Note: This write-up was originally written in 2016 once the present format of the satellite was introduced. I"ve now fully updated it for 2018 and beyond come reflect all the tweaks The college Board has made come the SAT since the original post. Updates are in red.

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A new Adventure

As a teacher and also an writer of test prep books, ns make the my job to see any kind of changes come the check firsthand. That way taking the test myself, even if it is it was the updated plot in 2015 or now the brand-new SAT in 2016.

So when February of 2016 rolled around, ns signed up because that the March sat exam, the very very first one that would certainly be conducted in the brand-new format.

I want to gain a teacher"s view of the test. My three main goals to be to

See what principles were testedSee what worked and also what didn"t ~ above the essay using my frameworkTest out part section-specific strategies

While a perfect score would certainly be nice to get, it wasn"t a priority given that I"m currently a few years the end of college.

As someone who is exceptionally experienced v standardized testing, ns knew ns didn"t have to do too much prep. Yet to acquire the many out of this experience, ns did every the practice exams released by The university Board and wrote number of essays making use of a frame I had devised.

A week prior to the test, I obtained this lovely email in mine inbox:


The College board had made decision to ban all tutors (age 21+) from the an initial administration. I doubt the factors went past just the defense of the test, yet anyway, that"s past the limit of this post. Mine encounter v the brand-new SAT would have to wait.

After 2 month of waiting, the might 7th exam ultimately came around and also I was enabled to sit because that the exam.

Unfortunately, i was taking care of a severe situation of jetlag after returning from a 2-week visit come Vietnam. I fought through it, gained up early Saturday, and took the train to a neighborhood school.

Upon arrival, my ID was checked and also I to be told to look for a yellow ticket through my name on it. These tickets were every laid the end on a lengthy table in the cafeteria.

When I found mine, i noticed right away the it had actually a yellow sticker the wasn"t on any of the other tickets. It was pretty clear i was being singled out. Interesting...


I to be told come wait at a separate table in the cafeteria until all the other students were sent off come their experimentation rooms. As it turn out, ns was come be given my own room with my really own proctor because I was over 21. What a luxury! Extra an are and guarantee silence. This defense measure worked out in my favor.

The following 4 hrs went by quite fast, but I regulated to obtain a good handle on the exam and also the principles that to be being tested. I"ve provided my thoughts and impressions below.

