Old SAT Vs. Redesigned SAT Chart

Want to know even more about the redesign? Check out Redesigned SAT 101 for all the facts. 

Old SAT vs. Redesigned SAT Chart

Below, you'll find the basics about the changes that happened to the exam in an easy, grab-it-and-go format. If you'd like more information about any of the features in the chart (the current SAT scoring, for example, which is dramatically different from the old SAT) click on the links to find detailed explanations of each. 

Old SAT Redesigned SAT
Testing Time 3 hours and 45 minutes (225 minutes)

3 hours. 50 minutes for the optional essay

180 minutes or 230 minutes with essay

Test Sections

Critical Reading



Essay (not optional)

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, Optional Essay)


Number of Questions or Tasks

Critical Reading: 67

Mathematics: 54

Writing: 49

Essay: 1

Total: 171

Reading: 52

Writing and Language: 44

Mathematics: 57

Optional Essay: 1

Total: 153 (154 with essay)


Composite score: 600 - 800

CR score: 200 - 800

Math score: 200 - 800

Writing score including essay: 200 - 800

Composite score: 400 - 1600

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 200 - 800

Math score: 200 - 800

Optional Essay: 2-8 in three areas

Subscores, area scores and cross-test scores will also be reported: More info, here!

Penalties The current SAT penalizes incorrect answers 1/4 point. No penalties for incorrect answers

The 8 Key Changes of the Redesigned SAT

Along with changes to the test format, there were eight key changes that happened to the test that are a bit broader in scope than what's explained above. Students now need to do things like demonstrate a command of evidence across the test, meaning that they need to be able to demonstrate that they understand why they've gotten answers correct. Obscure vocabulary words went far, far away in the redesign, too (Goodbye, and good riddance, too.) They were replaced with "Tier Two" words most commonly used in texts and other platforms in college, the workplace, and the real world. Similarly, math problems are now grounded in real-world contexts emphasizing relevance to students. And science and history texts are now utilized for reading and writing along with important documents from American history and the global community. 

The link above explains each in more thorough detail.

SAT Scoring

Since the SAT went through such a major, thorough overhaul, testers are concerned about concurrence between the old and Redesigned SAT. Will students who have the old scores be penalized in some way for not having the most up-to-date test under their belts? How will students taking the current exam really know what sort of scores to shoot for if there is no long history of SAT scores established?

The College Board has developed a concordance table between the current SAT and the Redesigned SAT for college admissions officers, guidance counselors and students to use as a reference. 

In the meantime, take a peek at SAT Scoring Frequently Asked Questions to see average national SAT scores, percentile rankings by school, score release dates, scores by state and what to do if your SAT score is really, really bad. 

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Roell, Kelly. "Old SAT Vs. Redesigned SAT Chart." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/old-sat-vs-redesigned-sat-chart-3211536. Roell, Kelly. (2023, April 5). Old SAT Vs. Redesigned SAT Chart. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/old-sat-vs-redesigned-sat-chart-3211536 Roell, Kelly. "Old SAT Vs. Redesigned SAT Chart." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/old-sat-vs-redesigned-sat-chart-3211536 (accessed May 27, 2023).