9 Things Students and Parents Need to Know About the New SAT
The new SAT came into effect March 2016. That means students taking the SAT this year will be administered the new test.
The purpose of the redesign was to rid the test of its mysteries, and instead focus on everyday subject material one might encounter. How can a student prepare for a brand new test?
Well for starters, the College Board has made sample questions available for students to practice before taking the exam. If you’re serious about getting a good score, it’s worth it to rely on test prep experts who understand and have experience with the new content…and don’t just believe us because we are test prep experts. Most, if not all, objective college admissions counselors will tell students that working with a tutor in some capacity is important for measurable score improvement.
Here is a quick high level overview of how the SAT has changed to help calm any initial anxieties. And of course, call us if you’d like to learn more!
Designed To Reflect What Students Have Learned
Students can expect the new SAT to better reflect their high-school curriculum –assuming their teachers have been properly applying the curriculum to their lessons.
Following the first administration of the new SAT, the College Board conducted a survey of 8,089 students who completed the test. Their study found that the majority of students had positive reactions to taking the new test with 71 percent saying that the test reflected what they’ve learned in school.
Say Goodbye To Obscure Vocab
Students will no longer have to stress about challenging vocab questions. The new SAT focuses on words that are typically used in conversation and ditches the antiquated vocabulary of old. Huge win for students!
The College Board found that 80 percent of students who completed the March SAT examination said the vocabulary on the test would be useful to them later in life – compared with the 55 percent that said so in March 2015 following the old SAT.
Just Two Sections To Worry About; Math And Evidence-Based Reading And Writing
These sections now place a higher emphasis on material students are likely to encounter in college. The content draws from the Common Core math and reading expectations of most states.
Math – Some basic trigonometry and statistics questions have been added to the math section. But students who have never taken a trigonometry and/or statistics class shouldn’t worry too much as they only account for a small portion of the math sections.
Students should also be prepared to solve math equations without a calculator. The new SAT consists of an entire math section in which calculators are not permitted.
And regardless of whether or not a calculator is allowed, it’s often not needed. Trust your gut- if the math can be done in your head, take advantage, and save time.
Reading and Writing – Students are expected to analyze passages from a variety of disciplines including history, social studies and science. In addition, tests no longer ask students to complete sentences but rather to demonstrate that they understand various words they are likely to see in college.
The Once Required Essay Is Now Optional
The essay section of the SAT is no longer mandatory for students. Very few schools actually require it, but it’s always safe to check before taking the test.
Students should inquire whether or not the colleges they are applying to require the essay portion of the SAT before they choose not to write it.
If the schools you are applying to don’t require the essay, and you are not a strong writer, its okay to skip it.
2400 Is No Longer A Perfect Score
The new SAT scores students on a scale ranging from 400 to 1600. This is because the essay is no longer a mandatory section and is therefore reported separately.
The Penalty For Guessing Has Been Eliminated
No more worrying about incorrect answers. The new SAT will only award points for questions answered correctly and won’t deduct points for any wrong answers. That means that students should answer every question – even if they are unsure – and try their best to fill in any remaining multiple choice questions when running out of time.
Number Of Possible Answers Has Decreased – Meaning Better Odds!
The number of possible answers for multiple choice questions has decreased from 5 to 4. Meaning that the odds of getting a question right has increased 5 percent; from 20 to 25 percent
More Similar To The ACT
Though the new SAT is not identical to the ACT, the two examinations have become much more similar. Now that the SAT has 4 possible answers for multiple choice questions and has incorporated science-related passages it is beginning to resemble more and more the ACT.
One of the most obvious differences between the SAT and the ACT is that the ACT has Science as its own section.
The differences between the two examinations could be the deciding factor for which exam to take.
You Don’t Have To Take The New SAT
Not everyone needs to take the new SAT. Most colleges that require tests for admission will take either the SAT or the ACT.
Students of the Class of 2017 will be able to apply to colleges using the new SAT scores, ACT scores, and even old SAT scores since many students of this class likely took the old SAT in their junior year.
We hope this list has helped you become more familiar with the new SAT format.
Watch live footage of Mike Newcomer speaking on this very topic for more detailed information.