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The Redesigned SAT from 2016

The world’s most well-known undergraduate college admission test, the SAT, is changing. When students open their SAT test books in spring 2016, they’ll encounter an SAT that is more focused, useful, clear, and open than ever before. The redesigned SAT aims to be more relevant in changing times. Each change in the redesigned SAT focuses on the knowledge and skills that are most essential for college readiness and success.

Salient Features
  1. The exam will be scored out of 1600. The Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math sections will each be scored on a 200 to 800 point scale. Scores for the Essay will be reported separately.
  2. The Essay will be optional, and not mandatory like it currently is.
  3. The duration of the exam will be about 3 hours, with an additional 50 minutes for the Essay. Precise timing will be finalized after further research.
The Eight Key Changes
Carrer, Sucess
  1. Relevant Words in Context
    The redesigned SAT will focus on relevant words, the meanings of which depend on how they’re used. Students will be asked to interpret the meaning of words based on the context of the passage in which they appear. This is demanding but rewarding work. These are words that students will use throughout their lives — in high school, college, and beyond.
    Requiring students to master relevant vocabulary will change the way they prepare for the exam. No longer will students use flashcards to memorize obscure words, only to forget them the minute they put their test pencils down. The redesigned SAT will engage students in close reading and honor the best work of the classroom.
  2. Command of Evidence
    When students take the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Essay sections of the redesigned SAT, they’ll be asked to demonstrate their ability to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources. These include informational graphics and multi-paragraph passages excerpted from literature and literary nonfiction; texts in the humanities, science, history, and social studies; and career-related sources.
    For every passage students read in the SAT Reading Test, there will be at least one question asking them to select a quote from the text that best supports the answer they have chosen in response to the preceding question. Some passages will be paired with informational graphics, and students will be asked to integrate the information conveyed through each in order to find the best answer.
    Questions in the SAT Writing and Language Test will also focus on command of evidence. Students will be asked to analyze sequences of paragraphs to make sure they are correct, grammatically and substantively. In some questions, students will be asked to interpret graphics and edit the accompanying passages so that they accurately convey the information in the graphics.
    The Essay will also require students to demonstrate command of evidence. Students will be asked to analyze a provided source text to determine how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience through the use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive devices and then to write a cogent and clear analysis supported by critical reasoning and evidence drawn from the source.
  3. Essay Analyzing a Source
    The focus of the Essay section on the redesigned SAT will be very different from the essay on the current SAT. Students will read a passage and explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience. Students may analyze such aspects of the passage as the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and stylistic and persuasive elements. This task more closely mirrors college writing assignments.
    The new Essay section is designed to support high school students and teachers as they cultivate close reading, careful analysis, and clear writing. It will promote the practice of reading a wide variety of arguments and analyzing how authors do their work as writers.
    The essay prompt will be shared in advance and remain consistent. Only the source material (passage) will change. The Essay will be an optional component of the SAT, although some school districts and colleges will require it.
  4. Focus on Math that Matters Most
    The exam will focus in depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, the Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. Problem Solving and Data Analysis is about being quantitatively literate. It includes using ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in science, social science, and career contexts. The Heart of Algebra focuses on the mastery of linear equations and systems, which helps students develop key powers of abstraction. Passport to Advanced Math focuses on student’s familiarity with more complex equations and the manipulation they require.
    Current research shows that these areas most contribute to readiness for college and career training. They’re used disproportionately in a wide range of majors and careers. In addition to these areas, the exam will sample additional topics in math, including the kinds of geometric and trigonometric skills that are most relevant to college and careers.
  5. Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts
    Throughout the redesigned SAT, students will engage with questions grounded in the real world, questions directly related to the work performed in college and career.
    In the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, reading questions will include literature and literary nonfiction, but also feature charts, graphs, and passages like the ones students are likely to encounter in science, social science, and other majors and careers. Students will be asked to do more than correct errors; they’ll edit and revise to improve texts from the humanities, history, social science, and career contexts.
    The Math section will feature multistep applications to solve problems in science, social science, career scenarios, and other real-life contexts. Students will be presented with a scenario and then asked several questions about it. This allows students to dig into a situation and think about it, then model it mathematically.
  6. Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies
    Students will be asked to apply their reading, writing, language, and math skills to answer questions in science, history, and social studies contexts. They will use these skills — in college, in their jobs, and in their lives — to make sense of recent discoveries, political developments, global events, and health and environmental issues.
    Students will encounter challenging texts and informational graphics that pertain to issues and topics like these in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section. Questions will require them to read and comprehend texts, revise texts to be consistent with data presented in graphics, synthesize information presented through texts and graphics, and solve problems based in science and social science.
  7. Founding Documents and Great Global Conversation
    The U.S. founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers, have helped inspire a conversation that continues to this day about the nature of civic life. While the founding documents originated in the early American context, authors, speakers, and thinkers from the United States and around the world, including Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mahatma Gandhi, have broadened and deepened the conversation around such vital matters as freedom, justice, and human dignity. Every time students take the redesigned SAT, they will encounter a passage from one of the founding documents or from a text from the global conversation. In this way, we hope that the redesigned SAT will inspire a close reading of these rich, meaningful, often profound texts, not only as a way to develop valuable college and career readiness skills but also as an opportunity to reflect on and deeply engage with issues and concerns central to informed citizenship.
  8. No Penalty for Wrong Answers
    The redesigned SAT will remove the penalty for wrong answers. Students will earn points for the questions they answer correctly. This move to rights-only scoring encourages students to give the best answer they have to every problem.
Launch Date and Who Gets Impacted
The first administration of the redesigned exam will take place in spring 2016. The high school graduating classes of 2014 and 2015 will take the current SAT. These students should continue to visit the SAT website to register for the test and to get and send their scores.

Other Things You Need To Know
Why is the essay optional?
There are two main reasons behind the decision to make the essay optional on the redesigned SAT. The editing work students do in the multiple-choice Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is deeply predictive of college success. However, one essay alone has not in the past contributed significantly to the overall predictive power of the exam. Furthermore, feedback from college admission officers was split; some of them found the essay useful while many did not.

Can students use calculators on the redesigned SAT?
A calculator will be allowed on one of two sections in the redesigned SAT Math Test. Calculators are important mathematical tools, and to succeed after high school, students have to know how to use them effectively and appropriately. But the no-calculator section makes it easier to assess students’ fluency in math and understanding of math concepts. It also rewards well-learned technique and number-sense.

How will colleges use the scores of the redesigned SAT and compare scores on the redesigned SAT to scores on the current SAT?
By better reflecting rigorous, useful course work, the SAT of 2016 will, more than ever, help colleges form a complete picture of each applicant. This will include a new, more robust score report that will provide greater insight into students’ strengths. The College Board will provide colleges with a concordance that shows how the two sets of scores compare.

Can students take both the current SAT and the redesigned SAT and see which score is higher?
When the College Board switches over to the redesigned SAT in spring 2016, the current SAT will no longer be offered. However, some students might take the SAT before that time and then take the redesigned SAT later. Because the exam and score scale are changing, we recommend that these students send all scores, allowing colleges to use those that are most favorable to the student. Some colleges require students to send all scores.

Is the PSAT/NMSQT changing too?
Yes, the PSAT/NMSQT will change together with the SAT and is planned to launch in October 2015. This schedule will allow students to take the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT before the redesigned SAT.

Full specifications of the redesigned SAT have been made available. For more information, you should visit
Published date : 29 Oct 2014 04:14PM

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