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Letter from David Coleman and Cyndie Schmeiser

April 16, 2014

Dear Parents, Students, and Colleagues,

On March 5, we announced our commitment to a redesigned SAT that is more open and clear than any in our history. Today we sustain that commitment by releasing the full specifications for the exam as well as sample items. 

The changes to the SAT will distinguish it from any current admission exam. This will be the first admission exam that requires students to cite evidence in support of their understanding of texts in both reading and writing. There will be real-world applications of reading and math not only in science, but also in social science and career contexts involving both text and graphics. There is also the unprecedented commitment that on every exam students will encounter a text from the Founding Documents or the Great Global Conversation they inspire. The level of focus in math is another significant advancement, allowing students to concentrate on fewer topics that are most essential for college and career success.   

These draft test specifications and sample items are just that — drafts. As such, they will systematically evolve over time. Actual items used on the exam will go through extensive reviews and pretesting to help ensure that they are clear and fair, and that they measure what is intended. The test specifications as well as the research foundation defining what is measured on the test will continue to be honed based on ongoing research and actual student performance data. And when we make the exam available in a digital format as well as on paper, different item formats that take advantage of the latest technology will become possible. 

We are releasing these early materials two years in advance of the first administration of the redesigned SAT. It is our goal that every student who takes the test will be well informed and will know exactly what to expect on the day of the test. As part of our ongoing commitment, we will continue to provide updated resources and materials so that all students can do their best work.  Please sign up for updates .

The redesigned SAT is just one part of our broader effort to deliver opportunity. By working together, we can ensure that many more students will be college and career ready and take advantage of the opportunities they have earned. 


David Coleman, President and CEO, The College Board, Cynthia B. Schmeiser, Chief of Assessment, The College Board David Coleman Cyndie Schmeiser