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5 changes to the SAT and how parents are reacting
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/5-changes-to-the-sat-and-how-parents-are-reacting-831

Posted: 2015-8-25

by Kathryn Flynn

A new survey from Kaplan Test Prep revealed that despite an announcement from the College Board over two years ago, 85% of parents still don't know that a new version of the SAT will be launching in March. Overall changes to the exam will include more time to answer questions and an updated scoring system based on 1600 points, and there will also be significant updates to the types and content of questions.

As part of their study, Kaplan provided details on the new exam to over 300 parents and asked how they felt the proposed changes would impact the exam's level of difficulty. 30% of parents viewed the new format as negative and felt it will make the exam more challenging, 30% saw the changes as positive, 20% were indifferent and 15% claimed they didn't know enough to form an opinion.

Yet parents' views regarding changes to specific areas of the exam show that many feel the new SAT will prove to be more challenging than the current version. Here are five ways the SAT is changing and parents' reactions to each.

RELATED: How you can help your child ace the ACT or SAT

1. Math portion

Key changes:

The new SAT will only allow calculator use during one of the two Math sections and will be more focused on algebra, data analysis and real-world problem solving. It will include all levels up to basic trigonometry.

What parents think:

  • The Math portion will become more difficult (56%)
  • The Math portion will become easier (18%)
  • It will make no difference (26%)

RELATED: 4 things to watch out for when applying to a top school

2. Reading portion

Key changes:

The new SAT will be comprised of one 65-minute section and will test the understanding of historical literature and founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

What parents think:

  • The Reading portion will become more difficult (53%)
  • The Reading portion will become easier (12%)
  • It will make no difference (36%)

RELATED: 5 characteristics of high school students headed to college

3. Writing and Language/Grammar portion

Key changes:

Instead of testing individual sentence correction, the new SAT will test grammar, structure and reading comprehension of full passages. It will focus more on expression of ideas, higher-level writing skills and punctuation rules.

What parents think:

  • The Writing and Language/Grammar portion will become more difficult (53%)
  • The Writing and Language/Grammar portion will become easier (13%)
  • It will make no difference (34%)

RELATED: 10 things you need to know about getting scholarships

4. Optional Essay

Key changes:

The new essay will be optional, but some colleges may require it. Students will be asked to read a 650-700 word passage, and then write a facts-based essay explaining how the author constructed his argument.

What parents think:

  • The Essay portion will become more difficult (60%)
  • The Essay portion will become easier (15%)
  • It will make no difference (25%)

RELATED: 9 tips on getting into an Ivy League school

5. No penalty for wrong answers

Key changes:

The current point penalty for wrong answers will be eliminated, so students taking the new exam should be sure to answer every question.

What parents think:

  • No penalty for wrong answers will make the SAT more difficult (22%)
  • No penalty for wrong answers will make the SAT easier (56%)
  • It will make no difference (23%)

RELATED: Being smart about recommendation letters before senior year of high school

A new survey from Kaplan Test Prep revealed that despite an announcement from the College Board over two years ago, 85% of parents still don't know that a new version of the SAT will be launching in March. Overall changes to the exam will include more time to answer questions and an updated scoring system based on 1600 points, and there will also be significant updates to the types and content of questions.

As part of their study, Kaplan provided details on the new exam to over 300 parents and asked how they felt the proposed changes would impact the exam's level of difficulty. 30% of parents viewed the new format as negative and felt it will make the exam more challenging, 30% saw the changes as positive, 20% were indifferent and 15% claimed they didn't know enough to form an opinion.

Yet parents' views regarding changes to specific areas of the exam show that many feel the new SAT will prove to be more challenging than the current version. Here are five ways the SAT is changing and parents' reactions to each.

RELATED: How you can help your child ace the ACT or SAT

1. Math portion

Key changes:

The new SAT will only allow calculator use during one of the two Math sections and will be more focused on algebra, data analysis and real-world problem solving. It will include all levels up to basic trigonometry.

What parents think:

  • The Math portion will become more difficult (56%)
  • The Math portion will become easier (18%)
  • It will make no difference (26%)

RELATED: 4 things to watch out for when applying to a top school

2. Reading portion

Key changes:

The new SAT will be comprised of one 65-minute section and will test the understanding of historical literature and founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

What parents think:

  • The Reading portion will become more difficult (53%)
  • The Reading portion will become easier (12%)
  • It will make no difference (36%)

RELATED: 5 characteristics of high school students headed to college

3. Writing and Language/Grammar portion

Key changes:

Instead of testing individual sentence correction, the new SAT will test grammar, structure and reading comprehension of full passages. It will focus more on expression of ideas, higher-level writing skills and punctuation rules.

What parents think:

  • The Writing and Language/Grammar portion will become more difficult (53%)
  • The Writing and Language/Grammar portion will become easier (13%)
  • It will make no difference (34%)

RELATED: 10 things you need to know about getting scholarships

4. Optional Essay

Key changes:

The new essay will be optional, but some colleges may require it. Students will be asked to read a 650-700 word passage, and then write a facts-based essay explaining how the author constructed his argument.

What parents think:

  • The Essay portion will become more difficult (60%)
  • The Essay portion will become easier (15%)
  • It will make no difference (25%)

RELATED: 9 tips on getting into an Ivy League school

5. No penalty for wrong answers

Key changes:

The current point penalty for wrong answers will be eliminated, so students taking the new exam should be sure to answer every question.

What parents think:

  • No penalty for wrong answers will make the SAT more difficult (22%)
  • No penalty for wrong answers will make the SAT easier (56%)
  • It will make no difference (23%)

RELATED: Being smart about recommendation letters before senior year of high school

 

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