–Why Is the New SAT Even Here?–In 2005, the College Board released a new version of the SAT. Unlike the previous version (which had been basically unchanged for decades), which only had two sections and scored out of 1600, the new version was scored on a 2400-point scale, split the “verbal” section into a Reading Comprehension and Writing section, and added a required essay.
Unfortunately for the College Board, these changes were wildly unpopular. Colleges didn’t take the Writing section very seriously, and they rarely read the essay. Few people understood the new grading scale, and many students weren’t comfortable with the new format.
Additionally, the SAT was accused of being too “class-biased” – the tough vocabulary words on the test, the strange format of the math questions, and many of the stylistic elements of the test seemed to favor those who have the resources to prepare properly. The “2400 version” of the test put underprivileged students at a distinct disadvantage.
As a result, the ACT became more popular than the SAT. This comes as a huge surprise to a lot of folks, but more students now take the ACT than SAT (by a significant margin). The College Board’s frequent mistakes and strange scoring / formatting led to a massive shift in the popularity of these exams, and so it decided that it needed to make a serious change.
The New SAT is meant to “right some of the wrongs” of the “2400 SAT.” The New SAT, which launched in March of 2016, is intentionally similar to the ACT, which people view as a more “straightforward” test, and which has recently overtaken the SAT and dismantled the College Board’s monopoly on college admissions testing.
No one likes change, especially when it comes to something as serious as the college admission process – but this new test is nothing to be afraid of. It’s easier than ever to prepare for the SAT, and if you follow the right advice and give yourself enough time to prep, you can easily get the scores you’re looking for.
Now that you know why the College Board made the change, all that really matters is that you know how to prepare for the New SAT effectively. That’s where the next part of this guide comes in: