I am sure all of you must have read at least one from the multitude of articles about the brand new SAT that have swamped nearly every tabloid, blog and page there exists on the Internet and beyond. But before you wipe your slates clean, here’s a quick glance at what is and isn’t part of the plan in the reformatted SAT which will make its debut in Spring 2016:
The mainstays of the current SAT such as vague, cryptic vocabulary, dodgy math questions and the intellectually daunting 25-minute essay are on their way out and soon to be things of the past as the new SAT incorporates changes in the foundational infrastructure of the test, to engineer a completely new and unforeseen test.
The Perfect Score
While we can only speculate about the sectional break-up of scores allocated to each of the three sections (Reading, Writing & Math), it has been let on that the brand new SAT will have the perfect score of 1600 rather than 2400. Do not be fooled by this, as a lesser perfect score most certainly does not mean an easier test.
Besides, some analysts have even ventured far out to say that the new test is going to be relatively much harder than its old counterpart.
The SAT Essay Section
The herculean task of spending endless nights watching sparknotes videos or reading up on the Internet to gather examples for your SAT essay will become obsolete as students will plainly have to produce an analysis of a paragraph, and no more in the restructured SAT.
SAT Vocabulary and Passages
The vast spectrum of vocabulary words the SAT tests you on, is expected to shrink significantly, as CollegeBoard promises that the new SAT will streamline its focus only to words that are predisposed to appear in college courses. So no tragic surprises.
Moreover, if you’re one of those people who are petrified by highly randomized long passages, the winds of change are bringing you a sweet surprise. On the new test, passages will be either historical, or scientific.
Also, to make students problem-solve more broadly, this test will require hunting for mistakes not in short sentences, but in paragraphs – yet another change in the SAT you may or may not look forward to.
What about negative marking?
One of the most significant shifts in paradigm comes from the removal of the guessing penalty that stripped students of a quarter point every time they hit the wrong buzzer. This change will, without a doubt, go on to set disparate future trends in ways to approach, and study for the SAT.
With the introduction of pre-calculus and trigonometry in a whole new section on the SAT and a 25-minute restraint (out of the grand total of 80) on the use of calculators, the SAT math will be grilling and drilling students on unprecedented levels and in never-before-seen ways.
Questions on the new test are bound to be more multifaceted, so to say. What does that mean? Well, for one thing, students are going to have to work with and integrate clues from a variety of sources (charts, graphs and the like) to arrive at correct, but now more elusive, answers.
That somewhere says it all about the new SAT. Whether or not these transformations will be helpful to the students’ position is simply a matter of subjectivity. One thing that we can assert for sure, however, is that the training for the SAT exam will need to be learning based and not simply format oriented.
The winds of change can be in your favor, all you need is to adjust your sails!