In 2014, Collegeboard announced changes to their SAT test, and now it is time to prepare for them. The revamped SAT test will be implemented on March 5th 2016, which is only 5 months away. Should you be worried? Well, after looking over the test changes, and conducting extensive research, I have found that while there will be some hardships, there are also some positive aspects with the new test. Let’s go over a summary of the changes and discuss how they affect you.
Summary of changes coming to the test:
As you can see, there are a lot of changes to the SAT Test, so I will break down each category. The test CAN be shorter (Yay!), but at least for the moment, colleges still require the writing component, so we will not see a reduction in the test duration (Aww!). Be sure to select the writing option when you sign up for the test, or make sure that schools you want to apply do not require it.
SAT Test Content
The components of the SAT exam seem to be the same, but strong reasoning skills are still required so it is not necessarily an easy SAT test now. However most people have found that the reading section is easier and the math section is harder.
I have looked over both, they have started to add charts to the reading section and there will be questions about trends and interpretations. At least they got rid of uncommonly used vocabulary, so that is a plus.
Also, I have found that the math section does require a more advanced level of math than before. Students should have solid understanding of Algebra 2 and Trigonometry when taking this new SAT test, whereas before it was only up through Geometry.
As I mentioned earlier, the SAT essay is now “optional”, but most likely required for most colleges. The major challenge students will face with the new SAT essay is being able to provide a written analysis of a given text, since this is not commonly done at the high school level to this extent. On the bright side, students will have a lot more time to complete the SAT essay, but breaking down the response into parts is more important now than ever before.
The SAT score reporting will not make a major difference since colleges will use a concordance chart to scale each score out on the same measure. For example, a 1,400 on the new SAT will be the same as a 2,000 on the old SAT. The subscore reporting will not affect college admission, but it will provide additional information about students’ performances on the SAT in comparison to how they do in school.
Well, if you have the capabilities, you may want to take the old SAT before it changes. I have collected 10 years of data on the current exam, and the Oxford Tutoring methods have been proven to work time and time again.
In the case where you are unable to take it yet, because of age or academic knowledge, then I recommend that you plan ahead. For example if you will not finish Algebra 2 until the end of Junior year, then plan to take the SAT exam around the same time (May and June).
Also, make sure to keep up on reading and writing skills by reading additional material outside what is assigned for school. Lastly, come to Oxford Tutoring, where we have brand new curriculum designed specifically around the changes in the test and our instructors know the ins and outs of the SAT material.
Meet the author: David Lord is the SAT and ACT Director and Math and Science Instructor at Oxford Tutoring Center in Orange County, California. He has helped hundreds of students achieve the SAT and ACT test scores they want and accepted into their desired college. He reaches his students through challenging them and asking questions to make sure they are absorbing the material they are being taught.
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