The SAT has changed once again, and this time the changes will be substantial. The last time the SAT had substantial changes was in 2005, when the College Board changed the score scale from 1600 to 2400. The primary reasons for the announced changes are to better assess the skills students are learning today and to prepare them for the changing workplace. “Skills such as critical thinking and problem solving will be a large part of the question base”, says LA Tutors 123 Academic Director, Jawad Ali.
The Redesigned SAT brings with it eight changes, all of which are meant to align the SAT with Common Core standards and to better prepare students for the kinds of analytical work they will have to do in college. The Redesigned SAT will be administered during Spring 2016, and over the next few months the College Board will release more questions to guide students as they prepare for the Redesigned SAT.
The following are the eight changes on the Redesigned SAT:
- Relevant Words in Context: Determining the meaning of high frequency words from the context within which they are used.
- Command of Evidence: Using appropriate quotes to support positions articulated in passages.
- Analyzing a Source Essay: (Optional): Writing an essay based on a prompt that will be revealed in advance.
- Focus on Math that Matters Most: Solving real-world data analysis, algebra, and advanced math problems.
- Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts: Working on passages that require critical engagement with information represented through graphs and charts.
- Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies: Analyzing and inferring from informational graphics that pertain to different issues and topics.
- Founding Documents and Great Global Conversation: Interpreting a passage from one of the founding documents or from a text from the global conversation.
- No Penalty for Wrong Answers
According to LA Tutors Academic Director, Jawad Ali, who has been writing SAT and AP questions for more than a decade, “These changes reflect an overall paradigm shift in assessment philosophy, and require radical changes in the way we teach reading, writing, and critical thinking at the K-12 level.” We at LA Tutors are already changing our curriculum and SAT Prep courses to better prepare students possessing different learning styles and to have new test prep material ready for students.