Is the New SAT Easier Than the Old SAT?

Is the new SAT easier compared to the old SAT?

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As many of you know, the SAT underwent a huge redo in March of 2016. The administrators changed  a number of aspects of the exam, including the formatting and content. However, is the new SAT easier than the old SAT? In many ways, it is.

No More Subject Jumping

In prior editions of the multiple-choice section of the SAT, the different subjects jumbled together. You may have a few questions in math and then a few on reading. It required you to shift your mind set from subject to subject, which may have hurt a few test-takers, especially those who had issues with time management. The new SAT has dedicated sections for each subject, so you can focus on one area at a time.

No More Obscure Vocabulary Words

Vocabulary words that weren’t extremely common in daily use were also a major part of the previous SAT, and one many students worried about. The SAT presented vocab without context. It was difficult if it was a word you had never come across prior. The new version of the test uses more common words that are still challenging, but also allows you to see each word in context.

The Essay is Now Optional

In addition to the subjects being put into sections, the essay is now an optional part of the new SAT. In prior test versions, the essay portion was mandatory and also supplied students with very little time to complete the section (only 25 minutes!). If you choose to take the essay on your SAT, you will have 50 minutes to complete it.

The Writing Section Is Easier to Understand

The issues students had in the writing section was similar to the problems that arose with the isolated vocabulary words of the old SAT. The sentences had no context and students would also get stuck on confusing grammatical problems. On the new SAT, the section incorporates reading and skills you actually learned during high school courses.

Why It May Still Be Difficult For You

Although many aspects of the new SAT are much easier for a number of test-takers, there may be parts that students still struggle with. One of these would definitely be time management. This is especially true on the reading portion which has 67 questions and only 70 minutes to answer them all.

If you find you’re struggling with time management, make sure to incorporate it into your practice sessions. You can learn how long each question takes you and exactly what questions you’re struggling with. If you discover you’re spending too long on a particular question, skip it and move on to the next.

In many ways, the new SAT is much easier than the older version. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study and be prepared! While the format may be better for some students, the questions are still designed to test your ability and skills in each particular subject. Make sure you are ready to tackle it all on exam day.

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