The SAT is undergoing a big change, with a new version of it debuting in a few weeks.
One of the biggest changes that college-bound students can look forward to is the vocabulary section.
The current test contains words or language that you’re not likely to ever use or hear again. Case in point: “antediluvian” - meaning the period before the biblical flood.
The new one will contain more commonly used words to define.
Other pros of the redesigned test include: less answer choices and not being penalized for guessing or answering wrong. Also, the essay will be optional.
On the flip side, the reading part will include more complex structures, basic math skills will be more important and questions will require more steps to arrive at an answer.
The new SATs will have charts and graphs in both the reading and the math sections. This could be beneficial for visual learners but problematic for others.
Tracy LaFlamme Ortega is the CEO of Prepworks, which offers SAT tutoring in Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove, as well as online. She talks about how certain sections can cause worry to those whose native language is not English:
“The written analysis can be seen as more challenging because they are actually being tested on their ability to read, comprehend, dissect and analyze that source text,” she says “and that sometimes causes anxiety with students whose first language isn’t English -- and are bilingual and multilingual."
David Kim is the founder of C2 Education, which also offers tutoring services for standardized tests. He’s currently on a national tour to educate people about the new test and debunk their fears.
“Students and parents are really looking at how to get into into the competitive schools,” says Kim. “And this change in the SAT is really causing a lot of anxiety because it is something new and different.”
The main reason the College Board made the change is so it’d be more reflective of what students have learned in high school, much like the ACT, which has risen in popularity. The new test will incorporate Common Core Standards.