What Does It Mean to Be Twice Exceptional?

In this blog, I wanted to explore the topic of what it means to be twice exceptional. The term twice exceptional (2e) refers to intellectually gifted children who have some form of disability. 2e students are often given special consideration in schools for both their higher-than-average aptitudes and their special needs.

There is no clear-cut profile of a twice exceptional child because the causes of twice exceptionality can be so varied. The disabilities that can classify an intellectually gifted child as 2e can range from dyslexia to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Diagnoses of attention deficit disorder, anxiety, or depression can also designate a student as twice exceptional. Further, some 2e children may have no formal diagnosis but do have learning differences, such as a preferred learning style that makes it hard for them to function in a standard classroom.

The percentage of 2e students is not clear because the nature of twice exceptionality is so varied, but some estimate the number at 2 to 5 percent of all gifted children. Dr. Linda Silverman of the Gifted Development Center (GDC) has found that one-sixth of the gifted children tested at the GDC have a learning difference of some type.

2e students are often misunderstood. The combination of their strengths and weaknesses can result in behavior and academic performance that perplex parents and teachers. Twice exceptional students often appear uninterested, lazy, or disruptive to those around them. Dr. Susan Baum has qualified three profiles into which 2e students often fall: bright but not trying hard enough, learning disabled but with no gifted abilities, and average. For 2e students the case is often that the student’s strengths compensate for deficits while the deficits conceal strengths.

What happens when students have this interplay of strengths and weaknesses is inconsistency in performance. Grades may fluctuate between great and very poor even within the same subject. Assignments may be completed but never turned in. Students may be able to verbally articulate deep understanding of a topic but can’t translate their thoughts to writing. 2e students may become frustrated with their performance, draining their enthusiasm and energy for school.

Identifying Twice Exceptional Children

2e children can exhibit a wide range of traits, many of which are typical of gifted students. Some common strengths exhibited by 2e children include: advanced vocabulary, high level of creativity and problem-solving skills, and having a wide range of interests not related to school. Some common weaknesses include: poor social skills, high sensitivity to criticism, and lack of organizational and study skills.

Before students reach school age twice exceptionality may appear as simply giftedness in the form of varied interests and advanced vocabulary. However, when students reach school, it is often the teacher who first begins to notice specific problems. If an issue is spotted early on, it is usually in the form of a social problem, such as the student having a hard time making friends and fitting in. Academic problems often don’t appear until later when workload and content become more challenging and the student’s strengths can no longer completely compensate for his weaknesses.

When difficulties persist, school personnel or parents may decide to pursue psycho-educational testing to determine the causes of the student’s struggles. It is critical that the professionals conducting the evaluations are knowledgeable in giftedness. Because certain characteristics of giftedness can seem like those of a learning disorder, sometimes, gifted children are incorrectly diagnosed with a disorder. Evaluations should indicate what the child needs in order to build on strengths and compensate for weaknesses.

Support for Twice Exceptional Children

2e children typically thrive in learning environments that engage multiple senses and offer hands-on learning. Often, the specific type of support that is needed for a 2e student depends on the specific student. For example, some 2e students may need extra time on tests while others need extra attention to learning time management skills. Above all, it is important that 2e students receive support that allows them to develop and challenge their gifts. They need to be recognized for their gifts rather than be conditioned to focus on compensating for their weaknesses, which can elicit negative behavioral patterns.

Public and private schools that have truly implemented appropriate support systems for 2e students are unfortunately scarce. Many parents of 2e students choose to pursue supplemental or alternate options than the services that would be provided to them through a 504 plan or IEP.

At Educational Connections we have a handful of tutors who are well versed in the needs of 2e students. To learn more about the supplemental support that we can provide, please contact [email protected].

Teaching SAT and ACT Test-taking Strategies

http://pacificlearningacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Test-Prep-scantron-answer-sheet.jpgI’ve worked with many of Educational Connections’s tutors to coach them on how to teach SAT and ACT test preparation to students. Nearly every time I go through the test-taking strategies with our tutors, I hear something along the lines of, “I wish I knew this stuff when I was taking the SAT.” These strategies are so simple but so effective that our tutors realize their usefulness as soon as they see them for the first time.

