This March marked the first time that the new SAT test was administered. The changes to the test are designed to better reflect knowledge and understanding that will aid in preparation for college and life after high school. Given the many changes being made to the format, time, and even scoring, there have been many myths going around regarding the new test. Here are 5 myths about the new SAT debunked:
The New SAT Will Keep The Same Scoring System
This myth began because the SAT test will use an overall scoring system that it has used in the past, but it will not use its most recent scoring. Instead of the test having a score range of 600 to 2400, the new SAT test will be similar to scores pre-2005, with score ranges now being 600 to 1600 and will feature cross-test scores as well as subscores.
The New SAT Will Be Longer
This myth began partially out of truth. The old SAT was 3 hours and 45 minutes long in total. The new SAT test will only be 3 hours long but there is an essay portion that will potentially add 50 or more minutes to your test. So if you take the test without the optional essay, the new SAT will be shorter than the old test.
You Are Penalized For Guessing
One of the most significant changes to the SAT is that the guessing penalty has now been removed from the scoring criteria. In the past, there was a 1/4 guessing penalty added to your score for incorrect answers. That is no longer implemented in the new SAT test, which means you can answer each question without worrying about being penalized if an educated guess is made.
The Test Will Remain On Paper
Another rumor that is not true is that the SAT will shy away from technology and stick with paper test-taking. While there will be the option to take the SAT in print like previous years, the entire test will also be available on computer now as well. This was done to ensure students did not accidentally miss questions based on incorrectly filling in bubbles or poor handwriting.
The Essay Portion Is Removed
In the past, one of the main differences in the SAT and other tests such as the ACT was that the SAT had a required essay portion. The essay was graded and included in the overall writing score. Some rumors were circulating that the essay was removed entirely but this is not the case. With the new SAT, the essay is simply optional and it is scored separately from the main test. If you choose to take the essay it will not be reflected in the writing score!
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