No war can be won unless you are aware of your enemy’s strengths. And while the SAT isn’t quite your enemy, there’s no denying the fact that it can be quite an overwhelming test, which has the ability to wear down the best of us.
Hence, we at Tutoria always advise our students to decode the formats of the tests they take to make their SAT preparation easy and productive.
Want to know what the SAT is all about? Read on!
The new SAT, which was introduced in the Spring of 2016, brings about the following changes:
1. Exam Structure: Unlike the old SAT, the redesigned SAT will consist of only two sections, instead of three – Evidence-based Reading & Writing and Math. The Evidence-based Reading section spans 65 minutes, the Writing section 35, the Math (with calculator) section 55 minutes, and the Math (without calculator) section 25 minutes.
- The reading section consists of 5 passages and a total of 52 questions, the writing section consists of 4 passages and a total of 44 questions, the Math (without calculator) section 20 questions, and the Math (with calculator) section, 38 questions.
- The exam will switch to the 1600-point scale from the old 2400-point scale and students won’t be penalized for wrong answers.
2. Essay: The essay section will now become optional in nature. It will be 50 minutes long, resulting in the exam lasting 3 hours without the essay and 3 hours 50 minutes with it. The essay score will also be reported separately and require students to analyze an existing argument through evidence.
3. Relevant Vocabulary: The new SAT will do away with the need to memorize tons of words and their meanings. Now, the Collegeboard will test only relevant words and in the context of their usage.
4. Math Section: The math section will focus on heart of algebra, problem solving and data analysis, and passport to advanced math. Heart of algebra deals with equations: linear equations, simultaneous equations, inequalities, absolute values etc, whereas passport to advanced math tests understanding of complex equations like quadratic equations. In addition, the exam may also include some geometry and trigonometry problems. Calculators will also be banned for one of the two math sections.
5. Reading and Writing Passages: When students take the new SAT, they will find passages from the following domains: Literature, Social Science (History, Social Studies, Founding Documents of US/Great Global Conversation, and natural Science (Physics, Biology, Chemistry, etc.)
Students must understand the ideology of the New SAT if they want to ace it. While doing their SAT preparation in Lahore, students are expected to focus on content and evidence based reading rather than critical reading. For Math, they are expected to focus on the Heart of Algebra which includes various types of equations. I discuss these differentiations in detail in all of my classes.
Now that you’re well equipped about what you’ll be facing on test day, get your fingers calculator-ready and your brain all sharpened up to ace the SAT!