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Next Steps Blog


The New SAT is 2016

by Susan Lee, Director of College Counseling

This year's sophomore class will be the first class to have the opportunity to take the NEW SAT. Here is some information to contextualize the new test.


David Coleman became president of the College Board in 2012. Dr. Coleman had previously been involved in developing the national Common Core standards that detail what students should know at each grade level. When he became president of the College Board, he was public in his criticism of the SAT and he vowed to change the test so that it would more accurately measure what students should be learning in school. Meanwhile, the ACT has been capturing more of the market share of college testing. Coleman's arrival heralded a change.

This past year, the College Board announced that, indeed, there would be a new SAT in 2016. The new SAT would be "a reflection of the kinds of meaningful, engaging, rigorous work that students must undertake in the best high school courses being taught today, thereby creating a robust and durable bond between assessment and instruction."


To date, there are many details that the public (even the testing community) does NOT know about the new SAT. We DO know some things….

  • The scoring will return to the 1600 point scale. This will include Evidence Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math (M) sections.
  • The essay will be optional. The prompt for the essay will remain the same – the passage will change.
  • There will be no guessing penalty.
  • The new SAT will be more focused on a strong high school curriculum, more in depth, more relevant to real world contexts (no more arcane vocabulary words!), and more transparent.
  • Free online test prep will be available through Khan Academy.

The College Board will be releasing more information and test questions this coming spring. Meanwhile, there is no need to try to prepare for the new test – any prep could not match the structure of the new SAT. Stay away from test prep companies that are promoting prep or "inside knowledge" of the new SAT.


The PSAT in October, 2015 will be the first glance at the new SAT.

The SAT in March, 2016 will be the first "new" SAT administered as a national test.

Posted by lgersick on Friday January, 23, 2015 at 09:45AM


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Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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