The New Redesigned SAT

January 28, 2016

 

Starting this March, the College Board's long awaited, redesigned SAT will be offered to high school students across the globe. The changes, which the College Board first announced in 2014, are plentiful, but the effect is a more robust test with a stronger focus on college-readiness.  

 

Scoring

One of the obvious changes is the scoring. The former test consisted of three test subscores - Math, Reading, and Writing - each with a maximum score of 800 for a total possible score of 2400. The new test combines the Reading and Writing scores, but keeps the separate math score, for a total of 1600. The essay, once mandatory, is now optional and students should check their potential colleges's requirements before registering for it.  It, too, has undergone changes by becoming an analysis rather than an opinion piece.

 

The Reading Test

Currently, the SAT Reading section consists of multiple choice sentence completion questions (the dreaded vocab questions) and passage based questions. The redesigned SAT has said goodbye to the sentence completion questions and have changed the passage based questions.  Passage selection has changed quite a bit and will include passages from historical documents, scientific texts, and classic/contemporary literature. Don't be surprised to see charts and graphs within these passages as well!

 

The Writing and Language Test

Students taking the new test will be pleased to see that the Writing section is more similar to that of the SAT's rival, the ACT.  Students are presented with passages and asked to find mistakes or weak phrases and to correct them. Unlike the ACT though, the SAT's Writing test also incorporates charts and graphs and some corrections will be based on accurately interpreting this data.

 

The Math Tests

Unlike the rest of the new SAT, the Math sections of the SAT include both multiple choice questions and write-in questions. The write-in questions, or grid-in as they are commonly called, require students to come up with their own answers and write them in.  These question types are split into two timed math sections and a calculator is only permitted in one. Remember though, just because a calculator is permitted does not mean it is required to solve each question.

 

Overall, the redesigned SAT's goal of better reflecting "real world" scenarios is clearly seen in every section of this exam. Many students will find that their natural strengths are highlighted on this new test; however, for other students, the ACT may still be the better test option. To find your better test, contact Bespoke Tutoring for a  mock exam and analysis.

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