Yeah, you know by now that the last time the old SAT is going to be given is January of 2016. So, let’s talk a little about the NEW Sat Reading Test. What is different about it?
The College Board says that “The redesigned SAT Reading Test is a carefully constructed, challenging assessment of comprehension and reasoning skills with an unmistakable focus on careful reading of appropriately difficult passages in a wide array of subject areas. Passages are authentic texts selected from high-quality, previously published sources.”
That’s not all that different from the old SAT. The old SAT passages were generally drawn from published sources and covered a variety of disciplines: social sciences, natural sciences, literature, biography, or memoir. The new SAT combines the reading and writing sections into a new evidence-based reading and writing section that will be scored from 200-800. The new section will consist of a 65 minute reading section and a 35 minute writing and language section. The essay is now optional and now 50 minutes, not 25. New SAT essay will be an analysis of a provided passage.
Here is what has changed and what remains the same on the SAT evidence-based reading section:
- Know Your T. Jefferson and J. Madison: Each new SAT reading test will contain one passage drawn from a U.S. founding document (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights) or a text that is part of the great global conversation about liberty, equality, or justice.
- Get Graphical: The new SAT reading test will include informational graphics (charts, tables, graphs, etc.) that takers of the test must interpret correctly to answer some new SAT reading section’s questions.
- Turn On Your Inner Spock: Students taking the new SAT reading section will encounter question that ask which portion of the text is the best evidence/support for the answer to other questions. The new SAT reading will require close reading of texts and sophisticated understanding of evidence and deductive and inductive arguments.
- Use Context Clues: Students will be asked the meaning of words in context. Designers of the new SAT reading test are less apt to test obscure vocabulary (as some of the hardest sentence completions on the old SAT often did) and more apt to ask for meaning in context for words that are common to a variety of academic disciplines.
- Expect Paired Passages: If you have done old SAT critical reading sections, you know about long and short paired passages. The new SAT reading will continue to feature paired passages (two passages addressing a common theme from contrasting points of view).
- Kiss the Guessing Penalty Goodbye: The new SAT will not have the quarter-point guessing penalty.
Hope that helps. I think the new SAT evidence-based reading section is a bit easier than the old SAT’s critical reading sections. Don’t let the new SAT reading test stress you out. If you need help preparing for the new SAT, contact Tampa English Tutor Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959.