Tips and also Thoughts on the ExamIt is therefore much simpler than the old exam. Not just is it much more straightforward, the actual concerns themselves are less difficult. It"s nearly like The College board took a 12th grade test and made the a 10th great test. The College plank has due to the fact that made it harder, yet it"s tho much much easier than the old sat and much more relaxed than an exam prefer the ACT.Because it"s easier, mean score inflation. It offered to be that a 1500 the end of 1600 on the math and reading sections would certainly be a top-notch score. Now you require a 1540 to it is in on par. This has actually proven to be true.It seems prefer The College board went out of its means to include 1-2 tricky concerns on every section. It"s like they tried come compensate for the rest of the exam being easier. Suppose these 1-2 concerns to be the difference between a an excellent score and an ivy-league score. The course, this was constantly the case yet now it"s even more pronounced. This is now less true. The college Board has done a far better job of distributing question challenge more evenly.The timing is very lax. I deserve to see The College board reducing the timing because that each section in the future. I had ample time to evaluation my work and also double-check hard questions top top every section. Contrast this with the ACT, which calls for that you rush v every section to end up on time.The mathematics was harder 보다 The university Board practice tests. Suppose to discover one the the math sections much harder than the other (i.e. Non-calculator means harder 보다 the calculator or vice-versa). This has actually been the instance for a most my students as well.There was very small trigonometry if any type of on my exam. A lot of people have to be making a huge deal out of trig gift on the exam, however realize that it"s a very tiny component (1-2 inquiries max). On part occasions, the test won"t asking you any kind of trigonometry questions.The circulation of tested topics has adjusted a little bit on the math section. I"ll it is in writing around this in an ext detail in another post, but to give you one example, over there are now inequality concerns on the non-calculator section, conversely, there were none on practice tests 1-4.All the math methods that aided on the old exam room still very much appropriate to the new one (Making increase Numbers, Plugging in price Choices)Because there are only 4 answer options for every question, the math ar is much an ext vulnerable come pattern acknowledgment and procedure of elimination. For example, girlfriend can quickly narrow under the answer choices for a vertex-form question just by understanding what vertex-form look at like. For solution of equations and circle equation questions, girlfriend can often tell what the answer is after figuring the end one item of it.The satellite Math section has actually too countless figures drawn accurately to scale. Because that example, for concerns that ask you to find the measure up of one angle, friend can frequently tell what the prize is simply by estimating indigenous the diagram. Usage this to your advantage.You have to know how to perform the adhering to by hand for the non-calculator section: straightforward arithmetic (multiplying two-digit numbers, separating a two-digit number by a one-digit number), arithmetic v fractions (add/subtract/multiply/divide fractions with various denominators), arithmetic with decimals, factoring, perfect the square, quadratic formula.Some student think they"ve done something wrong as soon as they see they need to multiply 20 by 3.5 by hand to gain to the answer. This type of calculation is actually typical for the non-calculator section, so don"t think it"s a authorize you did something wrong. If you check out that you have to manually multiply 156 by 23, then you"ve done something wrong.The challenge of the analysis section to be on par with The college Board practice tests. Ns think it"s harder now with the increased frequency the "Old English" passages such together speeches and also writings native the 1800"s (e.g. Ralph Waldo Emerson).Expect a tricky supporting evidence question (the ones that ask i beg your pardon lines finest support her previous answer). The mystery to obtaining these best is a two-step process: 1) try to number out the lines before you view the price choices, and also 2) constantly ask yourself whether the lines you decided actually support your vault answer. ~ above the trickier ones, there will certainly be a trap answer an option that support the passage"s key idea or one more related suggest in the passage. Due to the fact that this trap answer winter the passage, the will probably relate to the former answer you"re trying come support, and you"ll uncover yourself torn in between the correct answer and also this trap answer. As soon as this happens, go through the answer the most straight supports your previous one, no the one that indirectly supports it through the main idea that the passage. I promise this will make an ext sense once you execute some practice.There appears to constantly be a polite rights/women"s rights passage. Various other than that, a most the i are an ext current. There to be one around reddit, for example.The writing and language ar is nice straightforward and on par through the college Board exercise tests. As soon as you recognize the grammar rules, you"re pretty set to go. The trickier concerns will tend to it is in those that ask you to choose the appropriate word or location a sentence in the correct spot. Procedure of removed is specifically effective strategy on this section.The brand-new essay is easier than the old one. First, you"re much less likely to acquire writer"s block since you"re evaluating a passage. Second, the evaluation is not hard once you know the rhetorical and also persuasive facets to look at for. 2 of these elements—statistics and word choice—can be uncovered in pretty much every solitary essay passage. A minimum the 21/24 is what ns would take into consideration a good score (at least 7/8 in every of the 3 grading categories).My Results



Not also shabby.

If you discovered this article helpful and also want to discover more, examine out mine books. Castle contain whatever I know about the SAT—all the concepts, strategies, and question species you need to recognize to obtain a perfect score.

For the might 2016 test in particular, i devised one essay design template for any kind of passage that gained me a high score that 21/24 (7/7/7). Ns share this template and everything else—all the rhetorical gadgets you need to know, what i did right, and the subtle things I missed—in my sat Essay book.

Parting Advice

Whatever the exam, the course to a greater score is the same. It simply comes down to review and practice. Uncover as much practice as you can and do all of it. Sit down and also actually compose the essays too.

Start at the very least several months prior to your check date, preferably end the summer. Perform all 8 main Practice Tests. Execute the 2 exercise PSATs. Download the SAT question of the job App and also do every those questions. Gain a list of vocab words and also start examining them (you get one for totally free when you authorize up to mine newsletter). There are most likely released test floating around by now so hunt those under as well.

Use The college Panda books and also any others to review and also practice the concepts you"re weak in. Then as soon as you think you"ve exhausted every source you have, redo all the practice tests. I guarantee you"ll still obtain stuff wrong the you think you reviewed thoroughly the very first time. That"s a good thing. Extending those loosened ends is wherein the real learning happens.

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This process takes a many of hard work however if you manage to gain through it, you"ll be on your way to a perfect score.