There are actually many reasons for students not to take the “new” SAT, but here are several key ones:
- There are very few practice resources available to help students prepare for the new SAT. The College Board has, to date, released only one practice PSAT, and four practice SATs geared toward the new exam. It will take time for the library of available test preparation resources to grow to the point where it is adequate for students. On the other hand, there are plenty of previously released practice exams available for the ACT.
- There will be inevitable glitches and delays rolling out the new SAT. For example, students who took the new SAT the first time it was given, in March 2016, had to wait until after the new SAT was given for the second time, in May 2016, to get their March SAT results back. This lag in receiving the March scores did not allow students the opportunity to learn what their strengths and weaknesses were so that they could study appropriately for the May SAT.
- Students taking the new SAT during its first year will basically be guinea pigs who are being used by the College Board to test out its new exam. The College Board will use these students' experiences as a way to find and deal with issues that come up during the first several administrations.
- The new SAT looks a lot like the ACT, an exam that has not changed much in decades. For example, multiple-choice questions on the new SAT have four answer choices rather than five, there are no penalty for wrong answers, and math questions are less tricky and cover topics through trigonometry. If students are going to face an exam like the ACT, they might as well just prepare for the ACT itself, since there is an abundance of practice material available for the ACT. And since the ACT is not changing, students won’t have to worry about glitches.
So what should students in the class of 2017 do?
Now that the "old SAT" is no longer available, we encourage current juniors to take the ACT. To get a sense of how your son or daughter might perform on the ACT, we recommend taking a free proctored exam.
Please note that we at A+ provide students with full-length, proctored, actual SAT and ACT exams, not combination SAT/ACT mock exams. While it takes longer for students to take the full-length, actual exams, we believe there is no substitute for the “real thing.” Combination SAT/ACT mock exams are convenient, but do not provide accurate information about which test is a better fit, so in reality time spent taking these mock exams is wasted.
If you would like to discuss SAT or ACT tutoring for your student, have questions about the new SAT or the ACT, or need any other information about college admissions exams, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 215.886.9188.