Students Face Changes in SAT Next Month

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

This time of year is high anxiety season for high school juniors. It's when they begin taking the standardized tests used for college admissions, but the SAT has some changes this year.

"Who would like to read question two?"
Perhaps the bigger question for these high school students is how do you prepare for the new SAT?
"Now they're like, whoa, I really have to know this stuff and I really have to figure out what these changes are all about," instructor Jenni Staley says.
So, students like Middleton junior Desi Rentmeester come to a prep class for the new SAT.
"I'm glad they dropped analogies. I didn't like those too much," Rentmeester says.
But the test maker added advanced algebra and a writing section.
The test now includes a 25-minute essay and grammar.
Staley says there's a new section on improving sentences and paragraphs.
Overall, these students seem to take the much talked about changes in stride.
Madison Junior Will Hirst says, "I don't have a problem with the writing. I'm pretty good at it, but it's the math that kills me."
Meantime, Rentmeester says, "I really enjoy math. That's probably the easiest section for me."
Still, no matter who excels at what ... Students will face an exam that is 45 minutes longer. The test maker says the changes do not necessarily make the exam harder, just different.
Instead of two sections, math and verbal, the new SAT has three. Math, critical reading and writing make up for a perfect score of 2400, instead of 1600.
The test maker says more advanced math and writing better reflect what students now learn in school and what's needed in college.
Students begin taking the new test in March.

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