Redesigned SAT: What You Need To Know


In March of 2014, College Board President, David Coleman, announced plans for an overhaul of the SAT. The new SAT, which will be officially introduced this coming March, aims to realign the test with the work done in high schools and more accurately assess what student should be learning before college.

Much of the discussion surrounding the new SAT has centered on how the changes will impact colleges, high schools, and test prep providers. But what the students? What type of impact will the new exam have on test takers? Here is where future SAT test-takers should focus:

1) Pick Up A Book

The College Board has decided to eliminate the abstruse and outdated language from the SAT. They test will no feature words that students are more likely to encounter in college and the workplace. Many words still look familiar, but their meaning will depend on context, and answering questions correctly will require strong skills in reading comprehension and interpretation.

2) Advanced U.S. History

The new SAT will contain a large number of passages from the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and other Founding Documents. Therefore, taking advanced coursework in U.S. history could really help improve your standardized test score. Consider enrolling in an honors or AP U.S. History course. The skills you learn in these classes may help you negotiate the exam’s new writing section, which requires that students analyze a passage and explain how its author uses evidence and reason to build an argument.

3) Statistics

The redesigned math section has a primary focus on quantitative reasoning and real world applications. Test takers will be asked to analyze rates, interpret graphs, synthesize mathematical information, and make sense of patterns within a particular dataset. All of these skills are considered to be essential in today’s big data environment and should be developed during a statistics course.

4) Sample Free Test-Prep

The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy, a leading online learning platform, to provide free test preparation services. This is a great way to get a better idea of how the test will actually read. However, you still may benefit from fee-based options for some more in-depth training as to what will be on the test.