Changes to the SAT Tests

SATs have always been an important college entrance test for students. Now that landmark test has been redesigned and will impact the class of 2017.

In short, the new SAT creates more opportunities, justifications, and emphasizes real world problem-solving. Many students will find it more challenging, while others may find it more logical.

New on the College Board test are:

  • An evidence-based reading and writing section
  • A math section, and
  • An optional essay section.

And, instead of simply filling a bubble on the test sheet; students will need to justify their answers.

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

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 answers for some of the reading and writing questions.

Additionally, the reading section has been expanded to include passages from science, history, social studies and literature.

The redesigned Math test has tougher problems, but there’s more time to solve them. Students cannot use their calculators on two of the Math sections. Algebra is KING, with 35 percent of the questions compared to just 10 percent for geometry. Advanced math, including trigonometry, is covered.

Essays will no longer be mandatory, but students will need to take it at least once, and have 50 minutes (compared to 25 in the past. Additionally, the focus has shifted from creative writing to analysis.

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