We teach how to approach the SAT and ACT

You may hear test prep providers promote services that entail learning the “tricks” of the test. While the SAT is especially notorious for containing intricacies that are often embedded in the details, at Educational Connections, we teach students how to approach each section. We provide strategies specific to each section and question type so that students can approach the questions and know exactly what to do.

The SAT math section is a good example of how helpful test-taking strategies can be. Many students have a great deal of anxiety about this section because, while the concepts tested are usually familiar, the style of the questions is not. Also, students are trained in their math classes on specific ways to solve problems, which presents a challenge on SAT math. There are often multiple ways to solve SAT math questions, which do not come intuitively to students. By learning and practicing strategies such as plugging in and choosing numbers, students can more easily apply their content knowledge to solve problems that might seem indecipherable otherwise.

Strategies Make the Difference

As a former test prep tutor who has helped numerous kids with standardized tests, I have seen one thing to hold true when it comes to the SAT and ACT: the students who embrace and apply the strategies they have learned feel more confident and score better in the end.

While learning strategies is a large piece of the puzzle, our test prep programs also incorporate working on content and pacing, the other two critical components of an effective test prep program.

To learn more about our test prep services and how we can help your child, contact our test prep tutoring specialist!

Study Tips for Final Exams

https://info.examtime.com/files/2013/11/student.jpgIt’s time for finals again. It feels like only a short time ago when I sat down this time last year to post 4 tips for how parents can encourage students to study. To add to that advice, here are 7 study methods that can make a large improvement in a student’s retention of material.

  1. Break up study time. Although it’s tempting, cramming is not an effective study method. According to the Dartmouth Academic Skills Center, the best way to study is in 50 minute increments and to give yourself a 5 to 10 minute break between each session. For best results, study for one week leading up to the test.
  2. Switch up your location. Earlier this year, the New York Times explained that rather than sticking to one study spot, you should switch things up when reviewing for exams.
  3. Get a group together. Study groups can motivate you to get started when it’s hard to motivate yourself. Plus, explaining difficult concepts out loud will help you figure out what you understand and what you still need to go over, and getting a group together will allow you to divide and conquer definition of terms and explanations of concepts.
  4. Visualize success. If mere mention of the phrase “final exam” increases your anxiety, mastering exam material may not be all you need to worry about. To calm yourself down — and prevent from blanking during the test — spend some time before the exam imagining yourself acing it.
  5. Set a schedule. By the time finals roll around, your time is precious — every minute counts. To avoid going crazy during this stressful time, make a realistic study schedule for yourself. Leave yourself time for breaks and be sure to prioritize according to which class you’ll need to study for the most. Even though this seems like an easy feat, setting a schedule and sticking to it can be difficult for many students. Our Educational Coaches are experts when it comes to time management and can help.
  6. Throw technology into the mix. There are a variety of web and app study aids to help students prepare for tests. One of our favorites is StudyBlue, which allows users to upload class study materials and practice tests, and create electronic flashcards to study and share with others. Another top pick for those who have a hard time focusing is SelfControl, which, for Mac users, will block access to certain websites and mail servers for a set amount of time in order to help you stay focused.
  7. Make it memorable. Just as it’s harder to recall a list of 20 words than a 20-word sentence, it’s harder to recall a list of boring facts than a story. To help retain information, try to connect with whatever it is you’re learning. Whether using memory aids (like mnemonic devices) or making facts personal, bringing test material to life will make it much easier to remember.

Small changes to your study routine can make a huge difference when it comes to test day. Try some of these suggestions out and see what works for you. Also, if you have any study tips that have been helpful for you, please share them in the comments section – we’d love to hear them!

More Changes from the College Board: AP Test Revisions

By now you’ve likely heard ad nauseam of the changes due for the SAT in 2016. This announcement from the College Board has overshadowed other major changes being made by the organization to its AP tests, some of which take effect this year.

Several AP tests will undergo minor to major changes over the next few years in order to target more critical thinking, depth of understanding, and student achievement. Specific changes depend on the subject, but the general trend seems to be that the test will have less content and require more depth. Many teachers across the country have protested the sheer volume of information that they have to cover in the school year and that preparing students for these AP tests, especially in subjects that have a historical context, is essentially preparing students for a grand culminating game of memory recall. These changes seem to address these concerns as the College Board has begun an effort to modify its products to more closely align with classroom learning objectives.

