For many high school juniors, taking the new SAT (also called the Revised SAT) for the first time this spring may seem like a rite of passage. After all, most students take a college entrance exam a couple of times in the spring of their junior year and often again in the fall of their senior year. But 2016 is going to be full of changes when it comes to standardized testing. Here’s why:
- The SAT is changing. In October of 2015, students across the United States will take the revised version of the PSAT. This gives students practice for the actual exam that colleges consider during admissions, the SAT.
- The College Board will continue to administer the current version of the SAT this fall and up to January 23rd. January is the last time students can sit for the exam in its current form.
- The new SAT will be rolled out March 5, 2016. This will be the first time students will be able to take the updated version.
- Although scores are typically available about two weeks after testing, that won’t be the case for those taking the March test. The College Board has recently confirmed that scores will not be available until after the next administration of the test which is on May 7th.
Why does this matter?
Students need to see their score reports to determine how they performed on each section so that they can prepare for the next test, but because scores won’t be released until after the May test, this won’t be possible for this year’s class of high school juniors. Furthermore, a small percentage of students plan to take the test only once, but they won’t have the luxury of knowing if their score is high enough for the schools to which they are applying. These students will likely continue to practice to ensure a solid score.
Why the delay? The College Board will not have the normative data from enough students taking the new SAT to create accurate scaled scores from raw scores. The additional time will also allow them to analyze the data to create scaled scores for each section (200-800).
There are lots of unknowns when it comes to the new SAT and for that reason, we’ve seen that the vast majority of the juniors we’re preparing for testing are electing to go with the ACT. Although the essay on the ACT has tweaked a bit, the multiple choice sections are unchanged.
If you have a high schooler interested in knowing which test might be the best bet for him or her, consider one of our practice tests. We’re offering the current SAT, new SAT, and ACT in a simulated testing environment. Taking a practice test not only gives students the change to hone their skills, but it also helps them decide which test they are likely to score better on in the first place. For those that take one of our mock exams, we’ll provide a detailed score report and follow up phone call to help them decide which test is best.
We have two dates coming up on October 17th and November 14th for current juniors and seniors. Click here to register for one of our mock exams.