Quick-Start Guide to SAT Changes

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While the SAT itself has been redesigned, most policies and procedures remain the same.

Hot Topic: The SAT Essay Is Optional

When students register for the new SAT, they decide if they want to sign up for the SAT Essay. To make an informed choice, they should know two things:

Students can switch between the SAT and the SAT with Essay online up until the registration deadline. And they might be able to switch on test day—at the discretion of the test center supervisor—if materials, seats, and staff are available.

Students who take the SAT with Essay sit together and have 50 minutes to write their response.

Additional Important Changes

  • The structure, timing, and scoring have all changed. Compare SAT specifications.
  • On the new SAT, students can use a calculator on one part of the Math Test, but not the other.
  • Changes to accommodations for students with disabilities include the replacement of cassettes with MP3 audio and the provision of extra breaks to students approved for extended time. Get the complete list of SSD changes.

Not Changing

The Registration Process

Except for choosing between the SAT with Essay and the SAT, registration is the same as it always was. Point students to this step-by-step online registration guide.

Accommodations Requests

The accommodations request process remains the same. Students with disabilities need to have approval from the College Board before testing with accommodations. Kick off the request process at least seven weeks before test day. Find out how on the Services for Students with Disabilities website.

Getting Ready for Test Day

Students should still arrive at the test center by 7:45 a.m.—with these all-important items:

Students can get a complete test day checklist and find out what to expect on test day.