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Introducing the new and improved SAT
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/introducing-the-new-and-improved-sat-912

Posted: 2016-03-12

by Lulu Curiel

Founder and CEO of Ivy Advisors

For the first time in 10 years, the SAT has undergone a major renovation. According to The College Board, "the new test is more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education."

The following is an overview of what changed in the test, what kind of questions you'll see on the new SAT and what the new test will measure.

Out with the old, in with the new

  • The old SAT test included components of critical reading and writing with an emphasis on vocabulary, mathematics, and a mandatory essay. The new SAT includes a reading, writing and language test, math, and an optional essay.
  • The test is no longer broken up into three section scores of 200-800, with a complete composition score of 600-2400. Instead, the new SAT is now divided into two sections with scores 200-800, giving a total score of 400-1600.
  • The old SAT was completed using a paper, pencil and scantron. The new SAT now offers students a choice between two formats, the paper, pencil and scantron option, or a new, computer-based format.
  • Students were previously given 225 minutes total to complete 171 questions. Now, students are given 180 minutes total to complete 155 questions, and an extra 50 minutes for the optional essay.
  • Typically, high school students take the SAT during their junior year. Those who took the SAT prior to March 2016, and and who are happy with their scores, probably won't have to take the new SAT test. Most colleges plan to accept scores from either test for a few years, but it would be wise to confirm the guidelines of any colleges you're applying to. After March 2016, the old SAT will no longer be available to students.

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

New SAT Section Breakdown

Evidence-Based reading and writing

Long gone are the critical reading and writing skills sections on the SAT. Instead, say hello to two new sections composed of reading, writing and language. What's more, sentence competition has been replaced with multiple meaning words and passages drawn from historical or scientific documents, and reading passages now include complex structure, vocabulary, and passage-based grammar and punctuation.

Math

The old SAT math covered Arithmetic, Algebra I, Geometry and some Algebra II, with calculators permitted on every section. Now, the mathematical section includes application-based, multi-step questions that integrate higher level math such as trigonometry, "extended thinking" questions and core math competencies that translate math into English and vice versa. Calculators are only allowed in the longer of the two math sections and students will be required to have a deep understanding of the theories behind mathematical principles such as building equations.

RELATED: 5 changes to the SAT and how parents are reacting

Optional essay

The old required essay portion of the SAT was a required part of the assessment and was given at the beginning of the exam and tested a student's students' writing skills by asking them to take a position on a present issue. The new SAT essay portion, however, is optional and colleges will determine whether or not it will be required for admission.

This new optional essay is also structured a bit differently. Based on a provided source of text, students will be asked to transcribe a written analysis, and they'll be tested on reading, analysis and writing skills. It's given at the end of the exam, and students will have 50 minutes to complete it, which is 25 minutes longer than they were given to complete the old essay.

RELATED: The new SAT essay: Does your dream school require it?

Founder and CEO of Ivy Advisors

For the first time in 10 years, the SAT has undergone a major renovation. According to The College Board, "the new test is more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education."

The following is an overview of what changed in the test, what kind of questions you'll see on the new SAT and what the new test will measure.

Out with the old, in with the new

  • The old SAT test included components of critical reading and writing with an emphasis on vocabulary, mathematics, and a mandatory essay. The new SAT includes a reading, writing and language test, math, and an optional essay.
  • The test is no longer broken up into three section scores of 200-800, with a complete composition score of 600-2400. Instead, the new SAT is now divided into two sections with scores 200-800, giving a total score of 400-1600.
  • The old SAT was completed using a paper, pencil and scantron. The new SAT now offers students a choice between two formats, the paper, pencil and scantron option, or a new, computer-based format.
  • Students were previously given 225 minutes total to complete 171 questions. Now, students are given 180 minutes total to complete 155 questions, and an extra 50 minutes for the optional essay.
  • Typically, high school students take the SAT during their junior year. Those who took the SAT prior to March 2016, and and who are happy with their scores, probably won't have to take the new SAT test. Most colleges plan to accept scores from either test for a few years, but it would be wise to confirm the guidelines of any colleges you're applying to. After March 2016, the old SAT will no longer be available to students.

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

New SAT Section Breakdown

Evidence-Based reading and writing

Long gone are the critical reading and writing skills sections on the SAT. Instead, say hello to two new sections composed of reading, writing and language. What's more, sentence competition has been replaced with multiple meaning words and passages drawn from historical or scientific documents, and reading passages now include complex structure, vocabulary, and passage-based grammar and punctuation.

Math

The old SAT math covered Arithmetic, Algebra I, Geometry and some Algebra II, with calculators permitted on every section. Now, the mathematical section includes application-based, multi-step questions that integrate higher level math such as trigonometry, "extended thinking" questions and core math competencies that translate math into English and vice versa. Calculators are only allowed in the longer of the two math sections and students will be required to have a deep understanding of the theories behind mathematical principles such as building equations.

RELATED: 5 changes to the SAT and how parents are reacting

Optional essay

The old required essay portion of the SAT was a required part of the assessment and was given at the beginning of the exam and tested a student's students' writing skills by asking them to take a position on a present issue. The new SAT essay portion, however, is optional and colleges will determine whether or not it will be required for admission.

This new optional essay is also structured a bit differently. Based on a provided source of text, students will be asked to transcribe a written analysis, and they'll be tested on reading, analysis and writing skills. It's given at the end of the exam, and students will have 50 minutes to complete it, which is 25 minutes longer than they were given to complete the old essay.

RELATED: The new SAT essay: Does your dream school require it?

 

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