What are the significant changes?
Many things about the SAT will remain the same after the March 2016 changes. It is still a challenging test. Here are the key changes:
- Length stays about the same. The new test is 5 minutes longer when you include the essay.
- NO penalty for wrong answers! (good for students)
- Scores will be grouped into two areas (reading/writing & math) instead of three (reading, writing & math.)
- Reading/writing will include reading passages and editing of written passages.
- Math will include Algebra, geometry, and now trigonometry questions.
- One math section will NOT allow calculators.
- The written essay will be twice as long (50 minutes) and will be “optional.” Unfortunately, the essay may be required by colleges, so not truly optional.
What options do students have?
Students who don’t feel the new format of the SAT highlights their academic strengths should consider taking the ACT. All colleges accept the ACT or the SAT– gone are the days when some schools only took SATs. Colleges will accept the ACT or SAT with no preference given to one test over another.
As always, colleges will use a student’s best scores determined by one of a few common methods. Please check with the colleges on your list to understand their standardized testing averages and policies.