» 2016 SAT Redesign

In March of 2016, the CollegeBoard launched the redesigned SAT. We’ve received a multitude of questions from counselors, students and parents around the redesign and how Chapman University will use the new SAT scores in the admission process. We’ve compiled some of the common questions in a FAQ section below to address your concerns and will add to this list as new questions arise. 

College Board Resources

+ - Overview of the SAT redesign

For information on the redesigned SAT, including what has changed and how it applies to you please visit the College Board website.

+ - SAT Score Converter Tool

The College Board has released a score converter app which allows you to compare and convert the new SAT, old SAT and the ACT. 

+ - Concordance Tables

The concordance tables take a more in depth look at how the old and new scores compare. It was designed with educators in mind, but anyone is welcome to access and utilize the tables.


+ - What is new about the redesigned SAT?

Quite simply, the new SAT now has two 800-point sections instead of three. The Math section is still known as Math, but components of the Critical Reading section and Writing section will be used to create the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score. The essay portion is now optional (and is recommended, but not required for Chapman University applicants), and will not factor into the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.

+ - What is superscoring?

If you’ve sat for the SAT multiple times, Chapman will combine your highest score for each section across your testing dates. For example, a student's best Critical Reading score from one sitting of the SAT would be combined with his or her best Math score from another test date. Superscoring will not include the optional Writing section. Chapman University does not superscore the ACT, only the SAT. It’s also important to note that we will not superscore between the old and redesigned version of the SAT because the methodology behind those scores differs and simply is not constructed in the same manner.

+ - Should I take the optional Essay portion?

Chapman University recommends you do take the essay portion, however we do not require it. Keep in mind that other universities might require it. It’s truly up to you to determine if it would be valuable for you to take it. Luckily, CollegeBoard has made it simple to figure out which schools will and won’t require it during the admissions process. If you do submit your essay scores, they will not be factored into your admission decision.

+ - How does Chapman University use test scores?

Test scores are used for a variety of purposes. First, they help determine course placement when a student registers for coursework after accepting an admission offer. They are also used to help determine college readiness in a way that’s standardized (unlike variations in school grading policies). Lastly, test scores factor into Chapman’s merit (academic) scholarship calculation. But, they’re considered as just one part of our holistic evaluation. Your admission decision will not be determined solely by your SAT (or ACT) score.

+ - Should I take the SAT or ACT?

You may be hesitant to take the redesigned SAT because it’s new. But it’s “newness” shouldn’t dictate which test you take. We continue to view both tests as valid and reliable assessments and you should consider both equally. Ultimately, you should take the one with which you’re most comfortable, and we recommend siting for both at least once to see which you prefer and score the highest on. If you do take both, rest assured that Chapman will automatically use the higher of your two tests during our holistic admission review.

+ - How should I prepare for taking the test?

You can find free test practice for the SAT with their Khan Academy partnership. There are plenty of other free test prep options available online and you may find resources in your high school’s college counseling office and library. Chapman University wants you to do well on the SAT or ACT, but remember that we consider all parts of your application during the review process.