Is the New SAT Stressing Out Students?

The exam season is always a tough one for college-bound students. However, the new SAT seems to be stressing out many applicants this year. Should they take the test and become the laboratory rats for the College Board? That is a tough question rearing its fangs at the high school juniors.

The Class of 2017 have three options in front of them:

  1. Take the current SAT
  2. Take the new SAT
  3. Take the ACT

Many students are worried about the best possible option for them in such a scenario. Some are even considering all three – old SAT, new SAT and the ACT to improve their chances of getting admission. So, which is the way you should take?

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If you are among the students who took the recently held PSAT on October 14, the performance should indicate your course of action. This PSAT was aligned with the new SAT. If you perform well in the exam, it is likely that you are comfortable with the new format and will be able to do well on the exam. If you do not get good scores, you may wish to take the current SAT. However, you will have to shift gears fast as the last version of the current SAT will be offered in January.

Keep in mind that the new SAT is aligned with college-level thinking, reading and writing. In fact, we believe that the new SAT might actually be easier on the students. Since many applicants, out of fear and confidence issues might opt for the old SAT or the ACT, it creates some space for the weaker students. If anything, it may even become easier with reduced emphasis on vocabulary, optional essays and no penalties for wrong answers.

That being said, the new SAT presents the fear of the unknown. Students will not have exhaustive preparatory materials and practice tests to familiarize themselves with the exam. Also, a new exam will come with its fair share of teething problems.

So, what should you do? If you are already preparing rigorously for standardized exams, the new SAT will not present a huge challenge. Remember that the new SAT is an improvement over the old SAT and is designed to improve the experience of test takers. So, be confident if you have decided to go for the new test. You may even wish to take the old SAT and jump ship in case you bomb the exam. In case, the confusion is stressing you out too much, the ACT also presents a safe, secure option.

Student reactions to the new SAT

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