In Palo Alto and around the rest of the country, high schoolers dread taking the SAT/ACT, the standardized test required by colleges for undergraduate admissions. A while ago, The College Board announced that they were changing the format of the current SAT starting with the March administration. In this blog post, we’ll inform you, Palo Alto students and parents, of the changes to come on these tests.
The College Board has stated that they want the new SAT to be more reflective of the learning that students experience in classrooms. In that sense, the SAT will become more like its rival, the ACT. Traditionally, Palo Alto students have thought of the SAT as the “aptitude” test, testing logic and reasoning, and the ACT as the “achievement” test, testing knowledge acquired in school.
So what does that mean for the anxious Palo Alto high schooler?
The new SAT will do away with the dreaded vocabulary section, meaning students will no longer need to drill themselves with flashcards. In the new SAT, more emphasis will be placed on the reading comprehension skills encouraged by Common Core standards. Students will be asked to analyze the literary style of works that should be more familiar to them (speeches by MLK, Gandhi, etc). In the math section, Palo Alto students may either be pleased or upset to hear that there will be a no-calculator section. The College Board has stated that they would like to test more applicable skills in math, rather than include questions that merely encourage the use of equations.
Whether you’re planning on taking the SAT next month or next year, we wish you the best of luck!