New SAT/PSAT

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Alysia Kane

The new SAT board outside of NMHS’ guidance office, check it out for more information!

Erika Ramos and Alysia Kane

Beginning in March 2016, the new SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) will declare its reign over high school students. Although the basics of the test remain the same, there are some key changes to the test. The new SAT has been developed to mimic tests more like the ACT in order to adapt to the new changes in the Common Core State Standards.

The most drastic change to the test is that instead of losing one quarter of a point for wrong answers, now there is no penalty for wrong answers on the multiple choice sections. Students  will also receive subscores in science in addition to scores in writing, critical reading, and math. These science subscores will be integrated within the math sections, and history will be woven into the critical reading sections. For the writing section the main alterations are that the essay is now optional and there is no longer a vocabulary section.

Some of the aspects of the new SAT test include how in the critical reading sections the passages are more DBQ style, including more analysis and interpretation based questions.

“One of the bigger problems for students,” states Mrs. Mary Bilali, New Milford High School Guidance Counselor, “is that for one math section there is no calculator allowed.”

The math section now only contains some simple right triangle trigonometry and very little geometry. Mrs Biali also commented that the math word problems are much “wordier” than before.

Until the new era of testing begins, the old version of the SAT will run until January of 2016. The first testing session for the new test format will occur in March, however, the scores for this session will not come back until the May test date, which gives students no time to try and improve.  For the juniors that decide to take both versions of the test, new and old, they might have some concerns about how their different sets of scores will be handled when they are sent to colleges. They do not need to worry.  All their scores will still be super scored by colleges.

Amanda Martinez, class of 2017, hasn’t taken the first version of the SAT yet but is planning on taking the newer version in the upcoming months. She believes that the new version will be better for her because of the changes in the math curriculum.

The junior class is considered to be the guinea pigs for the test. “I don’t necessarily think that it’ll be better for students because you can’t please everyone. Every individual student needs to decide whether the changes are better or worse for them when deciding which version to take,” states Martinez.

Mrs. Bilali’s advice for the class is to take both since “I would hate to have someone get to senior year, and be ready to apply to college and regret not taking both.”

Until we gain “a little history” with the test, it is more trial and error until we can figure out what works for the majority of students.