The test questions on the new SAT will reflect the Common Core Standards. The content will be more advanced and contain sophisticated question types. The old SAT focused more on the ability to solve math, reading and writing items, but the new SAT will measure fluency and deeper understanding and application of content.
Reading and Writing
The Writing section of the new SAT is optional and resembles the ACT English; however, the reading section includes more difficult passages that are usually found on the SAT Literature Test. 3 of 24 reading questions ask students to explain ?Why? the answer is correct. Students will be asked a two part question: part 1:? an inference question and part 2: they will have to give textual evidence in the passage to support their answer. These questions will require more time and could cause students to miss multiple questions if they miss they first part of the question.
The ?optional? essay will focus on the student building an argument in a logical, well structured essay and is more difficult than the current essay. It is better suited to assess a student?s readiness for college-level writing and analysis.
The new SAT will require students to model real-world situations with complex formulas. In the past students could solve most math problems by using an accurate set-up, methodical problem solving, basic heuristics, and occasionally some logic or creative techniques.? These new Common Core inspired questions force students to prove their ability to understand the underlying math principles of real world situations rather than just solving equations. The old reliable strategy of finding the relevant info in the problem, writing the equation, and solving will not work on the new SAT math portion because the new word problems are very conceptual and students will need to understand what the variables and the constants signify. Students, will have to identify irrelevant information in the problem.
In addition to the question difficulty, the new SAT math content is much broader in scope than the old version. Students will be accountable to know more definitions, equations, and math structures on this new test. The variety of new concepts covered by the two new math sections was unprecedented: deep trigonometry knowledge, deep planar geometry knowledge and much more. The new SAT contains math vocabulary that was not covered on the old SAT such as: margin of error, line of best fit, coefficients, constants, smooth curves, and ?solutions? to quadratic equations. The depth of the sample problems may cover well beyond the 40 or so discrete topics assessed on the current SAT.
There is some good and bad news about the extra time given on the new SAT. The good news is there is more time, but the bad news is that the evidence based reading questions and lengthy math word problems require more time so students will have to use quick processing speed.
So when will the changes take place? If you guessed January 2016, you are correct. Time is running out and the summer is a great time to get a head start on tutoring for the new SAT.