The SAT is administered by College Board, and it was drastically revamped in 2016. The new version is described below, but don't hesitate to give us a call to learn more. We love talking about this stuff! For guidance on how to decide between the SAT and ACT, give us a call or check out our SAT vs. ACT page.
In addition to the optional essay, there are two sections to the new SAT: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math. Below, we've broken each sections into two parts because these parts are timed separately.
Reading and Writing: Reading 52 Questions in 65 Minutes
Reading and Writing: Writing and Language44 Questions in 35 Minutes
Math: No Calculator20 Questions in 25 Minutes
Math: Calculator38 Questions in 55 Minutes
Part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Test, the reading portion is entirely passage-based. There are five total passages from three different categories, and students are tested on their ability to answer questions that require strong reading comprehension and reasoning skills.
The new SAT introduced a new type of question: find the evidence. These questions ask students to identify which quote from the passage contains evidence that supports their answer to a previous question. These questions are intended to test students' reasoning ability and ensure they have good evidence for their answers. The new SAT also feature data interpretation questions, which are questions about charts and graphs. There are no questions on the reading portion that require students to already have specific outside knowledge on a certain topic, though. All answers can be found in the passages.
The writing portion of the new Evidence-Based Reading and Writing test covers all things related to use of the English language. This includes things like grammar and punctuation as well as things like how a passage sounds and how well it flows. This section is entirely passage-based, so there are no more stand-alone grammar questions.
Students are still very much tested on grammar, but this is now done in the context of a passage. Grammar questions will test students' knowledge of things like punctuation, subjects and verbs. Students are also tested on their ability to put together effective writing that proves a point and provides evidence. The usual error-fixing questions are still present, as are some vocabulary questions that deal with word choice. A small number of questions will ask students to use a graphic, such as a chart, to find some data that is relevant to the question.
The new SAT features two math portions: one that allows calculator use and one that does not. The non-calculator questions are designed to be answered using only the student's knowledge of simplification, powers and basic math. The calculator portion looks a lot like the old SAT math section, with a few changes.
The new SAT Math Test places less emphasis on geometry than the old test. There is still some geometry present, and students are still given some geometric formulas, but there are simply fewer of these questions. There is a greater emphasis placed on algebra, and like the old test, algebra is often tested in a trickier way than it is in high school. The new SAT did add a small number of trigonometry questions, which have never been featured on the SAT before, and some questions that ask students to figure out what is going on in various models and functions rather than actually solving a problem using models and functions.
Below are the official test dates for the SAT for the 2016-2017 school year. To view registration deadlines and late registration information, click on each date.
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