— The New SAT: What Should You Do?–
In March of 2016, the College Board launched The New SAT. And while it might have been a nerve-wracking announcement, this is awesome news for you. The New SAT is significantly easier than the Old SAT, and much easier than the ACT.
The New SAT tests exactly the same material as the ACT – the same math rules, the same grammar rules, and the same comprehension concepts. The formats of the different sections are practically identical. But there are two key differences between these tests: the SAT gives you more time per problem, and it doesn’t contain a science section. That means you need to study fewer strategies to prepare sufficiently, and you’ll have a much more relaxing testing experience.
With that in mind, it might seem as if everyone should just take the New SAT. It’s objectively easier, so why not? Well – there are two reasons why the ACT might still be your best option:
1. These tests are graded on a SCALE. Remember: the New SAT will be easier for you, but it’ll also be easier for EVERYONE ELSE who takes it! So while the test itself is simpler and easier than the ACT, that same advantage applies to all the students you’re competing against.
2. If you’re the kind of student who can deal with massive time pressure and maintain consistent focus for 60 minutes at a stretch, you might have a nice leg up on the ACT competition.
In general, students who tend to do well on standardized tests and have a strong material understanding might do well to look at the ACT. But if you’re a “testing newbie,” the New SAT is most likely your best option.
- Before you start prepping, you need to decide between the New SAT and the ACT.
I’ll show you an easy way to make this decision with my full guide on the New SAT vs. the ACT here.
No matter which test you decide to take, the most important thing is that you start studying immediately. You can study for a small, consistent period each day and see massive score improvements by the time test day rolls around.
Use the guide above to figure out which test to take, then start studying! However, if you’re interested in why the College Board made these changes, and precisely what’s different about the New SAT, read on!