In March, College Board launched the updated version of the SAT, making several changes to the traditional standardized test high school students have come to know. The first wave of PVI students have taken this new test and have reported back to Panther Press on what this updated version is like.
The SAT overhaul includes quite a few new rules. Unlike the former test, in which students would lose a quarter of a point for each incorrect answer, the new SAT does not have a penalty for guessing. Now students can answer every question without having to be completely sure of their answer. Additionally, the essay portion of the test is now optional. Students who choose to take the essay have fifty minutes to complete it instead of the former twenty-five, and the prompt is more analytical than interpretive.
Stephen Artner ‘17, was not a fan of the new format. “I didn’t enjoy the essay that much; it’s not open ended. You have to analyze the passage and write about the way in which they made their argument, and you can’t state your opinion.”
There have been changes to the format of the test as well. College Board has changed the scoring scale from 2400 points to 1600 points, and the sections formerly known as Writing and Critical Reading have been combined and are scored together in the new category of “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.” Artner said that this section did not pose a problem and was similar to other standardized tests.
So how can you prepare for the SAT 2.0? Sydney Baker ‘17, said some some early preparation helped.
“I took a mock SAT before for the new SAT so I think that really helped me during the real test. I knew what everything looked like so I could concentrate.”
Artner suggested an alternative to the traditional prep class, “I prepared with the Khan Academy which people said would be helpful for the new one.”
Despite all of these new innovations from College Board, according to Artner, one thing about the SAT hasn’t changed: “By the end I was just brain-dead.”
Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons.