What is the "New SAT" and how will it affect me and my child?

The New SAT and its partner tests, PSAT/NMSQT, have been designed to better reflect comprehensive and broad-based learning. They are less heavily concerned with skills ("trick" math problems, vocabulary knowledge) and more focused on the abilities of a student in a school context. For that reason, it is ever more important that holistic diagnosis is made of what a student knows so that gaps can be filled in preparation for the exam.  

At Nexus Academics, we like to say that the test is:

"Less crammable, more teachable!"

In other words, one can no longer simply familiarize oneself with the format and content, take some practice tests, and expect significant score improvement. However, this also means that the test is less reliant on "non-academic" skill sets. The most relevant skills on the new test are those that can be taught and retained, those that most closely reflect what students will need to find success in college.

Some additional differences from the old test:

  • The New SAT will be graded on a 1600 point scale, weighted evenly between a Math section and a newly combined Critical Reading and Writing section.  
  • The essay will now be optional.
  • There will no longer be a penalty for guessing.
  • Reading passages will be culled in part from important historical documents (e.g., The Gettysburg Address, The Federalist Papers, The Magna Carta, Machiavelli's The Prince, etc.)
  • Computer-based testing will become available. 

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask!