On Wednesday, high school juniors and sophomores (and perhaps some ambitious younger students as well) will sit down to meet the new PSAT in preparation for the unveiling of the new SAT in the spring. I am eager to hear how the test goes for my students, as I always am, but this year in particular, we are all watching to see what this new SAT will *really* be like.
*Critical Reading will go from being oriented towards vocabulary (the more obsure the better!) to focusing on reading in context. The passages will be far more complex, drawing from sophisticated materials.
*The new Math section will emphasize the application of mathematical skills over computation and discrete problem solving. You'll see a lot more words in your math problems than ever before. There will be lots more algebra and a bit of trigonometry, but very little geometry. Two-thirds of the questions require students to use two makth skills at once.
*The Essay section (which won't be on the PSAT) will look more like a DBQ for APUSH (that's document-based question for Advanced Placement United States History for those who don't speak teen) and will be scored on three different metrics - reading, analysis and writing.
*The new SAT and its PSAT counterpart will be longer, in that students will have more time to devote to each question. It will also likely take longer to get your scores back as the College Board will need time to figure out how to scale this new and hopefully improved test.
The big question for many in the Class of 2017 in whether to rush to take the old SAT (which will be available until January), hold off for the new SAT (which will be offered for the first time in March) or skip the whole thing and try the ACT (which has added gradual changes along the way but nothing radical). The answer (which would never fly on any of these multiple choice standardized tests!) is that it depends. It depends on what kind of student you are, what kind of assessment you feel most comfortable with, and where you plan to apply (Virginia Tech is so far the only school to require the new SAT or existing ACT of all applicants in 2017). To answer that question, you should depend on the advice of an expert, so feel free to give FayCC a call :-).
The P Stands for Practice
October 13, 2015
Answers to your questions about the questions and answers on the new SAT