Cracking the New SAT

Cracking the New SAT
Christina Zhou
If you've been studying for the old SAT, you only have a short amount of time left to take it. This standardized test is undergoing a redesigning process, a fact that leaves many high school students even more stressed about the test than before, especially juniors and seniors girding themselves for college applications. All the prep books from past years are obsolete! However, given what we currently know about the future format of the SAT, there are several ways to get ahead of the game and do well despite the unfamiliar format.
  • If you don't know, guess. Although the old SAT format penalized guessing by a deduction of a quarter of a point per wrong answer, the new SAT has no such penalty. Therefore, it is in your best interest to provide an answer for each question, especially if you're running out of time. Leaving questions blank is now the worst decision. Additionally, the number of possible choices per question is being reduced. So now if you guess wildly, you will have a greater chance of being right than before.
  • Forget vocab lists. No longer will you have to frantically memorize huge lists of practically obsolete vocabulary words in order to do well on the reading section of the SAT. The new SAT will have terminology more likely to be seen in the real world.
  • Other subjects matter. The new SAT will include either an excerpt from one of America's founding documents or issues discussing freedom, injustice and the like. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to become familiarized with some of the more well-known documents to save time during the test. Additionally, skills like graph reading and analysis, usually seen more in science subjects, will be featured in the new format.
  • Don't stress it. An increasingly high number of colleges are eschewing standardized tests as part of the admission process, turning it into a voluntary option. If you don’t do well the first time, study hard and try again, but don’t be discouraged.
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