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New SAT or ACT for Alamo Students: Which Is the Best to Take?

Jun 2

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6/2/2016 2:43 PM  RssIcon

The new SAT in Danville debuted in March of this year. Naturally students and parents alike are curious on how the students who took the test fared in this radical SAT re-shuffling.

Among the changes to the new SAT are the elimination of the guessing penalty, the new maximum score of 1600 (instead of 2400 in the old SAT), and the optional essay. The new SAT now has only two required sections: evidence-based Reading/Writing and Math, compared to the old test's three required sections (Critical Reading, Writing, and Math). The essay is optional. Each of these two sections is worth 800 points.

It is also worth noting that obscure words in the vocabulary part of the test are eliminated, and the answer choices are trimmed down from five to four. Test designers believe this will help students score better on the test. The SAT was also re-designed to further reflect what the students have learned in high school.

So again, how did the students fare and react to their results? At first, most of them were pleasantly surprised when they received their results of the new SAT exam in March. It looks like they celebrated what seemed to be their impressive scores.

However, it turns out that the new test has a different scale, and most students are not aware of these differences in their scores. To know how their scores could affect their chances of getting admitted to the colleges of their choice, students had to compare their new SAT scores to their old SAT results using the concordance table found online (https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/k-12-educator-brief-sat-concordance.pdf) or a score converter released by the College Board just last May 9, which they can get for free (https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/scores/understanding-scores/sat-score-converter). For instance, if you get a 510 score from your math test in the new SAT, it is equivalent to 470 in the old SAT.

The results have left the students with mixed reactions. Most of them are confused and more than a few are frustrated. They wonder how the scores will affect their college admission chances. This is partly because most colleges have not yet updated their information to reflect the SAT's new scoring scales.

In terms of having taken the SAT test itself, not a few are wondering how the students handled the newly revised SAT. Many felt the new test is relatively easier to ace compared to the old SAT. While some think that the revision undermined the SAT's academic standards.

For instance, the removal of the more obscure words in the vocabulary portion such as "egregious," "entrenched," or "lachrymose" are welcomed by many students, as they feel nobody uses these words today. However, a lot of other students think that the purpose of the SAT is to prove how highly educated they are, and the removal of these words would be disadvantageous to those who studied these obscure words well, or just happen to know them. The newly-formatted Math section now bans calculators but features less geometry, something that left the students a bit worried, at least initially.

Some students on the other hand, have just accepted the change, as they still need the SAT as a requirement to graduate and to apply for college. And besides, they also feel that a change in the SAT is needed in order to stay current. A number of other students think that the new SAT is just more like its rival ACT.

For now, some education experts remain a bit skeptical about how the new SAT is going to benefit the test-takers. However, there is little doubt that since these changes have been implemented, more students have been reportedly signing up to take the new SAT in Danville and other areas.

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By fatihin nurul on   11/14/2017 10:49 PM
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By fatihin nurul on   11/14/2017 10:49 PM

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