As you may know, the College Board completely redesigned the content and structure of the SAT in March 2016. Good news is, we are confident that these changes will make the test even more suitable for us to help you achieve your dream score!
Here, we focus on nine of the changes to the SAT that make prepping for it even more straightforward than before.
1. The math is more representative of what you’ve learned in school.
There are now more algebra questions and fewer geometry questions. Before you geometry lovers get upset, let us explain why we think this is a good thing. High schools typically require two years of algebra and only one year of geometry. By test day, it may have been years since you took geometry in freshman or sophomore year. Furthermore, there are fewer logic puzzles, which require quick thinking rather than a thorough knowledge of math learned in school. This shift in test content makes it easy for Testive to help polish up your math skills.
2. Questions don’t get harder as the clock runs down.
It used to be that the math questions got harder as you worked through the test. No more! Now, since the difficulty of math problems isn’t constantly ramping up to the degree that it used to be, if you get stuck on one problem, you can move onto the next without feeling defeated. There’s always a chance that the next question is easier and that you’ll have time to come back to the one you got stuck on with a fresh perspective.
3. There’s a time and a place for everything.
Sometimes in math class you are allowed to use your calculator and sometimes you are not. Now, the SAT works in the same way. Each section has different types of problems that require different types of skills. As Testive coaches, we can teach you exactly what to expect.
4. You don’t have to memorize thousands of vocab words.
The average Testive program is three months. Unfortunately, three months is not a long enough time to learn thousands of arcane vocabulary words by reading hundreds of books and looking up each new word in a dictionary as you go. Luckily, all the vocabulary you encounter on the new SAT is given in the context of a passage. If you master Testive’s reading strategies, you can use the passage to determine the meaning of the word--no extensive vocabulary knowledge required.
5. The Writing section tests grammar in context
Vocabulary is not the only thing with context! Similar trends crop up in the Writing section too, where grammar questions are presented in the context of a passage. There will be no more “fill-in-the-blank” verb conjugations or rewording of isolated sentences where the present tense is correct “just because.” Now, you can use contextual clues to arrive at the answer.
6. Citing evidence questions rewards those who read effectively.
Citing evidence is a new type of question asking you to identify several lines in the passage that support the answer to a previous question. New doesn’t mean scary! In fact, these questions are almost freebies if you answer Reading questions in an effective manner--which you will be if you follow Testive’s strategies.
7. There’s no penalty for guessing!
On the previous version of the test, you would lose points if you guessed wrong. Educated guessing can be an effective strategy to answer certain types of problems on standardized tests like the SAT. So, why should you be punished for using effective strategies? Now you aren’t.
8. Better variety and more relevant issues on the Reading section.
No longer do you have to worry about reading dry passages from Victorian literature with outdated vocabulary. Many passages are now on relevant topics and issues across disciplines and give voices to authors from diverse backgrounds (e.g. more women writers and a greater variety of cultures are represented).
9. A separate and painless Essay section.
Every SAT essay is now basically the same. You have to read a passage, identify the main argument or thesis of the passage, and write an essay that explains how the author builds this argument in the passage in order to persuade the reader that it is true. This task requires specific, concrete skills that our coaches can teach you to guarantee success. Also, it’s now at the end of the test, so it won’t tire you out for the multiple choice section. To make things even better, you now have 50 minutes, compared to 30 minutes before, to prepare and write your essay!