New Test Announcement
Since the announcement of a redesigned, digital SAT, parents and students alike are wondering what the new test holds, how will it affect my current practicing and what changes will occur?
The College Board is notoriously famous for changing the test when something big in in our world happens or when met with opposition.
In 2005, the test formatting changed when the California demanded an essay and since that state was 10% of their market, they capitulated and created three sections including a writing and essay portion.
In 2016, the test was redesigned based on the new president wanting the test to align more like the ACTs format so he hired ACT writers to rewrite the exam. They also partnered with Khan Academy to bring in free test prep for those students who couldn’t afford one. (Albeit Khan may be a great resource for subject matter, their test prep doesn’t teach test-taking techniques, shortcuts or strategies to answer questions in 30 seconds or less.
It appears that because of a worldwide pandemic that caused test cancellations across the nation, the test-makers could not quickly roll out a decent digital version that could have been used in lieu of an in-person paper and pencil test. In response to this phenomenon, the College Board created their digital SAT version to roll out in spring of 2024. On the contrary, since the CLT was already remotely proctored in a digital format, their test enrollment increased 5000%.
What we know
At College Prep Genius, we are on top of the situation and monitoring the test changes. Based on the design of a standardized test, the fundamental principles will stay the same such as knowing how to approach questions based on critical thinking skills, reading carefully with a critical eye and not being tricked by the wrong answers which are distractors. Applying the strategies may be a little different based on the format of the test.
What we don’t know
The College Board plans on releasing an app sometime in the future but we have not been given a date. This means we will not update our program until they have created and released a full practice test. There are currently some sample questions available by the test-maker but historically, these haven’t reflected exactly what the new questions will be so they can be unreliable in determining the final outcome.
In the 17 years that we have taught test prep success, it seems that the two times we have updated our program, there are a plethora of test prep companies that put out a program or curriculum before an actual practice test is released. Be very leery of anyone who jumps the gun in order to “be the first” or capitalize on anxious families awaiting a course to help boost their scores. Previously, these ventures have often been proven to be irrelevant to the real test, leaving families frustrated with wasted time and money.
DIGITAL SAT TEST SPECIFICATIONS
- International test centers spring 2023
- U.S. schools and test centers spring 2024
- PSAT 8/9 and PSAT//NMSQT fall 2023
- Personal laptops (Windows or MacOS)
- School-owned desktops and laptops
- School-managed Chromebooks
Some of the test tools included in the digital testing application:
- Students may flag any question within a test module that they want to return to.
- Students will get an alert when there is five minutes remaining in each module.
- There is a built-in graphing calculator.
- There is a list of math formulas.
- Students can leave themselves notes by highlighting parts of a question.
The SAT will continue to be scored on the 400-1600 scale.
The Math and Reading/Writing sections will be pretty similar.
- Assessments will last two hours and fourteen minutes instead of three hours
- On average there will be more time to answer each question
- Scores are received in days instead of weeks
- There will be a single reading and writing section
- Instead of a few long passages, there will be many shorter ones
- There will be one question per passage
- Calculators are permitted
- Students may use their own approved calculator or the graphing calculator built into the application.
Multistage adaptive testing (MST) SAT Suite Test
- Tests have become shorter while still maintaining their reliability.
- Students answer a mix of questions of varying difficulty in each section of the first module
- They then proceed to a second module based on their performance in the first.
- The test will now adapt based on each student’s performance level.
- Students can go through each module’s questions, look at upcoming questions, or mark previous ones to come back to if time allows.
- 64 minutes to complete Reading/Writing section
- 70 to complete Math section