Since the dawn of time (or at least my time), there has pretty much been the same format to the SAT - Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, with the Writing portion having an essay. The combined scores for each section were scored based out of 2400 ... not anymore.
Since March of this year, CollegeBoard has been using this "New SAT." Now, this exam only effects the graduating class of 2017 and future classes, but it is important that we all be aware of these changes and how they impact the college search journey! Here are the changes:
- No penalty for wrong answers. Take as many intelligent guesses as you need to!!
- The vocabulary that is being tested will be more familiar and useful to you - you will just need to know the different definitions for the word.
- The questions require more steps and complex thinking to complete.
- There are fewer sections in the new version, but the sections are extended for a longer period of time.
- The two sections are Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
- The essay is optional
I found this really handy website from the Princeton Review (here) that helps to explain the differences between the old and the new, but also really describes what you can expect the design of the test to be!
If you see the last bullet point, it says that the essay is optional (requires 50 extra minutes of your time), however don't consider it as optional. This is a place where you can gain some great points in your score and you can showcase your writing style, which most universities want to see anyways! The essay is designed to show your reading comprehension skills and your ability to understand persuasive writing and how it is created - both skills you will need in college. My suggestion, is for you to take it and see how you do, and then if necessary take it again in the fall or a few months after you receive your score. If you think you'd do poorly on it, it may open up the opportunity for you to take a remedial English course over the summer before college starts to help better your skills, which is not a bad thing at all!!
I hope this provided you all with a little more insight into how the new SAT is formatted and to help you know what to expect going into the test, once you sign up for it (there are no testing dates over the summer, so plan to take it first thing come the Fall!)
Please let me know if you have questions or let me know what your experience with the new SAT was like! I'd love to here!!
enjoy the chase,