At a glance: Changes to the SAT

      File photo.
      File photo.
      Changes coming in 2016 to the SAT:

      — No more extra penalties for wrong answers.

      — Essay portion will be optional.

      — Score scale will be 1,600 with a separate score for the essay compared to today's possible total of 2,400.

      — Can be taken in either paper or digital form, not just by using a pencil.

      — Will include a passage drawn from "founding documents" such as the Declaration of Independence or from discussions they inspire.

      — Calculators will be permitted only on certain portions of the math section, not on the entire section.

      — Students will be asked to analyze both text and data in real world contexts instead of answering questions that don't require that.

      — Vocabulary words more widely used in classroom and work settings will replace more obscure vocabulary words.

      — Essays will measure students' ability to analyze evidence and explain how an author builds an argument, not just students' ability to construct an argument.

      — The math section will draw from fewer topics instead of a wide range.

      Source: College Board