Here’s a snapshot of upcoming changes to AP tests:

AP Test Revisions First Year of Revised Test
Chemistry Several content changes 2014
Spanish Language and Culture Focus on three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, presentational. More focus on culture. 2014
Physics 1 This class will be the equivalent of a first semester of college level physics, covering Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, power, waves, sounds, and electric circuits. 2015
Physics 2 This class will be the equivalent of a second semester of college level physics, covering fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. 2015
US History AP US History will now contain a series of learning objectives rather than simply listing the weight of various historical period. 2015
Art History AP Art History will specify, define, and limit the objectives, content, and number of art to 250 pieces, half the previous number. 2016
European History AP European History will focus around 5 themes and 19 key concepts in 4 chronological periods. 2016

Summer ACT & SAT Test Prep for Rising Juniors and Seniors

Summer is the perfect time to get a jump start on the college admission process.

http://www.catestutoring.com/assets/images/test-prep/SAT%20Test%20Prep.jpgSummer schedules are more open than during the school year and students can better focus their attention on improving their ACT or SAT test taking skills when they aren’t worrying about the math test at the end of the week or an English paper due next Tuesday. In preparation for the fall ACT and SAT, we recommend that rising juniors and seniors take advantage of their summer break to get ready for the tests, a major piece of the college admission puzzle.

ACT or SAT?

For rising juniors, the first step may be figuring out whether to take the ACT or SAT. At EC, we’ve found that about one-third of students prefer or score better on the ACT, one-third prefer or score better on the SAT, and the remaining one-third do not really show much of a propensity toward one test over the other. Taking full-length practice tests of each test is the best way to determine which test to prepare for. Using a concordance table, we can get a sense for if a student is stronger on one test over the other. Methodical, logical thinkers tend to do better on the SAT, while quick, content masters tend to perform better on the ACT. We advise selecting either the ACT or the SAT to prep for as the tests are different enough that preparing for both does not optimize a student’s time; however, there are certain scenarios where preparing for both may be advisable.

As you may be aware, the College Board has recently announced major changes to the SAT. These changes are not scheduled to take effect until spring 2016, so rising juniors and seniors will not be affected.

Focus on Weaknesses

For rising seniors, many will likely take the ACT or SAT for the second or third time this coming fall if their scores are not where they need them to be. Our tutors are trained to focus specifically on a student’s areas for greatest improvement in order to maximize score gains. Using a detailed score report from a student’s diagnostic test, we are able to determine everything from particular types of questions a student struggles with to pacing issues.

Improving one’s ACT or SAT scores requires effort and we’ve found that in the summer many students aren’t feeling burnout from academic demands and are therefore more productive in their test prep programs.

Contact us today to get started with a free diagnostic ACT and/or SAT. Once we have the test(s) scored, our test prep program manager will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your student.

New SAT vs. Current SAT

Today the College Board released the full specifications of the new SAT, which is scheduled to roll out spring 2016. Below is an overview of the major differences between the current and new SAT.

Category

Current SAT

New SAT

Total Testing Time  3 hours and 45 minutes 3 hours (plus 50 minutes for the optional Essay)
Test Sections
  1. Critical Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Mathematics
  4. Essay
  1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Reading
    • Writing and Language
  2. Math (calculator and no calculator portions)
  3. Essay (optional)
Important Features
  • Emphasis on general reasoning skills and vocabulary
  • A point for a correct answers, a ¼ point deduction for an incorrect answer, and  no impact for omitted answers
  • Emphasis on reasoning with a stronger focus on the knowledge most important for college and career readiness
  • Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in context and on how word choice shapes meaning and tone
  • No penalties for wrong answers
Essay
  • Required and given at the beginning of the SAT
  • 25 minutes
  • Students take a position on a presented issue
  • Optional and given at the end of the SAT; colleges determine whether they will require the Essay
  • 50 minutes
  • Tests reading, analysis, and writing skills; students produce a written analysis of a provided source text
Score Reporting
  • Scale ranging from 600 to 2400
  • Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Critical Reading; 200 to 800 for Mathematics; 200 to 800 for Writing
  • Essay results scaled to multiple-choice Writing
  • Scale ranging from 400 to 1600
  • Scale ranging from 200 to 800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; 200 to 800 for Math; 2 to 8 on each of three traits for Essay
  • Essay results reported separately

 

Current SAT

Redesigned SAT

Subject

Time Allotted
(minutes)

Number of
Questions

Subject

Time
Allotted (minutes)

Number of
Questions

Critical Reading

70

67

Reading

65

52

Writing

60

49

Writing and Language

35

44

Essay

25

1

Essay
(optional)

50

1

Mathematics

70

54

Math

80

57

Total

225

171

Total

180
(230 with Essay)

153
(154 with Essay)

Categories SAT

How to Do Well on ACT English

The ACT English test requires students to play the role of editor, correcting grammar errors and improving the flow of five less than perfect passages.

