So they are changing the test. CHANGE. I know what you're thinking. Change; that dreaded word that reminds us all about changing diapers.
What is changing on the SAT?
The test questions are different
- NO penalty for wrong answers
- Offered in print AND on computer at selected locations
- Only THREE sections: Evidence-based Reading and Writing, Math, and the Essay
- The new exam will be about 3 hours, plus 50 minutes for the Essay
- The Essay section will be OPTIONAL
The scores will be different
- Scoring will go back to a 400-1600 point scale
- Reading & Writing are combined and scored on a 200-800 point scale
- Math will be scored on a 200-800 point scale
- The Essay reported separately
The Essay is optional
- The Essay prompt will be shared in advance and there will be focus on the essay of analyzing a source
- The Essay score is reported separately
- Since colleges want the ACT test with optional essay, I suggest you take the SAT with optional essay.
The test will include more subjects
- Math focused on 3 key areas: Problem solving and Data Analysis, Algebra, and Advanced Math
- Problems will be grounded in real world context: in Reading & Writing, students will be asked to edit and revise texts
- Both sections will include problems from across the curriculum (science, history, geography etc.)
- Students will be asked to read and answer questions and do analysis in science & social studies contexts
- An excerpt from one of America’s founding documents or "part of the great global conversation" will be included in every exam
When is it changing?
- The first new test will arrive in Spring 2016
- No immediate changes, and you don't have to immediately buy a new book
- If you're taking the SAT this year or next year, you can stick with what you have been using
- Whichever test you take, make sure to study for it: Schedule Test Preparation
- When new study guides arrive, I tend to prefer Princeton Review materials best
Where to learn more
- You can read more about the College Board changes to the SAT at www.CollegeBoard.org.
- There is also an interesting article in the New York Times: Major Changes in SAT Announced by College Board
- This article indicates the SAT has always been aligned with the Common Core since 2005 InsideHigherEd.com: A New SAT
- The SAT is changing in 2016, now is no time to panic
- Keep doing what you are doing
- In fall of 2015, try to find new study guides that cover the new format
Are you in the middle of studying for the SAT with your high schooler? What are you doing to prepare?