We’ve asked students when they’d guess the SAT first debuted, and their guesses are usually the same: around the 1960s or 1970s.
The true answer? 1926. Nobody expects that the SAT is nearing its 100th birthday!
Over that long history, the SAT test is no stranger to change. It’s undergone countless structural tweaks, with some subtle and some brazen. To highlight what those changes are like, let’s take a look at the current SAT.
Right now, the current edition of the SAT features four sections: one reading, one grammar, and two math sections. This version of the test is very similar to the ACT and is relatively narrow in scope. The score is out of 1600 points, comprised of two 800-point subscores: math and evidence-based reading and writing. But did you know this version of the test is only a few years old?
If we rewind to 2014, the SAT test had ten sections! There were three reading sections (which included a section testing vocabulary), three math sections, three grammar sections, and a mandatory essay section. Your overall score was out of 2400 points, comprised of three 800-point subscores: math, reading, and grammar.
Rewinding back to 1926, the test was something altogether different. There was a portion of the test where students had to translate Latin into English. Another section challenged students to work with a made-up language after supplying a few translations! All in all, the test sections were Definitions, Arithmetical Problems, Classification, Artificial Language, Antonyms, Number Series, Analogies, Logical Inference, and Paragraph Reading… nothing like today’s SAT! You can browse through the original test with this link here.
Who knows what 2119’s SAT might look like?