Today the College Board released more information about and sample questions for the New SAT. While all of the details are not yet released, my gut reaction to the New SAT is positive. The New SAT looks like it will address the skills necessary for and relevant to college success.
As a test-prep tutor and educational consultant, I am frequently asked to compare and give educated insight into the SAT and the ACT. A few common questions and answers pertaining to the ACT, the SAT and the New SAT are below.
Will the New SAT be easier than the current SAT?
The buzz amongst high school students is that the new SAT will be easier than the current SAT. In one way, that is true. By removing the wrong answer penalty students do not have to worry about whether or not to guess. Other than that, absolutely not. This test will be difficult for students who are not prepared.
- The essay is significantly more involved than the current SAT essay.
- The reading section will require the student to identify both the correct answer AND why it is correct.
- The math will include more involved word problems.
- Interpretation of science charts and tables will now be included.
Is the New SAT more like the ACT?
Yes, because it is now more achievement based like the ACT.
No, because the format and structure of the two tests differ significantly.
- The ACT essay, like the current SAT essay is a persuasive essay. The New SAT essay will require critical reading, analysis of a persuasive essay and analytical writing.
- The New SAT has a "no calculator" section. The ACT allows calculators for the entire math section.
- The New SAT will measure understanding and interpretation of social studies and history. The ACT includes these subjects but does not include their measure in the test results.
- The New SAT will integrate science into the reading, writing, math sections. The ACT has a separate science section
What do I like about the New SAT?
- It will include more critical reading, something that I believe is essential to success in college.
- It will incorporate real life scenarios in math, making it more relevant to life situations.
- There will be a significant focus on algebra and its application - the foundations of higher level math.
- No calculator will be allowed for portions of the test. I have found that today's teens rely too much on the calculator.
- Vocabulary tests will be more relevant. Student will analyze the words used and how they affect meaning. - No more memorizing words that will most likely never be used again after the test.
- Science, history and social studies are integrated into the test and knowledge of these subjects is reflected in the score results.
I will post more details about the New SAT as they become available.
Sandy Aprahamian, Principal, Independent Educational Consultant, EDNavigators