Out With The Old And In With The New
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SAT, once known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, has recently been revised to be more beneficial to an individual. The new SAT now offers an optional essay, less hazy word choices, and a no guessing penalty.
This March students across the country took the first new SAT. According to nytimes.com, “There will no longer be a penalty for guessing, and the odds will be better (the number of possible answers will decrease from 5 to 4).” With the answer choices decreasing from five to four, the chances of guessing correctly is 25 percent instead of the previous 20 percent.
The revised test has two sections worth 800 points each: (1) evidenced-based reading and writing, and (2) math. In addition, testers may also write an optional 50-minute essay. The new and supposedly state-of-the-art test was devised to be more in line with its competitor, American College Test, also referred to as the ACT. The new SAT lasts three hours, is available to be taken online or paper, and the overall scoring will range from 400-1600.
The no guessing penalty enhances students’ chances to take risks in order to achieve a higher score. Students need to be wary of too much guessing, however. According to teenlife.com, “With nothing at stake for wrong answers, students begin to guess wildly and focus on finishing a section rather than focusing on the correct answers they need to achieve their target scores.”
The new SAT does not count for this year’s graduating seniors. According to blog.prepscholar.com, the old SAT can be used for high school classes of 2016 and 2017, while the new SAT can be used for classes of 2017 and later.
Anyone graduating in 2017 is required to take the new SAT because colleges and universities will no longer favor the previous test. “I graduate in 2017 so I can submit either test,” junior Abigail Culverhouse explained. “But colleges like the University of Virginia still like the old SAT. I think all colleges should either accept all old or all new, not a combination of both because it is too confusing.”
Despite the new test’s more advantageous format, there are still more study resources available in relation to the old test than the new, such as unique study tips given by the old SAT makers themselves, previous test takers and previous tests, and more accessible preparation materials.
To put it another way, students taking the new SAT expect to have better outcomes. Although some students excelled on the previous test, they should be given the equal opportunity to submit either despite the colleges’ preference to solely use one over the other.