ACT English Format and Content

Students are given 45 minutes to answer 75 multiple-choice questions, which are divided evenly among the five passages. Essentially, in order to master the English test, students need to learn 23 discrete rules, which cover two main types of questions: grammar and rhetorical skills. Grammar questions test the classic rules of Standard written English. The most frequent topics tested are punctuation (15% of questions), illogical connectors (8% of questions), redundancy (7% of questions), and improper verb tense (6% of questions). Rhetorical skills questions test students’ ability to comprehend the flow and function of a passage. The most frequent topics tested are adding or deleting information (8% of questions) and effective wording (8% of questions). Pay special attention to the topics in the course book that are marked by stars, as these are the most frequent concepts tested on ACT English.

Questions on the English test are presented in two forms: underlined questions, which refer to a specific part of a passage and boxed and overall questions, which refer to larger samples of the passage or the passage as a whole. Boxed and overall questions are often rhetorical and are typically more time-consuming.

As students make their way through the passages, they should answer the questions along the way but some questions, such as the boxed and overall questions, will be more complicated and may require a more in depth understanding of the passage. These questions should be circled and revisited later.

ACT English Strategy

In general, the most effective step by step method for tackling underline questions on the English test is as follows: First, read the portion of the passage in question and listen for a mistake. Second, if there is an error you can identify, give your own correction. Next, quickly scan the answer choices. If your answer shows up, choose it and move on. If not, or if you were unable to come up with an answer choice, try to determine what grammar topic is being tested from the answer options. Test each answer choice in the context of the passage and cross out those that do not work. Finally, plug in the remaining choices and choose the answer that sounds best.

Let’s look at an example of an underlined question:

In 1980, scientist John Smith and his son, geologist Steve Smith announced a startling discovery.

A. NO CHANGE

B. son, geologist Steve Smith,

C. son geologist, Steve Smith,

D. son geologist Steve Smith,

When a student reads this sentence to himself, an error may not be blatantly apparent; however, the sentence sounds a bit off, even though a student may not be able to explain why or provide a solution. Scanning the answer options, it is clear that this question is testing comma placement, the single most frequent punctuation error on the English test. Each of the answer options has a comma in a different location. The next step is to go through each answer choice, exaggerating the pauses denoted by the commas. This is the easiest way to determine comma placement.

Choice A: The sentence as it is: In 1980, scientist John Smith and his son, geologist Steve Smith announced a startling discovery, makes it sound as if only Steve Smith announced the discovery. In fact, it was both he and his father. We can eliminate A.

Choice B: In 1980, scientist John Smith and his son, geologist Steve Smith, announced a startling discovery. These pauses sound comfortable and the sentence now states that both men announced the discovery. Let’s keep choice B.

Choice C: In 1980, scientist John Smith and his son geologist, Steven Smith, announced a startling discovery. In this case, “his son geologist” sounds jumbled. We can eliminate C.

Choice D: In 1980, scientist John Smith and his son geologist Steve Smith, announced a startling discovery. Here we have “his son geologist” again. Eliminate D. We’ve now eliminated all choices but one.

B is our answer.

Often, students get hung up on an answer choice because it sounds wrong but they can’t articulate or explain why it’s wrong and they are hesitant to select it. In the example we just looked at, it would be nice if the student could explain that choice B is correct because it correctly places the commas around the appositive in the sentence; however, this is not necessary. The brain functions with a very sophisticated grammatical system, mostly at the subconscious level. If an answer choice sounds wrong, it is probably wrong. Select that answer and move on.

SAT Critical Reading Strategy

http://www.ivyleaguetutors.net/wp-content/uploads/SAT-test.jpgSAT Critical Reading is notorious for the dullness of its passages, the esoteric nature of its vocabulary, and “tricky” questions.  But here’s something really important for students to realize about SAT Critical reading: the questions are not difficult – it’s the answers that are difficult!

