An In-depth Analysis of the New SAT Pattern and How to Tackle It

The SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test, has long been a pivotal milestone for high school students aspiring to pursue higher education in the United States. It’s a standardized test that measures a student’s readiness for college and is used by admissions committees to evaluate applicants.An In-depth Analysis of the New SAT Pattern and How to Tackle It

Over the years, the SAT has undergone several changes, and in recent times, a new pattern has been introduced. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the new SAT pattern, explore the reasons behind its implementation, and offer strategies to tackle it effectively.

The Evolution of the SAT

Before delving into the new SAT pattern, let’s take a brief look at the test’s evolution. The SAT was first introduced in 1926 as a means to level the playing field for college admissions by providing a standardized metric for assessing students’ abilities.

For decades, the SAT consisted of three main sections: Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, each scored on a scale of 200-800, with a total possible score of 2400.

However, in 2016, the College Board, the organization responsible for the SAT, made significant changes. They returned to a 1600-point scale, eliminated the penalty for wrong answers, and removed the mandatory essay section, making it optional.

These changes aimed to make the test more accessible and relevant to today’s educational landscape.

The New SAT Pattern

In 2020, the College Board introduced another wave of changes to the SAT, referred to as the “New SAT Pattern.”

This pattern was influenced by several factors, including feedback from colleges and high schools, shifts in educational priorities, and the desire to create a more equitable assessment. The New SAT pattern consists of two main sections:

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW)

This section combines elements of the previous Critical Reading and Writing sections. It assesses a student’s reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills. EBRW is scored on a scale of 200-800.


The Math section remains largely unchanged, evaluating a student’s mathematical skills and problem-solving abilities. It is also scored on a scale of 200-800.

Additionally, the New SAT includes an optional Essay section, but its significance has diminished as many colleges no longer require it.

Reasons Behind the New SAT Pattern

The College Board’s decision to introduce the New SAT pattern was driven by several goals:

Alignment with High School Curriculum

The new pattern is designed to be more closely aligned with the skills and knowledge taught in high schools. This ensures that the SAT reflects what students are learning in the classroom.

Reduction of Test Prep Advantage

The College Board aimed to reduce the advantage that students who could afford extensive test preparation had. By focusing on skills and knowledge rather than test-taking strategies, they hoped to level the playing field.

Increased Relevance

The New SAT pattern emphasizes skills that are considered essential for success in college and beyond, such as critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving.


The removal of the mandatory essay and other changes aimed to make the SAT more accessible to a wider range of students.

Strategies to Tackle the New SAT

Now that we’ve explored the New SAT pattern and its rationale, let’s discuss some effective strategies to tackle this revamped exam:

Understand the Format

Familiarize yourself with the format of the New SAT. Practice with official College Board materials to get a sense of the types of questions and content you’ll encounter.

Time Management

Time management is crucial. Allocate a specific amount of time to each section and practice completing them within the allotted time limits.

Strengthen Your Math Skills

The Math section remains an essential part of the SAT. Brush up on your math skills, especially in areas where you may need improvement. Utilize resources like Khan Academy for targeted practice.

Vocabulary and Reading Skills

To excel in the EBRW section, work on expanding your vocabulary and improving your reading comprehension skills. Read widely and practice summarizing texts.

Eliminate Wrong Answers

When faced with multiple-choice questions, use the process of elimination to narrow down your choices. This increases your chances of selecting the correct answer.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Take advantage of official SAT practice tests and other reputable study materials. Regular practice is key to building confidence and improving your performance.

Consider the Essay

If you choose to complete the optional Essay section, practice your essay-writing skills. Develop a clear thesis, provide evidence to support your arguments, and proofread your work.

Test-Taking Strategies

Learn test-taking strategies, such as skipping difficult questions and returning to them later. Focus on the questions you can answer confidently first.

Stay Calm and Confident

On test day, stay calm and confident. Remember that your SAT score is just one part of your college application, and many colleges have adopted test-optional policies.


The New SAT pattern represents a significant shift in the way students are assessed for college readiness. It aims to be more relevant, accessible, and aligned with high school curricula.

To tackle this revamped exam effectively, students should employ a combination of strategies, including understanding the format, time management, skill improvement, and ample practice.

Ultimately, the SAT is just one component of the college application process, and with the right preparation, students can approach it with confidence and succeed on their path to higher education.

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