Pre-College Assessments Test Prep for SAT

Test Prep for SAT

In March 2016, the New SAT debuted. The new SAT includes a Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, and a Math Test; it has an optional essay component, which some colleges will require. SAT questions focus on skills that matter most for college readiness and success, according to the latest research. The new SAT emphasizes higher-level logical and reasoning skills. The Reading and Writing questions are now entirely passage-based, giving more opportunities to test a deeper understanding of how the passage is constructed and to draw connections between different parts of the passage. The Math section emphasizes more practical, realistic scenarios and introduces multi-step problems. The College Board now spells out the makeup of each section, with percentages of questions represented across each major skill. It also specifies the types of passages that will be used. For example, the Reading section will contain 1 passage in US and World Literature, 2 passages in History/Social Studies, and 2 passages in Science.

This makes the test more predictable – the tests will deviate less from test to test. This fits the SAT’s goal of being more transparent to reduce test anxiety for students.

  • The SAT is now scored out of 1600.
  • The Reading and Writing sections on the current SAT have been combined into a single section in the new SAT, with a maximum score of 800. Writing is now known as “Writing and Language.”
  • The Math section is still scored out of 800.
  • The Essay is optional and has changed dramatically.
  • Instead of 5 answer choices for each question, there will be only 4. This doesn’t necessarily make the test easier since the SAT will just remove the most unlikely answer.

Adapted from and

SAT Preparation Resources

The Preliminary SAT (or PSAT/NMSQT and ) is the best practice resource available. Students who take the exam get a feel for content, format, and timing for the actual SAT. Performance on this exam indicates current academic strengths/needs in detailed form and gives a general idea of how a student may perform on the SAT. Students access their PSAT scores online and check out a projected SAT score, review incorrect answers and explanations for those questions (including correct answers), and practice for the SAT using a customized program based on a student’s PSAT scores. Although any college-bound student in grades 9-11 can (and should!) take this exam, only juniors’ scores can qualify them for a National Merit Scholarship.

For the most up-to-date information on these tests, check out College Board’s PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT10 page – This is THE site for free SAT prep, brought to you directly from the makers of the SAT. Students can access this site whether or not they have taken a PSAT; each student creates his/her own account, which tracks, among other things, time spent on SAT prep and the ways in which skills have improved. Free prep tools include the SAT Question of the Day, sample practice questions, and a free, full-length practice exam. The full-length practice exam is an invaluable tool. Available either online or in a printable version, your answers are uploaded, and scores are returned immediately. You receive detailed answer explanations and can also review sample essay responses.

As for paid prep tools, this site offers an official online course (involving lessons, quizzes, and additional full-length practice tests) and various books to assist you (such as The Official SAT Study Guide). – Even though this site is relatively new to the SAT prep scene, it contains “study guide” activities specific to each section (Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing), practice quizzes and tests, and general test strategies. There are also online vocabulary flashcards and an iPhone app for extra preparation.

Kaplan SAT Prep and The Princeton Review both offer paid SAT prep courses (online and in person) for a fee ranging from $169 (for an online course) to over $2,000 (for private, in-home services). Some of the courses are guaranteed to raise SAT scores or your money back. Kaplan’s website also offers free SAT practice exams and sample classes.

For Princeton Review information, go here!practice or call 1-800-2REVIEW.

For Kaplan information, go here or call 1-800-KAP-TEST