High school juniors will soon be taking the “all-important” college entrance exams. Recent changes to the SAT Exam, however, have left many students and parents scratching their heads. Here’s what you need to know about the new SAT, debuting in March 2016.

  1. The exam is more like the ACT. Previously, the SAT focused on tricky reasoning and obscure words, while the ACT traditionally asks more straightforward questions about specific content high school students learn in class. Now, the SAT will also be more content-heavy. Gone are the archaic words and mind-bending math questions, replaced by more context-based reading comprehension and grammar and more straightforward math questions, testing traditional concepts such as basic algebraic manipulations.
  2. The test is comprised of TWO components: “Reading, Writing and Language” and “Mathematics”. Both components will have two sections (four total) and will be scored between 200-800 points, for a total perfect score of 1600. In addition, there will be an optional essay, which will be scored separately.
  3. The exam is more time-sensitive. On average, students will now have less time per question, which means there are more strategic implications associated with time management.
  4. There are only four possible answers per question, rather than five. With less time, there are also fewer answers to potentially think through.

What does all this mean? What will the average score be? How will college and universities take the new scoring into account? Should you just forget about the SAT for now and take the ACT? If you have questions about the SAT, the ACT, college guidance and decision-making, or are looking for test preparation before taking an exam this year, JEVS Youth Services can assist you.

Pencils ready, and good luck!

To read the Four Things You Should Know About the Mathematics section of the SAT, click here.

 

–Scott Seiderman, Program Manager, JEVS Youth Services

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