The new SAT of March 2016
The College Board released a new version of the SAT in 2005.
Why the New Version of the SAT?
The College Board released a new version of the SAT in 2005. The new version is scored on a 2400-point scale, and contains a new “Writing” section, along with an essay.
Unfortunately for the College Board, these changes have been wildly unpopular. Colleges don’t take the Writing section very seriously, and they rarely read the essay. Few people understand the new grading scale, and many students aren’t comfortable with the new material required.
Additionally, the SAT has been accused of being too “class-biased” – the tough vocabulary words on the test, the strange format of the math questions, and many of the stylistic elements of the test seem to favor those who have the resources to prepare properly. The test puts under-resourced students who don’t have any preparation at a distinct disadvantage.
As a result, the ACT is actually more popular than the SAT. This comes as a huge surprise to a lot of folks, but more students take the ACT every year than take the SAT. The College Board’s frequent mistakes and strange scoring / formatting have led to a sea change in the way that American students take these exams.
The New SAT is meant to “right some of the wrongs” of the current SAT. The new version, launching in March of 2016, will be more similar to the ACT, which people view as a more “straightforward” test, and which has recently overtaken the SAT and dismantled the College Board’s monopoly on college admissions testing.
No one likes change , especially when it comes to something as serious as the college admission process – but if you follow my advice, you’ll get through unscathed.
Regardless of the reasons why the College Board is making this change, all that really matters is that you know how to prepare for the New SAT effectively. Here’s what you can expect from the new exam.
While there are lots of small changes coming to the SAT, the most important ones are as follows:
- The test will revert back to the old 1600-point scale. There will be an 800-point Verbal section (with 400 points contributed from both a “reading” section and a “writing+language” section, which is identical to the English section of the ACT), and an 800-point Math section. No more need to explain what your SAT scores mean to the vast majority of the population.
- The test will be shorter. The new test will take only three hours, as opposed to the 3 hour, 45-minute format currently in place.
- The essay will be optional. Currently, the SAT essay is required – the new version will give students the option to skip it entirely. The essay will also no longer affect your numerical score (currently, your essay grade actually impacts your numerical Writing Section score).
- No more “SAT vocabulary words.” The SAT is getting rid of the crazy vocabulary requirements that currently define the test (such as “ribald,” ameliorative,” and “lugubrious”), replacing them with more practical words like “empirical,” “systemic,” and “ambiguous,” and will have students define them within the context of passages. While vocabulary will still be important, it will be emphasized far less than it is on the current version of the test.
- Most questions will now have only four answer choices instead of five.
- The SAT will be getting rid of some of its more “pie in the sky” math concepts, and focusing more directly on straightforward algebra, arithmetic, and geometry.
- The new SAT will contain chart analysis, current events, graphs, and other “modern, contextual” information that students will need to analyze within the Verbal portion of the exam.
For a full, official look at the changes, you can visit the College Board’s resource site on the new SAT here:
In the link above, the College Board provides users with a glimpse of what’s to come in the new SAT (it’s basically just like the ACT now, but with a different grading system).
You can also see a few: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/practice/full-length-practice-tests
For now, just know this:
- Almost all of the material tested by the New SAT is going to be exactly the same as the current SAT with a few small exceptions.
- The format and material of the New SAT are going to be remarkably similar to the current format and material of the ACT.
- The sooner you start to prepare for your tests, the better you’ll do, the less time you’ll have to spend per day preparing, and the easier the entire process will be!
Have any additional questions? Want further clarification on any of the above? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Support@GreenTestPrep.com and let us know! I’ve personally trained my customer support staff to answer all your questions, and if you ask something they don’t know, it’ll get forwarded to me personally!
Also, remember that my online test prep system comes with unlimited, never-expiring access to my programs for the Current SAT, the New SAT, and the ACT – no matter which test you take, the Green Test Prep System will have you covered.
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