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    Prepare for the NEW SAT

    After many months of speculation, last month, the College Board announced the new format for the SAT test, the college entrance examination taken by thousands of high school students each year.  The new exam, ostensibly influenced by both the Common Core Standards and the ACT, consists of significant changes in format, scoring and content.

    In general, however, the changes are designed to make the SAT more relevant by requiring tasks more reflective of what students need for high school and college.  “The heart of the revised SAT will be analyzing evidence,” according to David Coleman, the new President of the College Board and author of the Common Core Standards.*

    Here are some quick but essential facts you should know about the new SAT:

    Format & Length

    Currently, the SAT consists of 10 individual test sections across three subject areas:   – Math, Reading and Writing.    Individual section durations range from 10 to 25 minutes, for a total of almost 4 hours of testing.

    Similar to the ACT, the new SAT will now consist of four longer sections totaling three hours.  An optional essay section adds 50 minutes to the overall duration.

    The two evidence-based reading and writing sections consist of:

    • Reading Test  (65 minutes, 52 questions)
    • Writing and Language Test (35 minutes and 44 questions)

    The math sections consist of:

    • Calculator allowed section (55 minutes, 37 sections)
    • No-calculator allowed sections (25 minutes, 20 questions)


    There are two significant scoring changes:

    • Instead of the current three section test scored to 2400 (800 points per section), the new SAT will revert to its older 1600 maximum score (800 for math, 800 for Reading and Writing).  
    • Students will no longer be penalized for incorrect answers.   This change, also aligned with the ACT, will significantly reduce a lot of the strategy typically needed to score well on the SAT.

    When Will the New Test be Available?

    The College Board will transition to the new format in March of 2016.  This date - right in the middle of the school year – will add a wrinkle into the test plans for many college-bound juniors.  In a future blog post, we will discuss these issues and suggest options for your rising junior.

    For more information about Think Tutoring’s premier SAT and ACT prep programs, contact us at 973-593-0050.

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