • The test also includes test scores for reading, writing and language, and math (scaled 10 – 40).
    • Finally, the test includes 7 subscores covering specific skill areas within the sections (scaled 1 – 15).
  • For a mathematical translation of the old scoring range to the new scoring range, see our rSAT Scoring Translation Report.
  • See the College Board’s Scoring Chart for more information about scoring.

How and when can I register for the redesigned SAT? What will the new redesigned SAT score reports look like? I want to know more about the redesigned SAT, in general.

CollegeSpring’s Approach to the Redesigned SAT

What is CollegeSpring doing to prepare for the redesigned SAT?

  • CollegeSpring has a team of several full-time staff members, plus contractors, working to prepare for this transition.  We are:
    • Redoing all curriculum and training materials to align to the redesigned SAT’s content.
    • Overhauling our grading and data systems to align to the redesigned SAT’s scoring.
    • Training our full-time staff to provide support aligned to the new program resources.
  • Over time, CollegeSpring will revise all of the systems above based on staff and partner feedback, and create new/revised supplemental resources.
  • CollegeSpring is working in partnership with the College Board to ensure that we have the most accurate, up-to-date information from the testmakers. 

Why should schools use CollegeSpring when Khan Academy is free?

  • For our population of students, having a trusted teacher or mentor guide them through the process will provide the motivation, support, and personalized instruction they need to prepare for the SAT.  CollegeSpring can play this role and provide students with the content and framework they will need to succeed on the SAT.
  • We believe that Khan Academy as a stand-alone option is most likely to benefit students who are self-motivated and/or parent-motivated to engage in SAT prep and who have reliable internet/device access. Many of our students require support from teachers and mentors with motivation.
  • Khan Academy is a great resource for free practice problems and some content support. CollegeSpring will be incorporating Khan Academy options for all content areas into its program beginning in AYP 15-16.

What is CollegeSpring's relationship with the College Board?

  • CollegeSpring and the College Board have an informal partnership with the shared goal of ensuring that changes being made to the SAT benefit traditionally underserved student populations. The College Board has materially supported CollegeSpring since our founding. 

Impact on CollegeSpring Programs

What changes will program partners experience in Academic Year 2015-2016?

  • A smooth transition from the current SAT to redesigned SAT for partners, instructors, mentors, and students is our top priority.
  • The program model will change very little.  We will still offer:
    • 80 hours of SAT prep and college readiness programming, split between instruction, mentoring, and testing.
    • 4 diagnostic tests produced by the College Board.
    • Support from full-time CollegeSpring staff with program implementation, troubleshooting, and test scoring.
  • The biggest changes to the program model include:
    • New content and scoring aligned to the new test.
    • Two sets of materials, one for fall and one for spring.
    • Mandatory, more intensive mid-year training for instructors.
    • Additional practice options for all content areas with Khan Academy.
  • See our Comparison Chart for more details. 

What impact will the changes have on program quality?

  • We anticipate that the CollegeSpring redesigned SAT program will ultimately be just as effective as the current SAT program.  
  • The content and format of the current SAT appear to be fairly well translated to the redesigned SAT, meaning that it will feel somewhat familiar to our full-time school support staff, instructors, and mentors, most of whom took the current (or old) SAT.  
  • We are working very hard to ensure that the transition to redesigned SAT programming involves minimal disruption to students, instructors, mentors, and school site personnel. 

What will Diagnostic Testing look like?

  • We will still have 4 diagnostic tests, 1 administered as a baseline test and 3 administered throughout the program.
  • The timing of testing sessions will be adjusted slightly.  The entire test will be either slightly longer or slightly shorter, depending on whether students take the optional essay at the end.
  • As with the actual redesigned SAT, the diagnostic tests will have fewer longer sections.
  • The essay is optional.  We recommend that all students practice taking the essay until there is a clearer picture of which colleges will require it. 

What will Diagnostic Test score reports look like?

  • We will continue to provide reports after every diagnostic test to students, instructors, mentors, schools, and networks, as well as post-program reports to schools and networks.
  • DT reports will communicate similar information (point gains, questions right-wrong-unanswered, broken down by section and sub-section) but will be keyed to the scoring system of the rSAT

Curriculum & Materials

What program resources will partners receive from CollegeSpring?

  • Partners will receive:
    • Curriculum materials for instructors, mentors, and students
    • Implementation support
    • Pacing guides
    • Test grading and reporting
    • Detailed data analysis and support with differentiated recommendations
    • Training for school staff
    • Small group mentor sessions
    • Support for students on non-cognitive skills essential to getting students motivated to apply to and enroll in college 

How can I provide feedback on the new CollegeSpring materials?

Explicitly for the redesigned SAT, we have launched a special feedback page. Any feedback specific to the redesigned SAT is welcome through that page.

In addition:

  • As always, instructors and mentors will have the opportunity to provide survey feedback after each training session and at the end of the program.  We do analyze this data and use it to inform the development of future training sessions and resources.
  • There may be an opportunity for seasonal staff and partners to participate in focus groups with the National Programs Team.  These will take place in March, after instructors have been significantly exposed to the spring curriculum materials, and before we launch fully into creating version 2 of the redesigned SAT materials. 

When will a sample curriculum/lesson plan be available?

A sample curriculum/lesson plan is available now. Click here to view a sample.