The New SAT: Tips From A Private Orange County Test Prep Tutor

Some students in their junior and senior year of high school will be able to take the current SAT, soon to be known as the old SAT. However, younger students will be taking the new SAT starting in 2016. It’s never too early to start prepping for this new SAT now that we are on the countdown to the major change (READ: “5 Awesome SAT Apps”).


1. Take a practice exam

The College Board is planning to release preliminary information and a guide for the new SAT in the summer of 2015. Apparently there will be five practice tests available and it’s recommended that any student who will be taking the new SAT take one of these tests ASAP.

2. Keep on reading, keep on writing

Because the essay portion of the SAT will experience substantial changes, students should keep up with their reading and writing starting now. Current students often report that they struggle most with the essay, either due to writers block or lack of practice. If the current SAT essay seems difficult, just wait for the new SAT! The 2016 SAT will require students to comment on the author’s opinion rather than their own. Students should start practicing their critical reading skills so that they can make a summary of the author’s opinion of just about everything they read, from a pop-culture magazine to the newspaper to a school assigned novel.

3. Work with a tutor

Although it’s true that tutors will be learning about the new SAT along with their students, the majority of SAT tutors will take their own practice test to understand the intricacies of this new exam before they ever work with students. This means that your private Orange County SAT tutors will have a six-month advance from when their students will take the real exam. It’s recommended that students taking the new SAT buy multiple test prep books to supplement their studies until their tutors can get a baseline of what the “average” student gets on the new SAT (READ: “A Timeline Study Guide For The SAT”).

4. A few basic differences

-The new SAT will be five minutes longer than the current SAT, not a big difference.

-The new SAT will have a reading and writing section that’s evidence-based, an updated and more difficult math section, and an entirely separate essay section.

-The new SAT will have only four answer choices to choose from, as compared to the five answer choices on the current SAT. This will make process of elimination easier for 2016 students.

-The new SAT will not have penalties for incorrect answers. This will be a major change in the test prep process as students will need to approach the practical applications of choosing an answer differently. (Students who have taken the ACT will already be familiar with this test prep procedure.)

-The new SAT will be on a 1600 point scale, while the current SAT has a perfect score of 2400. Tutors and parents are probably more familiar with the 1600 point score, because this was used up until the turn of the 21st-century.

In short

There are still several months left until the start of the new SAT, but students who will be taking it are advised to start preparing as soon as possible. Since the College Board is releasing practice exams in the summer of 2015, it’s recommended that students start their SAT prep at that point. Students who fall within both the new and old SAT exams, are highly advised to consult a tutor as to whether not they should take the current exam or if they should simply start preparing for the new one.

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