Why the New SAT Shouldn’t Scare You

So far, all you have heard about the new, redesigned SAT is in regard to its structure:

  • The 2400 scale goes back to a 1600 scale.
  • No more penalties for wrong answers.
  • Partial calculator use on the math section.
  • An optional essay section.

While this is useful and interesting, what is far more important for student test-takers in the class of 2017 and later is information about the actual content of the test and how one can best learn to master it.

Let’s begin by looking at the language of the redesigned SAT:

“The redesigned SAT will align the levels of text complexity presented in the test’s passages with the requirements of first-year college courses and workforce training programs.”

“The redesigned SAT prominently emphasizes source analysis and evidence use throughout the Evidence-based Reading and Writing and Essay portions of the test.”

“The SAT Writing and Language Test includes questions asking students to develop, support, and refine claims and ideas in multi-paragraph passages (some of which are associated with one or more graphics) and to retain, add, revise, or delete information in accordance with rhetorical purpose and accuracy of content (as, for example, when students are asked to verify or prove a passage’s explanation of a data table).”

“In the SAT Essay, students are required to analyze a provided source text to determine how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience through the use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive devices (and potentially other aspects of the text identified by students themselves) and then to write a cogent and clear analysis supported by critical reasoning and evidence drawn from the source.”

“In the SAT Reading Test, students are expected to analyze and interpret data in tables, graphs, charts, and so on and to synthesize information and ideas presented graphically with those presented in a prose passage.”

“In the SAT Reading Test, students are called on to determine the meaning of vocabulary in context, with an emphasis on Tier Two (words that are of high utility for mature language users and are found across a variety of domains) words and phrases.”

“In the SAT Reading Test, SAT Writing and Language Test, and SAT Essay, students are also presented with other vocabulary-related challenges, including analyzing word choice rhetorically; improving the precision, concision, and context appropriateness of expression; and (in the Essay) using language to convey their own ideas clearly and carefully.”

“The Problem Solving and Data Analysis portion of the redesigned SAT contains multipart problems. These problems allow students to explore a richer situation at greater length than is possible in the current SAT. That, in turn, allows the redesigned SAT to better incorporate mathematical modeling and other mathematical practices.”

Are you scared? Don’t worry—you don’t have to be.

The fact is that any test can be mastered, regardless of how confusing or difficult it seems to be. Test prep experts such as those at Chyten know that the better constructed the test, the easier it is to master. So, while this language seems daunting and perhaps even spiritually draining, the truth is that the new SAT is just another test. And remember that you have a great alternative—the ACT!

The professionals at Chyten are already busy writing new material and crafting new strategies to help our students master the newly redesigned SAT. All of our students will have the option of starting with a test that tells them which test better suits their skills: the new SAT or the ACT.  Once that determination is made, Chyten’s master strategists and tutors will provide the instruction needed to maximize scores.

If you are in the class of 2017, you will actually have three choices:

  • New SAT (March, 2016 or beyond)
  • Old SAT (January 2016 or prior)
  • ACT

For students graduating in 2018 or later, your choices narrow down to two:

  • New SAT
  • ACT

Chyten will not only provide expert preparation for these tests, it will help you determine which test is best for you. Please contact your local Chyten center today for more information.