The big news in the academic circuit this year has been the fact that the SAT has changed. It is now in its new avatar and available in print and computer. It was first conducted in March this year and has brought with it several changes.
Of course that meant there were instant doubts and fear of the unknown. Is the new SAT harder on low level readers? Will candidates who have been taught Math with calculators struggle with it? These were some of the questions that left students anxious.
Understanding the timeline
SAT in its previous format was held for the last time in January 2016. But you have to understand that the New SAT, held March 2016 onwards, will have no bearing on students graduating in the year. However those graduating in 2017 or after will have to take the new SAT.
While the announcement of the new test format sent alarm bells ringing amongst students, the thing to note here is that it isn’t the first time the College Board has revamped the exam. And it certainly won’t be the last.
Ways to deal with the stress related to New SAT
Given the significance of SAT to your academic future, it’s only natural that you take it quite seriously. In fact many may have been preparing for it for a long time. So don’t panic about the changes in the test; prep smartly and the new SAT will be a breeze.
Familiarize yourself with the new format
The first step in conquering your fear is to know what you are dealing with. The new SAT is a three hour test with scoring between 400 – 1600. Evidence based reading and optional essay are the new sections, while the good news is that there is no guessing penalty.
Practice tests are available and helpful
The no calculator section or disappearance of sentence completion section might seem like a setback, but there’s enough on the test that lets you score well. You can download the four practice tests from College Board website to get things on track.
Use stress reduction techniques
It’s only natural that you are stressed about the changes in the crucial exam, but it will only lead to mistakes. To avoid that you can focus on methods like deep breathing or tense-release relaxation techniques that are known to help.
Finally, remember that the SAT is not a reflection of your IQ. Yes, it opens doors for you, and you should prepare for it seriously, but it’s not the end of the road for anyone.