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The New SAT

Who will take the new SAT?

The class of 2006 will be the first class to take the new SAT for college admissions. The new test will first be administered in March, 2005.

How long is the new test?

The total test time is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

How is the new test scored?

There are 3 sections to the new test (Critical Reading, Math and Writing). Each section is scored 200-800 points.

Why is the SAT changing?

The SAT assesses student reasoning based on knowledge and skills developed by the student in school coursework. The new SAT will improve the alignment of the test with current curriculum and institutional practices in high school and college. By including a third measure of skills -- writing, the new SAT will help colleges make better admissions and placement decisions. In that way, the new SAT will reinforce the importance of writing throughout a student's education

What will change?

(new section)

  • Multiple-choice questions (grammar and usage)

  • Student-written essay

Critical Reading
(currently called Verbal)

  • Analogies eliminated

  • Short reading passages added to existing long reading passages


  • Math content expanded to include topics from third-year college preparatory math

  • Quantitative comparisons eliminated

Should I take the old or new SAT?

The Enrichment Center cannot recommend whether you should take the old or new SAT. Each college is establishing its own policy. We suggest that you contact each school you’re considering and inquire about its policy, then decide which version of the test makes the most sense for you.

How many questions are in each section, and how much time will I have?

Section Questions Time Comments

(new section)

49 multiple-choice questions and essay

60 minutes

Grammar usage and word choice

Critical Reading
(currently called Verbal)

67 multiple-choice questions

70 minutes

Sentence completion and reading comprehension


44 multiple-choice questions, 10 grid-in questions

70 minutes

Tougher math, including Algebra II

Articles & Resource Sites

College Board

Spark Notes New SAT Information Center

Inside the New SAT -- US News & World Report

Surviving the New SAT -- MSNBC News

Student dilemma: Take the old SAT, or await the new? -- Christian Science Monitor

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New SAT starting March 2005

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