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How Would You Do on the New SAT? Try Out Some Sample Questions


"We don’t want to trip kids up."

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The redesigned SAT is still a little more than a year away from being administered to college hopefuls, but Popular Science is giving its readers a taste of what the difference between the old and new test looks like.

One of the main differences in the test that will be given starting spring 2016 is that the questions are designed to "shift the emphasis from rote memorization to skills that are taught in the classroom," the science website stated.

Photo credit: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

“We’re making sure that each question is clear, unambiguous and that students know what’s being asked of them," Cyndie Schmeiser with The College Board, which is redesigning the test said, according to Popular Science. "We don’t want to trip kids up. When we began the redesign we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have kids walk into the test and feel they’re familiar enough with it to be comfortable?’”

On College Board's website, it explained that the current test placed an emphasis on general reasoning skills and vocabulary and had a complex scoring system. The redesigned test still emphasizes reasoning but it places a "clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills and understandings most important for college and career readiness and success." It also places a "greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone and impact."

Princeton Review laid out of more of the differences as well:

Some students may find the Redesigned SAT more friendly:

  • There will not be a penalty for wrong answers, so students won’t have to worry about losing points for guessing incorrectly.
  • There will be only 4 answer choices instead of 5.
  • Students may be more familiar with some of the vocabulary tested, but they will need to know multiple definitions of those words.

Some students may find some of the changes more challenging:

  • Questions will require multiple steps to get to an answer.
  • The reading passages will include complex structure and vocabulary.
  • Foundational math skills will be more important.
  • Reasoning and critical thinking skills will be paramount
  • There will be fewer sections on the Redesigned Test, but they will be longer in time than the current SAT

Try out some of the old vs. new test questions on Popular Science's website to see the difference between the two.

Popular Science has compared the types of questions seen in the current and redesigned SAT tests. (Image source: Popular Science) Popular Science has compared the types of questions seen in the current and redesigned SAT tests. (Image source: Popular Science)

Princeton Review also showed off some of the redesigned questions in this video as well:

The new test is also a little bit longer (five minutes), if you include the optional essay portion, than the previous test. Cutting out the optional essay though, the new test is actually shorter than the previous one, which required the essay.

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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