By Daniel Bonge
There is a new SAT this year for all high school students that began in March of 2016, and there are lots of new changes. The new SAT is now out of 1600 instead of 2400. In the old SAT, there was a quarter point taken away for incorrect answers, but with the new SAT, there will be no penalties for incorrect answers. For the new SAT, there is an additional section, Language. There is no required essay, although many colleges require or recommend students to write it. The old SAT had a required essay section. The test now has four answer choices instead of five and takes 3 hours and 45 minutes without the essay and 4 hours and 45 minutes with essay. The old SAT was 3 hours and 45 minutes with everything.
The redesigned SAT is focusing significantly more on algebra than the previous two tests. It is also featuring a nearly equal ratio of real world math problems to conceptual math problems. The other two tests more heavily focus on conceptual questions. The math section also has many changes to it, whereas there is now a section which no calculator is allowed. The new SAT passages have a higher degree of text complexity and the addition of tables and graphs. The focus of the writing portion of the test test has shifted from grammar, mechanics, and usage to rhetorical skills. There is also an increased focus on diction, including commonly confused words and homophones. The reading section has added two new types of questions: Command of Evidence and Data Interpretation. The Command of Evidence questions ask students to pinpoint where in the passage they found an answer. The Data Interpretations refer to tables or graphs that accompany two of the passages.
These changes are what differentiates the new SAT from the old. March 5 was the first date of the new SAT, and now it will be only SAT available to be taken for all students until the College Board decides to change the test again in the upcoming years.