For the class of 2017, the choices are:
A) Current SAT
B) Redesigned SAT
D) Combination of the Above
But first, some background...
What is the Redesigned SAT?
Effective in March 2016, the SAT is getting a major overhaul. The changes include:
- Two sections and an optional Essay.
- 3 hours long with 50 additional minutes for the Essay.
- Maximum score of 1600. No more penalty for wrong answers.
- Evidenced Based Reading and Writing section will focus on critical reading and grammar skills.
- Math section will focus on deeper algebra concepts with less focus on geometry. The calculator will not be allowed on a portion of the test.
- The optional Essay will ask students to read an article and explain how the author builds a persuasive argument.
When are the tests administered?
The current SAT will be given four more times: October, November, and December 2015, and January 2016. The redesigned SAT will be administered in March, May, and June 2016 (and beyond). The ACT is administered 6 times throughout the school year.
So what test should my junior take?
Take the Current SAT...
if your junior has strong underlying skills in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and math, and is ready for a more accelerated testing schedule. Students that start preparing this fall can complete testing by the last SAT in January 2016. The current SAT is well known, predictable, and preparation is practically a science. There is also a big advantage to practicing on real practice tests with results that can be converted to actual scores.
Take the Revised SAT...
if your teen needs more time to develop strong critical reading and algebra skills and wants to stick to the more traditional schedule of spring testing. Also, if it's December, and your teen is just starting to study, aim for the Revised SAT.
Take the ACT...
if your teen seeks a stable, predictable test, that can be prepared for anytime throughout the school year. One drawback of the ACT is that not many colleges "superscore" this test, so students cannot mix and match the sub-scores from different test dates.
Take a Combination...
if your student wants to have options, and is willing to put in time and energy to prepare for multiple exams. If your junior takes the current SAT, and finds that the style is not really for him, the redesigned test may be a better fit. Also, since the Revised SAT will be more similar to the ACT, there is synergy in preparing for the new SAT and the ACT.
Not sure which test is best?
Contact the Somerset Learning Center to map out a personal plan and timetable for your teen based on skills and goals. Lana Marshak, Center Director, along with the certified teachers at the Center, have helped thousands of students improve their scores and confidence!
Learn more about SLC approach and preparation for the SAT and ACT