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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

What's up with the new SAT?

A few years ago, the College Board announced that they would rehaul the SAT. This redesigned SAT is being used for the first time in March 2016. For you current juniors, this means you have a choice in whether to take the new or old SAT. Although you probably have an idea of what the new test will be like because of this year's new PSAT, I thought I would run down the major differences.
  • Optional essay based off of analysis of a given source that does not affect the composite score 
  • New scale: from 2400 to 1600 (800 from a reading and writing section, 800 from the math section) 
  • No guessing penalty 
  • Replacing obscure vocabulary (like perfidy or calumny) with words that are used frequently in many fields (like synthesis or empirical) 
  • Removal of the dreaded sentence completion questions 
  • 4 answer choices instead of 5 
  • Emphasis on increasing opportunity - the College Board is partnering with Kahn Academy to provide free test-prep for the new SAT 
  • Questions asking for justification for a previous answer 
  • Fewer but longer sections 
  • Increased focus on complex questions that require critical thinking 
  • Addition of a non-calculator math section 
  • Questions involving diagrams or other informational graphs in the reading/writing section  
  • Trigonometry concepts in the math section
No matter what test you end up taking, I wish you the best of luck. And remember, your SAT score is one of many factors colleges will use when making admission decisions!

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