The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is one of the two standardized tests (along with the American College Testing (ACT)) for college admissions in the United States. It measures students’ preparedness for colleges and universities by testing the critical thinking skills that are essential for success after high school. The test is owned, developed and published by the College Board. It is administered and scored by Educational Training Systems. A testing session lasts approximately 4 hours and costs $45 ($71 when taken abroad).
The role an applicant’s SAT score plays in his or her candidacy to a college or university varies between institutions. While it is the preferred standardized test of most colleges on the East and West coasts, the ACT is more widely accepted in the Midwest and South. Some colleges require neither, opting to evaluate candidacy solely on the basis of high school coursework, GPA, extracurricular experiences, writing samples and recommendations. Because of variance across high schools resulting from differences in curriculum, grading and rigor, standardized tests like the SAT and ACT provide admissions boards with a comparable element for the applicant pool.
|Section||# Of Questions||Time Allowed||Details||Score Range|
|SAT Writing||49 + 1 Essay||Two 25 min sections and One 10 min section||Improving Sentences (25 questions), Identifying Sentence Errors (18 questions), Improving Paragraphs (6 questions), Essay (1)||200-800|
|SAT Critical Reading||67||Two 25 min sections and One 20 min section||Sentence Completion (19 questions) and Passage-based Reading (48 questions)||200-800|
|SAT Math||54||Two 25 min sections and One 20 min section||Multiple Choice (44 questions), Grid-in (10 questions)||200-800|
|Totals||3 Hours and 45 Minutes||600-2400|
1. Section Types:
Instead of three required sections (critical reading, writing, and math), there will be two sections covering the original three content areas:
2. Revised Math Section:
There is a big shift away from geometry compared with the current test, which spends about a quarter of its time on geometry.
3. No More Required Essay
The essay section will become optional. For the essay you will now have to present evidence from the text given and cite specific evidence from the passage to validate your chosen answer. Separate test component that's 50 minutes long.
4. Scoring System & Question Types:
Currently the SAT deducts .25 of a point for every wrong answer but new changes eliminate the point deduction. The test will include 45 multiple-choice questions in total, which will each have four answer choices rather than the current five, as well as 11 grid-in questions, and an Extended Thinking question worth four points will be added. The Extended Thinking question will have one word-problem scenario with multiple grid-in questions following it.
5. Test Time:
Standard test (without the optional essay) will take about 3 hours now.
6. Test Score:
The total score will be out of 1600 now instead of 2400.
7. Test Media:
Test will now be available in either a paper or digital formal. The digital format will have limited availability at first.
1. The College Board has listed 41 specific skills that the new math test will assess. Fifteen percent of the math questions will have a hard science theme, and 15 percent will have a social studies theme.
2. The name of critical reading and writing will be changed to evidence based reading and writing: The section will include graphs and tables for science and social studies passages.
3. There will be a no calculator section that is worth 1/3 of the math score. The test places an emphasis on students’ ability to identify when a calculator is an effective tool. The calculator section will include “questions in which the calculator could be a deterrent to expedience, thus assessing appropriate use of tools.”
4. More Varied Text: The reading passages will come from a variety of academic disciplines including science, history, social studies, and literature.
5. Less Obscure Vocabulary: Words will now be "relevant in context" and are ones that are widely used in college and professional life.
6. Students will know passages ahead of time that will be from a founding document in american history or from a text that is part of the "great global conversation".
Area Scores: Will report two area scores:
1) Evidence Based Reading and Writing: will equal the sum of the Reading Test score and the Writing and Language Test Score 2) Math: Will be the math test score Each of the two scores will be reported on a scale ranging from 200 to 800. Scores for the essay will be reported separately and not be factored into area scores.
Test Scores: The SAT will report three test scores, on a scale from 10 to 40.
1) Reading Test Score 2) Writing and Language Test Score 3) Math Test Score The Essay will be reported separately. Current plans call for the Essay to report three scores, a decision that will be reassessed pending the outcome of further research.
Cross-Test Scores: The SAT will also report two cross-test scores:
1) Analysis in History/Social Studies 2) Analysis in Science Each of these scores will be reported on a 10-40 scale. These scores are based on selected questions in the SAT Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Tests and will reflect the application of reading, writing, language, and math skills in history/social studies and science contexts
The SAT will report multiple scores for Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. Reading and Writing and Language Tests will contribute questions to two subscores:
The Writing and Language Test will report two additional subscores:
Math Test will report three subscores:
Total: seven subscores. Each on a scale ranging from 1 to 15.
The College Board will release official practice materials for the new SAT in the spring of 2015.
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