Starting this March, all High School Juniors will take an updated SAT test format. The New SAT will be a lot more like the ACT in that it will test school skills more and rely less on “testing tricks.” Shown below is a summary of key differences students can expect.  Although the Essay is no longer mandatory, CEF recommends you take it to enhance your chances of acceptance to UC schools.


If you are interested in taking an SAT Prep Class, CEF offers courses through Princeton Review and Revolution Prep at a special discount for both in-person and on-line classes.

For more details, visit



The major differences are highlighted in red
When can you take it? January 2016 or Before March 2016 or After
Which classes can use it for college? High School Class of 2016, 2017 Class of 2017, 2018+
Lowest and Highest Score Possible 600-2400 400-1600
Median Score (a satisfactory score) 1500 1000
75th Percentile Score (a good score) 1720 1150
25th Percentile Score (a bad score) 1270 850
Time 3 hour 45 minutes 3 hours 50 minutes
Sections Reading, Writing (Mandatory Essay), Math Reading and Writing (together), Math, Optional Essay
Guessing Penalty 1/4 point off for wrong answers No guessing penalty (but this doesn’t matter much)
Format Pencil and Paper Only Pencil and Paper OR Computer
Math Change Highlights Geometry and shapes Data interpretation and graphs
Reading Change Highlights Memorizing vocab, sentence completion Evidence support, data reasoning
Writing Change Highlights Individual sentences and grammatical rules Passage-based questions
Essay Changes 25 minutes, answer to a theoretical prompt 50 minutes, analyze another essay