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Old SAT vs. New SAT

Top 10 Changes Coming to the SAT in 2016

You may have recently heard that the SAT is changing — and changing drastically (some even say it may be more challenging than the current test).

It is easy to get lost in the myriad of changes the College Board has planned for the new SAT, set to debut in the Spring of 2016. So we here at Magoosh have designed this easy-on-the-eyes infographic to make all these changes a little easier to digest.

Check it out, share it with your friends, and let us know what you think about the changes by leaving us a comment at the bottom of the post! :)

Find Out How the SAT’s Changes Affect You

(Click the infographic to enlarge.)

Old SAT vs. New SAT


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What do you think? Will the New SAT be harder than the Old SAT? Don’t forget that a new SAT means a new PSAT!. Learn how the PSAT will be changing (hint: there will be more than one!).


About the Author

For the last ten years, Chris has been helping students excel on the SAT and the GRE. In this time, he’s coached 5 students to a perfect SAT score. Some of his GRE students have raised their scores by nearly 400 points. He has taken many GMAT students from the doldrums of the 600s to the coveted land of the 700+. Rumor has it he does a secret happy dance when his students get a perfect score. You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and SAT blog.

8 Responses to Old SAT vs. New SAT

  1. Areebasuhail July 12, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Hii.i have an option to give the new sat or the old one.But I am kind of good at math and okay with english.Which one should I give the old one or the new one?Please reply quickly.Thanks in advance.

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig July 13, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

      Hello Areebasuhail,

      That’s a tough question! The two versions of the SAT will be fairly different in terms of the material that they test, in addition to having different scoring. However, both the current version of the SAT and the redesigned SAT (which will be held starting in March, 2016) test students on their math and English skills.

      Some things to consider:
      – The redesigned version will have an optional, rather than a required essay section. Some universities may still want to see your SAT essay score, though, so many students will likely opt to take the optional essay no matter what.
      – One key change will be that the redesigned SAT will not subtract points for wrong answers. The current SAT exam subtracts 1/4 of a point for each wrong answer on a multiple-choice question. The new SAT will not do that, so you won’t be penalized for guessing.

      I’d recommend taking a look at this chart from the College Board. It compares the current version of the SAT with the redesigned version, and can help you make your decision.

      I hope that helps! Best of luck with the SAT. :)

  2. Maria Aykara June 12, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    So there is no material to help us review for the new test? How are students supposed to prepare for the test?

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig June 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      Hi Maria!

      Here at Magoosh we are starting to put together our Magoosh SAT prep for the Redesigned SAT. We plan to have it ready by the first of the year (2016) so that students have a few months to prep before the SAT changes. The first Redesigned SAT exam will be given in March 2016.

      However, if you’d like to start familiarizing yourself with the new exam now, there are resources available. College Board teamed up with Khan Academy to offer free practice questions for the Redesigned SAT. You can check them out here. I’ve looked through the material, and am really happy to see that it includes authentic practice tests for students to take as they prepare. :)

      We will also start putting together some Magoosh blog posts about the Redesigned SAT, now that College Board released some actual details about the types of questions you’ll see on the exam (finally!)

      I hope that helps answer your question! :) Let me know if I can help you with anything else.


  3. Lindsay March 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    NOOOOO!!! I much prefer the old version! I’m now going to be a genui pig! And there is now no study material I can rely on. Plus, I’m terrible at math so adding pre-calculus and trigonometry, no calculators, more graphs and ect. Is not good for me. Why do they have to change it? lol it was doing fine (except for the obscure vocab). They are making it more like the ACT. Might as well, just take off the SAT and only have the ACT. ACT was more subject based, SAT was more a reasoning (which I much preferred) now they are making it both subject based?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 5, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

      Yes, I know. I hear you. I think a great test is being lost and replaced with one that is more similar to the ACT–and therefore less necessary. And you’re right: the emphasis on reasoning. We are going to lose that. I wonder how, exactly, that will change the make-up of some of the IVY league’s freshman classes. Who knows?

      The good news is we’ll have some material out for the new test at some point, so you won’t have to worry about going into the test completely cold :)

  4. Grace January 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    Since the essay became optional, does that mean that only some colleges would require students to have the essay section? Which colleges would ask for it?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 5, 2015 at 10:40 pm #


      Good question!

      It seems that many colleges are going to require the essay, typically the higher rated colleges. If this trend catches on, who knows if the SAT essay will be optional at all :(

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

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