SAT Critical Reading Format

But first things first. Let’s look at the format of the Critical Reading section. There are three scored critical reading sections, two that are 25 minutes in length and one that is 20 minutes in length. Across the three sections there are 19 sentence completion questions in which the student must choose from 5 answer choices the word or pair of words that best completes the sentence, and 48 reading comprehension questions that test the student’s ability to grasp namely main idea, tone, and inference questions. Each section begins with a set of sentence completion questions that progress in level of difficulty, followed by passage-based reading questions that are not in order of difficulty but typically follow chronologically the passages to which they refer.

SAT Critical Reading Strategy

Knowing that the critical reading section intends to trick you is the first defense. Strategy on the critical reading section ultimately boils down to two key tasks:

  1. Come up with your own answer before looking at the answer choices provided
  2. Eliminate wrong answers rather than try to pick the right ones.

Let’s examine these strategies more closely. The key to coming up with your own answers is to steal them directly from the text. The SAT writers are hoping that students will look for answers in their head rather than in the text. If you let the SAT suggest answer choices, the brain will do an amazing job of justifying them and considering them valid, even when they’re totally off-base. Consider this: if you can’t answer a question on your own, how are you supposed to pick the right answer from a minefield of intentionally deceiving answers?

Once you come up with your own answer, all you need to do is “find it” within the answer choices provided, which becomes even easier with the second part of the strategy. When it comes to creating your own answer, you just need to remember two things. First, find the answer, don’t come up with it – the text does not lie. And second, the simpler and more general your answer is, the better.

Avoid Overthinking SAT Critical Reading

Many students get into the habit over “over-thinking” the critical reading section. If the question asks you what the author is trying to accomplish in lines that read “Jellyfish move quite quickly, and though most people think of them as slow, they can cover great distances in short periods of time,” your answer should be “to show that jellyfish move faster than people think they do.” This is not a time to get creative. Just take the answer directly from the text. “James is typically so (blank) that Mary was surprised he showed up on time. Your answer should be “not on time” or “late.”

You should be religious about always coming up with an answer before looking at the choices. There is really only one exception to this rule, and that is on EXCEPT/NOT/LEAST questions. In these cases, you should move immediately to the second part of the strategy, which is to eliminate wrong answers rather than pick the right ones.

Ignore the Instinct to “Find the Right Answer”

The average student has been trained to “find the right answer” for the entirety of his academic career. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work so well on SAT critical reading. The problem is that it is far more difficult to prove something right than it is to prove something wrong. When students dwell on answer choices and try to prove them right, they’re wasting time and often convincing themselves of their own reasoning while avoiding the errors inherent in their answer choice. By eliminating answers based on wrongness, rather than picking them based on accuracy, students will be faster and more precise. This may seem counter-intuitive and you may be thinking “Won’t it take more time to eliminate the wrong answers than to just pick the right one? Most often, no. With practice, this method makes tackling SAT Critical Reading questions very efficient.

Employing test taking strategies is an important piece of the puzzle to doing well on the SAT; however, without test taking skills such as active reading, strategies can only help so much. An expert SAT tutor can provide the content and strategy instruction necessary to achieve a high SAT score. To learn about how Educational Connections can help you or your student prepare for the SAT, contact our Test Prep Tutoring Specialist.

ACT vs. SAT – Which Should You Take?

If you’re from the eastern US, you likely took the SAT in high school to apply to college. While the SAT is still more popular than the ACT in the Washington DC metro area, we don’t expect that to hold true for long. In fact, in 2012 there were more students nationally who took the ACT than those who took the SAT. There are various reasons for this, one of which has been the ACT’s strong marketing efforts to get its test into school districts nationwide. But also, all colleges and universities now accept either the SAT or the ACT for admission. Several years ago this wasn’t the case – many schools accepted one or the other. Now, in most cases, students can choose which test they prefer. The SAT and ACT do have significant overlaps in content; however, they are quite different tests, at least for the time being (learn about the changes to the SAT set to take effect spring 2016). Let’s take a look.

