This past spring, the College Board announced major changes to the SAT. The changes will be implemented in the spring of 2016, so those who will be entering their junior year of high school in the fall of 2015 will be the first to have the opportunity to take the new SAT.
Test prep businesses and academic organizations of all types have been buzzing about the changes and what they mean for students and colleges. The exam’s math section is one area where the new SAT will be a little bit different.
As before, the math section will measure a student’s familiarity with concepts typically covered in high school math courses up through sophomore or junior year (depending on when a student takes Algebra 2). Two significant changes are that the new SAT will place more emphasis on algebra (and correspondingly less emphasis on geometry), and students will only be able to use a calculator on one of the math sections.
Students should now focus on studying algebra with extra attention, knowing that it will be more heavily featured on the exam. The no-calculator portion of the math section will be worth one-third of the math score for the exam. The purpose of this change is to test a student’s ability to recognize how certain math problems can be solved more efficiently by utilizing a logic-based approach, rather than relying primarily on a calculator to perform routine computation.
The College Board has decided based on research that problem solving and data analysis are the most important aspects of mathematics to prepare students for higher education and for the workplace of the future, so we can expect the new SAT to place more emphasis on quantitative reasoning skills and less emphasis on memorization and rote learning.
If you are interested in more of the changes coming for the SAT, check out this video from Sandweiss Test Prep.
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Featured photo from Wikipedia Commons.