The Redesigned SAT: What Does It Mean?

Author: Shannon Rooney


As of March 2016, the College Board began administering a redesigned SAT. We know you may have some questions about the new test and how it affects the application process. We’ve outlined some basics below, and you can find an FAQ here. The redesigned SAT will primarily impact those enrolling in college in the fall of 2017. Students enrolling in college in fall 2018 will have taken the redesigned SAT.

Why is the SAT changing?
According to the College Board, the changes “support college readiness and success for more students and ensure that those who are prepared take full advantage of the opportunities they’ve earned through their hard work. Because a test alone can’t change student outcomes, assessments such as the SAT must be integrated with rigorous classroom instruction, and through their results, propel students to greater opportunities. The redesigned SAT will reward productive use of classroom time and a focus on rigorous course work.” More information is available on the College Board website.

How is the SAT changing?
The redesigned SAT will have two 800-point sections instead of three. The new format asks students to support their answers with evidence, vocabulary they’ll use long after they’ve taken the exam, an essay prompt asking them to analyze a writer’s argument, and multi-step problems requiring math applied to real-world contexts.

There are two required sections on the redesigned SAT: 1) Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 2) Math. The total SAT composite score will be reported on a scale ranging from 400-1600, with 200-800 as the range of scores for each of the two sections, not including the essay section. The changes are broken down on the College Board website.

How does the redesigned SAT affect the college application process?
Be assured, Notre Dame will accept scores from either the previous or redesigned SAT. And the University does not have a preference for either version. We strive to make the process of applying to Notre Dame as fair and equitable as possible for every applicant.

For more information, check out our FAQ here