Irvine SAT Tutor Tips | The SAT Switch: What Will 2016 Mean For Me?

Students are wondering what will happen when the Redesigned SAT is introduced in spring of 2016. How will their scores from the Redesigned SAT compare to scores from the current SAT? What happens if they need to take both? How will it affect their ability to get into college? These questions and many, many more are rattling around in the heads of students and parents causing undue anxiety during this time of academic change. Although standardized testing is a reality for the vast majority of college-bound high school students, it shouldn’t be as difficult as all that. There are ways that parents and students can prepare for the switch and reduce their stress.


1. Consider the ACT

Students who want to take exams this winter and next spring should consider the ACT as a good alternative. Many students take both the SAT and ACT these days, so why not focus on the ACT for now? If a student received a 27 on their ACT this fall but would like to improve their score to a 30, they have plenty of time to do that without significant change in study strategy. The SAT,  on the other hand, will be entirely different.

2. A holistic admissions process

Students are encouraged to remember that many colleges, even large public universities, have a holistic admissions process. This means they will look at the whole student. They want to know about a student’s volunteer activities, whether or not they held a part time job, what their specific background is, what they can add to the university and what they plan to study, as well as good old standardized test scores. It’s extra important for students to write a superb personal statement and make sure their admission form is filled with extra-curricular activities and AP classes. Students applying for admission in 2017 or 2018 will still have plenty of time to add to their current resume (READ: “Tips From a Private Irvine SAT Tutor: The Free SAT Study Guide”).

3. Subject tests

Students who are concerned about their performance, or how it will be judged, on the Redesigned SAT should consider taking any number of subject tests. If all goes well on the Redesigned SAT,  students will have excellent reinforcements to show colleges that they’re serious about learning, and they have acquired adequate skills during high school. If things don’t go well, students have subject tests as a backup.

4.  Avoid taking both exams

If in any way possible, it’s important for students to avoid taking both the current 2015 SAT and the 2016 Redesigned SAT. These two tests are largely different and studying for both would be not only confusing, but time-consuming to a point that it will likely affect their other academic studies as well as their work life balance. Students who want to take the current SAT should make sure they do so before the deadline. Students who know they will have to take the Redesigned SAT at least once, are encouraged to focus their studies on that particular exam and acquire the skills necessary to do well on that test (READ: “8 SAT Essay Tips”).

5. Preparing for the Redesigned SAT

At this point, many students will be taking the SAT for the first time as it has been redesigned to be introduced in spring of next year. This can be overwhelming because students won’t know how to compare themselves to their fellow students, also their competition, and may struggle with the stress of the unknown. A good way to deal with these issues is to sit down and start studying early. The College Board website has some excellent, complementary, study tools for students to get started on right away. Students should also rest assured that the educational community is following updates and changes as they are introduced to the public. To be on the safe side, students taking the Redesigned SAT should consider starting their studies earlier than normal. As a result, they will have time to adjust to any new study habits or learning tools that are presented within the next few months.

Learn more about the redesigned SAT here!

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