Everything you need to know about the changes to the SAT test

state agencies for educationThe world needs more people who can solve problems, communicate clearly, and understand complex relationships. To help meet that need, the College Board has redesigned the SAT Suite of Assessments to focus more on the knowledge, skills, and understanding that research shows are essential for college and career readiness and success.

These focused tests — the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 — will have a stronger connection to classroom learning and inspire productive practice.

SAT Key Dates

  • September 2015: PSAT 8/9 first administered
  • October 2015: Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT first administered
  • February 2016: PSAT 10 first administered
  • March 2016: Redesigned SAT first administered

SAT Scoring Changes

The redesign of the SAT Suite of Assessments includes improvements to scoring and score reporting. But the value of SAT scores in the college admission process, and the way students send scores to colleges, will not change. Test-takers and educators will have the information they need to compare scores from the redesigned SAT with those from the current SAT.

The assessments all use “rights-only” scoring; there is no penalty for guessing. This policy encourages students to give the best answer they have to every question.

The SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 use a common score scale, a reflection of the suite’s tight content alignment on the same knowledge areas and skills. The common score scale makes it easier for educators and students to gauge progress from assessment to assessment.

The assessments report more scores, including subscores and cross-test scores, designed to give educators and students greater insight into student achievement and readiness for college and career.

Scores will be reported through a new integrated score reporting portal. A single sign-in will grant access to score data from every assessment in the SAT Suite of Assessments.

How are new SAT scores reported to colleges?

Most colleges plan to accept both the current and redesigned SAT scores for a few years. The College Board will publish the specific policies colleges plan to use, including their SAT Essay policies.

Because the two are different assessments, a score on the redesigned SAT will not be the exact equivalent of the same score on the current SAT. The College Board will publish concordance tables that compare scores from the current and redesigned SAT. The tables will make it possible for colleges to use scores from either assessment to make admission decisions, which means that students who take the current SAT can keep their college applications up-to-date without having to retake the SAT.

SAT Score Choice will continue to work the way it does today. If you take the SAT more than once, you may choose which scores to send to colleges. All scores from a selected date will be reported and used in accordance with each school’s stated score-use practices.

What are the benefits of the SAT redesign?

The SAT Suite of Assessments helps students navigate their path through high school toward college and career, and offers a range of unique benefits to students.

Inspires Productive Practice

Within the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9, students will find questions and tasks that closely resemble what is already happening in classrooms.

Helps Students Build Skills over Time

The SAT Suite provides benchmarks and consistent feedback for measuring student progress, helping students build skills, and enabling teachers to adjust their instruction for students who are either ahead or behind.

Opens Doors to College

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test accepted at virtually all colleges and universities, and the College Board encourages all students to take advantage of higher education. Income-eligible SAT takers receive college application fee waivers and all students can opt in to Student Search Service® to receive free information about admission and financial aid from colleges, universities, and scholarship programs.

Connects Students to Scholarship Opportunities

Students taking the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 have opportunities including the National Merit Scholarship Program, which uses PSAT/NMSQT scores to identify candidates, and scholarships offered by new College Board partners, which use information from the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or both to expand access to scholarship dollars.

Increases Access to AP and College Credit

Using results from the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9, AP Potential helps schools identify students likely to succeed in certain AP courses and AP Exams. These students are also notified of their potential directly.

Content Alignment

All assessments in the SAT Suite of Assessments — including the redesigned SAT and PSAT/NMSQT as well as the new PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 — are aligned, focusing on the same domain of knowledge and skills. As students progress from grade to grade, the tests will keep pace, matching the scope and difficulty of work found in the classroom.

Tests that Work Together

The tightly aligned tests in the SAT Suite of Assessments work together to provide benchmarks and consistent feedback. They also share a common score scale and include subscores and guidance to support teachers and students as they work to improve students’ skills and knowledge.

To learn more about the changes to the SAT Suite of Assessments, please visit The College Board.

How should students prepare for the new SAT test?

To get ready for the new SAT, Back to Basics offers 1-on-1 SAT test prep. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors will learn more about content, strategies specific to the test, and timing techniques. They will also have the opportunity to take and review practice tests. Students may take any or all content areas to strengthen their knowledge, reduce anxiety, and build confidence every step of the way. Call 302-594-0754 to learn more or schedule SAT test prep sessions.

Celebrating 30 years of excellence in education! Back to Basics Learning Dynamics is the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania for over 60 subjects. The company offers a unique Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware and a Delaware Business and Trade School for ages 16 and older. In addition, the company offers translating and interpreting in 16 languages throughout Delaware. Back to Basics is the winner of numerous awards for academic and business excellence including the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

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