Changes in SAT Testing

The SAT is a paper-based, standardized test that’s been around, in one incarnation or another, since 1926 for the purpose of admissions into college or university undergraduate programs in the United States. While it is supposed to measure scholastic aptitude, critics have long accused the SAT of only measuring how well a student takes the SAT!

That might be about to change. The iconic college exam is about to undergo sweeping changes on what is tested, how it is marked, and how students can prepare for it. Read on to find out what’s happening with the new SAT, and what PrepSkills is doing to prepare for these changes to help your child achieve success on the new test.

What is changing in the SAT? First of all, it’s getting an update. The redesigned SAT will focus on the knowledge and skills that current research shows are most essential for college and career readiness and success. There will be 8 key changes to the SAT that are designed to help students in real life situations.

For example, words must be interpreted in context of a greater text (as opposed to students simply memorizing a wide vocabulary only to promptly forget these seldom-used words after the test). Students will be required to analyze and synthesize evidence from a wide range of sources and a broader range of disciplines, and solve math problems grounded in real-world contexts. And significantly, the redesigned SAT will remove the penalty for wrong answers, shifting its total score back to 1600.

When will the changes occur? The new SAT will roll out worldwide in Spring of 2016.

Why is the SAT being changed? As previously noted, the SAT has been said to be disconnected from the real work students do in high school. It is seen as a stressful test that angst-ridden students try to essentially ‘beat’ by employing fancy tricks rather than demonstrating their real knowledge – so much so that many US colleges and universities have gotten away from putting undue weight on SAT scores or have even implemented test-optional policies. The test was due for an update; it hasn’t changed since 2005, when a written essay was added and the scoring was changed. Now that essay will be optional.

How do the changes affect student studying and preparation for the SATs? Because the standardized test will now adhere more closely to school curricula, students' classrooms will become the best preparation for the redesigned SAT. But getting good grades in class isn’t enough. The SAT will still be the longest, most difficult test that most Canadian students have ever taken. How can earnest, hard-working Canadian students who are interested in attending American colleges, but still struggle in some of the disciplines of math, history, literature and science, overcome these challenges to succeed on the new SAT?

PrepSkills to the rescue! Just as a hockey coach will add untold finesse to your game and a piano coach will ensure you can perform in front of a demanding audience, our qualified SAT instructors will help you maximize your scores when writing this crucial test.

We know that every answer counts toward that all-important final number. That’s why our qualified teachers and SAT instructors offer high quality, focused, easily accessible tools that will help students navigate and excel on the redesigned exam. Our diligent research team ensures that all materials employed by PrepSkills will be up-to-date and consistent with the new SAT standards, so whether you choose PrepSkills private in-home prep, workshops or online classes, you are receiving the best possible instruction.

The changes to the SAT test are designed to make it more focused and useful than ever before. But if you plan to take the current SAT before March of 2016, remember that PrepSkills can help you get ready for the current test right now. We offer one-on-one consultations specifically designed to provide you with much-needed answers on the applications & admissions process, funding, US colleges, and of course, the SAT. Register for one of our SAT prep courses and get on the path to success today.