The Redesigned SAT & New Scoring
The Redesigned SAT & New Scoring
The redesigned SAT, which will be administered beginning March 2016, will contain a bunch of new scores:
- Total Score (on a scale of 400 – 1600)
- New Section Scores
- Evidence-based reading and writing, and math section scores are on a scale of 200 – 800
- Cross-test scores
- On a scale of 10 – 40
- On a scale of 1 – 15
- Optional essay will be reported as three Subscores (on a scale of 2 – 8)
All scores will be reported as whole integers, except for the math section, which will be in 0.5 increments. For educators, they will also see a benchmark score – which represents the student’s college and career ‘readiness’. This is undergoing further research. For educators, the college board portal will grow to include score data from the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9, and SAT Subject tests also. This will allow educators to more easily access and analyze all test scores for their students.
For students, the online score reports will become more detailed, as they will provide:
- Performance summaries for each section
- Insight into strengths/weaknesses by content area and difficulty level
- Percentiles comparing to other students
- Scanned copy of student essay response along with the question
What’s the point of all of this? Well, for the longest time, the SAT has been known as ‘a game’. If you can master the tricks and predictability of questions, you can achieve a very high score. The test has been considered by many educators and tutors to not represent intelligence. I get a lot of students who often say things like “I only got 1600, I can’t believe I’m not that smart!?” After years of tutoring for the SAT, I can definitely tell you that this test is not about intelligence. It is about hard work. Students who spend x hours a day for 2 – 4 months preparing for this test and do every possible practice test and question they can get their hands on will achieve a very high score. That is essentially all it represents as a score – “Can this student work hard enough to achieve as close to perfection on this test as he/she can?” And college, of course, is more about hard work and being able to deal with stress than it is about the student being a genius.
So, the new test and scoring is apparently to give further and deeper insight into the students’ abilities. Cross-test scores will tell educators about how a student has performed on previous tests – is this the first time this student has performed well? Or does he perform at a high level consistently? This alone can tell the educator so much about a student. Even for students who are applying to post-graduate schools, the admissions team always checks to see a history of high performance from the student, rather than just high performance on one test. The content of the new test will also test concepts that students are actually taught in school – thereby actually testing their knowledge and not their ability to learn tricks. So, the weaknesses and strengths will be more accurate.
Overall, the new benchmark scores that represent the students’ career and college ‘readiness’ may be more accurate. It will take some time before all test results can be accurately analyzed and one can reliably predict a student’s future performance.
If you are going to have to write the new SAT, then start preparing now. Go to the college board site and learn everything you can about this test. Start preparing for it now! There aren’t too many resources out right now other than what Khan Academy has released. But more and more will come out at as time goes on. Don’t expect this test to be easy – after taking a look at one of the practice tests from Khan Academy, I actually thought some of the sections were harder than the current SAT. So, prepare early and prepare well – getting help from a knowledgeable tutor can be invaluable. Call us at Exam Masters, any time with questions and concerns. We are always happy to meet with you and talk to you! I actually can’t wait for this new test – I’m going to sit for a bunch of the administrations next year so I can accurately tell my students exactly what this test is all about.