Don’t Fear the New SAT—It Can Be Beat!

There still seems to be a lot of anxiety about the new SAT! It already was a dreaded test that college-bound students face. Now with the new changes, there is added pressure for parents and students who know the incredible weight placed on this one test; it is the only numerical component in the admission’s process that levels the playing field and is common to all applicants. A 4.0 at one school is not the same at another since every school weighs and calculates their scores differently.

Despite the changes, three main reasons can alleviate your fear:

First, it’s a standardized test that follows the same patterns and concepts every time, and thus you can figure it out.

Second, it’s objective, which means there can only be one right answer, allowing you to easily eliminate the three incorrect responses.

Finally, it’s logic-based, which focuses less on IQ or curriculum and is more centered on testing a student’s critical thinking skills. Since this test is not based on specific content, traditional study methods don’t help as much. Instead, students can learn to prepare for the exam itself by understanding how the questions and answers are formulated. While the test allows about a minute for solving each question, students who employ critical thinking methods should be able to answer them in about half that time.

The Reading Section

The reading section is comprised of three differing passages: long; long with a chart; and dual passages. You can skip about seventy percent of each passage by identifying the five question types and putting them in the correct order. Students tend to overthink the question and second-guess themselves, but by understanding the recurring wrong answer choices, you can learn to eliminate them first and easily find the correct answer.

The Math Section

The math section is broken into two parts: one that permits a calculator and one that doesn’t. You needn’t be math geniuses to ace this section. Knowing basic math is important, but every question can be answered in thirty seconds or less. The SAT math section is more concerned with assessing the student’s logic skill than it is with the numbers themselves.

The Writing Section

The writing portion contains passages with underlined portions and corresponding questions. Prepared students will not have to read the entire passage if they can find and identify which type of answers are being sought: problems without a prompt question will test grammar and those with a prompt will test style.

The SAT essay is now optional, but you should always make the attempt to write it anyway. Even though the grade is not factored into your final score, it can exempt you from taking a writing class in college. In addition, it can be a determining factor on a your college application, providing a boost for those colleges who might be on the fence.

There is no need to fear the new SAT.

Conquering the test is simply a matter of understanding how the test questions and answers are designed. This knowledge can be crucial, both for college admission and scholarship money. The higher the test score, the more scholarship money you may get!

You can easily master these test-taking skills and even incorporate them as habits in your daily school and use them as an elective. Once you learn the shortcuts and strategies to finding the hidden patterns on the new SAT, you can confidently ace this test!

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