2016: A New Year, A New SAT - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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February 26, 2016

2016: A New Year, A New SAT

Nervous about taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)? Well, news about the revised SAT, which will be administered beginning March 2016, may help calm some of those nerves. With the new and improved version, the College Board aims to accurately test knowledge, instead of test-taking skills.

One thing the SAT is famous for is obscure vocabulary. But now, questions focus on widely used words and phrases. So you don’t have to stress out about trying to memorize the dictionary!

When I took the SAT, one of my least favorite things was that I wasn’t supposed to guess on questions that I wasn’t sure about because the test penalized incorrect guesses. In the new version of the SAT, students simply earn points for questions answered correctly and are encouraged to provide a best answer for every question. Plus, instead of five options to choose from, there are now only four.

Empty Desks

Running out of time is probably one of the top fears for any test taker. Now, time limits for all sections are lengthened. And the time for the essay has doubled! Speaking of this, not only is more time allotted, but the essay is now optional and graded separately from the rest of the test.

The SAT previously focused heavily on geometry and shapes, but the math section now includes more data interpretation and graphs. Instead of focusing on vocabulary and correctly completing sentences, the reading section now includes more evidence support and data reasoning. And the writing section now has more passage-based questions.

In addition, there are free SAT practice tests. You may take up to four SATs to simulate the test-day experience. You can even score your test using your phone and the free mobile app, Daily Practice for the New SAT.

If you are preparing to take the SAT, I wish you best of luck! Remember the changes, use them to your advantage and be sure to focus more on content and thinking instead of test-taking tricks.

—Kelsey Robinson ’17

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