The New SAT Exam: 3 Big Myths

The New SAT: Is it easier or harder? This question has been running in the minds of students who are planningMyth-8-150x150 to take the New SAT. The changes in the SAT exam are surely beneficial for some, but there’s also a flip side.

1. The Test is going to be easier

Well, it may not be possible to determine with certainty whether the test is going to be easier or difficult, but, yes, there are some factors, which might make the test look easier for some of the SAT test-takers:

  • No penalty for wrong answers
  • No more Sentence Completion
  • Essay has become optional
  • Math component up from 33⅓% to 50%
  • More time per question

Related Blog: What’s a Good SAT Score for Scholarships?

Myth Reality
No negative marking is surely a benefit But, a benefit for all … and so it really doesn’t make a difference
Essay is optional Not really Optional as many colleges will ask for it
Math makes it easy Math may not be your forte and also wordy math problems may pose a challenge
More Time per question Nullified by complexity of the questions

2. New SAT Test is harder

The changes in the New SAT may make some SAT students feel that the test is harder. Myth-9-150x150Let’s look at the factors that may make the SAT seem harder:

  • American History and Global Conversations are a part of the test
  • Essay task has become challenging
  • Charts and graphs
  • Wordy math questions
Myth Reality
American History makes it tough The questions will still be based on the passages and no prior knowledge of the subject is necessary*
Essay task is challenging Well, it is so for all
Charts and Graphs make it tough Not really, rather it is really easy particularly on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section
Math has become harder Not really, use of a few simple math techniques may often render harder questions easy

*Princeton Review provides extra reading material to familiarize American History

Related Blog: SAT Exam – Format, Structure and Question Types

Myth-13-150x1503. “Vocabulary is not required for the New SAT”

The factors making vocabulary look redundant:

  • No more ‘Sentence completion‘
  • No direct vocabulary question

Here is an excerpt from a passage:

… At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns are to him mere bombast, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy’s thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. …

Myth Reality
No vocabulary needed You will still come across several words that you may not know

Someone with a sharp SAT vocabulary may not be affected by the fact that vocabulary is still needed on the New SAT. Similarly, if you are skilled in writing an essay then you will certainly prefer taking the SAT Essay to increase your scope of better placement irrespective of the fact that it is optional. In addition, for the math lovers an increase from 33⅓% to 50% in the math component is an advantage, but if a student is not so good in math, then he might find the test difficult. Therefore, the test being easy or difficult is just a matter of perception. What really matters is how well you prepare for the SAT to meet the test challenges!

Are you ready?





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