Neither the SAT nor the ACT is purely an aptitude or content-based test. The SAT measures mostly verbal and quantitative reasoning, while the ACT measures mostly achievement related to high school curriculum. The difficulty of any standardized test stems from both the difficulty of individual questions and the degree to which time is a factor. For most students, question difficulty presents the bigger challenge on the SAT, while pacing presents the bigger challenge on the ACT.

Here are the most important differences between the SAT and ACT:

First, the SAT is ten short sections taken in 3 hours and 45 minutes whereas the ACT is five longer sections called “tests” taken in 3 hours and 25 minutes. While SAT questions involve more reasoning and deduction skills, the ACT requires content mastery and a quick pace. Both are long tests and it’s important for students to get in as much simulated practice as possible so that they don’t fatigue on test day.

Second, for incorrect multiple choice answers on the SAT one quarter of a point is deducted. There are no deductions for incorrect answers on the ACT, so every question should be answered.

Third, the SAT writing section includes a limited set of grammar topics intended to test a student’s understanding of standard English grammar and usage, whereas the ACT tests punctuation and writing strategy and organization in addition to grammar and organization.

Fourth, SAT math covers Arithmetic, Algebra I and II, and Geometry, focusing on core math skills and solving “tricky” problems. ACT math, on the other hand tests pre-algebra through basic Trig in a more straightforward manner, with a greater emphasis on word problems.

Fifth, the SAT Critical Reading places an emphasis on vocabulary, which is tested through sentence completion questions. It includes 7 short and long reading passages, which follow the order of the passage and include a higher concentration of inference, tone, and purpose questions. The ACT Reading test places little to no emphasis on vocabulary and includes four long reading passages, each with 10 questions in random order that are straightforward but require a close reading of the passage.

Sixth, the SAT does not include a science section, while the ACT does. The ACT science test is a reasoning test requiring students to navigate complex diagrams and tables to find relevant information. Contrary to what many students think, the test does not require specific knowledge from science classes.

Finally, both tests include a writing component; however, the SAT provides test takers with a broad theme that can be approached formulaically or creatively, while the ACT presents a narrow topic that is relevant to high school students.

Not sure whether to take the SAT or ACT?

Often, when families contact us about test prep they aren’t sure which test their student will take. Sometimes, they want to arrange prep for both tests. Except in rare circumstances relating to recruited athletes and certain scholarships, we advise against preparing for both tests. By doing so a student is splitting his time between two tests when he could be optimizing it for one test, likely resulting in better improvement and a stronger overall score.

For undecided students, we ask them to complete a full length practice SAT and ACT. At EC Tutoring we’ve found that about a third of students prefer the SAT, a third prefer the ACT, and the remaining third do not have a strong preference either way. On top of personal preference, we can use a concordance table  to look at the student’s diagnostic scores on both tests to determine if he does better on one over the other. Ultimately, we want our students to prepare for one test and to be confident in their test of choice.

If your student needs guidance on which test to take, contact us at 703.934.8282 to speak to our test prep tutoring specialist.

Changes to the SAT are Announced

The long-awaited changes to the new SAT have been announced, with a full description due in mid-April. The redesign comes in response to criticism about the content of the test, pressure from the increasingly popularity of the ACT, and a trend toward test-optional admissions at a number of schools. Ultimately, the change is intended to more closely align the SAT with the real work of college and career.

Starting in the spring of 2016, it appears that students will be filling gyms and cafeterias on Saturday mornings to take a new and quite different SAT. Here are the biggest changes:

  • The SAT will be offered in print and, at selected locations, on computer.
  • There will be three sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and the Essay.
  • The length of the SAT will be about three hours, with an added 50 minutes for the essay. Precise timing will be finalized after further research.
  • The exam will once again be scored on a 400- to 1600-point scale. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section will each be scored on a 200- to 800-point scale. Scores for the Essay will be reported separately.
  • No penalty for wrong answers. (We’re certain this will make students very happy.)

In addition, much of the content of the test will change.

1. The evidence-based reading and writing section will require students to demonstrate their ability to interpret and use evidence found in a range of sources including graphics and texts.

2. The essay will be optional and will require students to read a passage and analyze how the author builds an argument, supporting their claims with direct evidence from the provided passage.

3. Math will focus on 3 areas: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, the Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math.

4. All problems will be grounded in real-world context.

5. Each version of the test will include an excerpt from one of the United States’ founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Categories SAT