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Chris Lele

How Will Scoring Change on the New SAT?

Scoring on the new SAT has gotten both simpler and a whole lot more complicated. But let’s start with the simple first. The test is no longer out of 2400 but is out of 1600. Reading and writing have been lumped into one section that is out of 800. The math section will constitute the other 800 points. And remember how the essay used to be part of your writing score? Well, now the essay will be optional and will not be included in your writing score.

In line with the simplicity motif, guessing will no longer be penalized. That’s right, the pesky ¼ penalty (pesky because it was tedious to calculate and it redounded negatively on your score) has gone the way of dinosaurs and bell-bottoms.

So how have things gotten more complicated? Well, there will be different domains of knowledge that will overlap sections. For instance, your ability to interpret data, aka “the graph” will be tested across bot sections. Some of the reading passages and some of the writing will have questions dealing with graphs. Another domain will also include your ability to understand how words function in context. The idea is colleges won’t know your score but they will also have a breakdown of your skills across a variety of areas.

To the best of my knowledge, all questions will be weighed the same. However, the number of questions you need to get correct in order to get a specific score (a topic referred to as “scaling”) is something College Board has yet to release. Hopefully, that information will give us a better sense of how scoring will work on the new test.


Did you know that Magoosh offers online test prep for the New SAT exam? We also give discounts to students who purchase subscriptions for more than one exam. Learn more at


P.S. Ready to get your highest SAT score? Start here.
About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 10 million views. You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog! You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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