The New SAT: Coming Spring 2016

If you graduated from high school prior to 2005, “1600” was the jackpot number you were aiming for on the SATs. 

The College Board, the company which owns the high school examination, changed the magic number to 2400 about 10 years ago. Now it’s time to get your junior or senior ready for another change, the redesigned new SAT test. 1600 is now the magic number again. There are other changes too.

1. No Penalty for Wrong Answers

Test-takers who pick the wrong answer won’t be penalized. Only the right answers are counted.

2. No Ambiguous Vocabulary

The SAT won’t focus on words test-takers never use like “abrogate.” The redesigned test requests test-takers define words based on how they are used. For instance, words like “intense” can have several meaning depending its content like “concentrated” or “determined.” This means students don’t have to study huge amounts of vocabulary they’ll never use again. 

3. Less Answer Choices

You probably remember having to pick from five answers. Now your test-taker has four answers choices. This has two benefits. The first benefit is it saves time because it’s one less answer choice to read. Second, the chance of getting the answer right jumps from 20% to 25%.

4. Fewer Questions

Part of the new design includes less questions for test-takers to answer. It’s about 16 fewer questions than the old SAT.

5. Redesigned Essay

The days of writing a personal essay is history. The new SAT requires test-takers to read a passages then explain how its author persuades the audience.

6. More Evidence-Based Reading

The SAT’s reading section will focus on evidence. The test-takers are asked to read a passage then pick the best supporting evidence. The slight glitch with this change is if he gets the first question wrong, it may be harder to get the second question right.

7. More Texts

The new reading section will have excerpts from American historical documents like the Declaration of Independence. It will also include passages from authors like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. This change was to help the examination connect to what test-takers are learning in school.

8. More Charts and Graphics

A teenager who prefers looking at pictures and graphics than reading will love this change. The new SAT will have more questions focused on charts and graphs. This is a huge change to the reading section. For example, your test-taker will be asked to revise sentences so they fit the graphic.

9. More Time

One of the biggest complaints with the old SAT was the time to take the exam. It wasn’t enough. The redesigned version gives more time per section to answer questions. The essay time is doubled.

Easier than ever?

The new SAT test may have you wondering why your teenager has all the luck. Don’t tell your college-bound student, but the new SAT is being called the easiest version of the SAT ever designed. However, getting the highest score on the test hasn’t changed. Colleges and universities widely use the test when determining which to students they accept.

Looking for a flexible, affordable test-prep program for your child? Learn about Magoosh.