SAT Redesign Offers Opportunities & Challenges

college consultant SCThere has been a lot of news about the new SAT, but what will the redesign mean for students in 2016? Nothing! It is the class of 2017 who will be affected by the changes and who should take note of them.

There are no simple answers. The new SAT test is designed to create more opportunities, justifications, and emphasis on real world problem-solving. Many students will find that the redesign is more challenging, whiles others may find it more logical.

The new components of the test, which is created by the College Board, will be an evidence-based reading and writing section, a math section and an optional essay section. Each section will be designed to stop students from simply filling a bubble on the test sheet; instead, they’ll need to justify their answers.

The test format will be paper and pencil with a computer-based option having a composite score between 400-1600 excluding the essay score.

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Most questions will have only four answer choices instead of five, and students will no longer be penalized for choosing incorrect answers.
Students will be tested on grammar, reading and vocabulary in the context of a passage, and will be required to cite evidence for their answer choices for some of the reading and writing questions.

Additionally, the reading section will include passages from science, history, social studies and literature, which is an expansion of disciplines as compared to the current SAT. On the new SAT Math test, students will face tougher problems, but have more time to solve them.

And on two of the Math sections, students will not be allowed to use their calculators. Algebra will be the king of the redesigned SAT, with 35 percent of the questions compared to only 10 percent for geometry. Advanced math topics, including trigonometry, will be covered.

Essays on the new SAT will no longer be mandatory, but students will need to take it at least once for college admissions. Students now have 50 minutes for the essay (compared to 25 in the past), and the focus has shifted from creative writing to analysis.

The redesigned PSAT launched in October 2015, while the redesigned SAT launches in March of 2016.

For more information on preparing and applying for college, contact Charlotte Klaar.