If you are an aspiring college applicant in the US, you will need to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and attain high scores to get accepted at the college or university of your choice. We know how important this test is in determining your future, which is why VSA Future is here to help you prepare for it. Detailed below are all the things you need to know about the SAT to ace it.
What is SAT?
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to assess the student’s scholastic aptitude and readiness for college when compared against their peers across the country. It is a test that evaluates the language and mathematical reasoning skills of the applicants.
While the GPA represents a student’s academic standing within their own school, given each school’s different standards and grading, it would be unfair to use GPA as an absolute value to compare students across different schools. This is why SAT is the go-to assessment tool of colleges when it comes to student admission to their campus.
Since SAT is standardized, it provides colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants across different schools. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the courses you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, as well as personal essays. Needless to say, SAT scores are vital in the college application process.
Changes to the SAT in 2021
The College Board officially announced major changes to the SAT in 2021. They have decided to discontinue the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT optional Essay. In addition, the reading and writing language scores will be combined. Most importantly, the SAT is now moving online. But students outside the U.S. can still take SAT Subject Tests in May and/or June 2021.
AP Exams Instead of SAT Subject Tests
According to the College Board, the expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know. You must note, however, that an AP exam involves mastering college-level material specific to an AP course. So unlike in the SAT subject tests, students will need a whole new level of preparation for doing well in the AP exams. Moreover, APs only happen once a year. Hence, it might be challenging so students will have to plan better to get high scores in it.
No More SAT Essay
The optional SAT essay is a way for applicants to showcase their writing skills. However, since the College Board decided to remove it altogether, it is expected that the Writing and Language section will be more rigorous in evaluating the applicant’s grammar and proofreading skills. Moreover, your college essays might assume greater importance as an evaluation criterion for your communication skills.
Combined Reading & Writing Language Scores
The reading and writing test sections would no longer be separate. The scores for these exams would be combined in the Evidence-based Reading and Writing (EBRW) section.
Right Minus Wrong
The no “penalty for guessing” rule has recently been eliminated. Hence, the students can no longer randomly guess the answer as there will be deductions for every question you answered wrong.
SAT is Moving Online
Given the situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Board is working on moving the SAT to an online platform soon. However, there is not much information available on this yet. What we do know, however, is that the testing bodies are taking necessary steps and precaution to ensure the fairness of test administration and integrity of the test results.
Evidence-based Reading and Writing (EBRW) Section
This section evaluates the applicant’s English language skills and gives a score between 200-800. It is divided into the reading and writing sections, but the final score will be the combined score of both these sections.
This portion consists of 52 multiple-choice questions that should be answered in the span of 65 minutes. The questions will be based on 5 passages. These are all evidence-based questions, which means the student would have to analyze and interpret the information given in the passages to come up with the right answer.
The passages may be single or paired with informational graphics such as charts or tables. Take note that these passages are mostly drawn from the US and World Literature, History or Social Studies, and Science.
As for the kinds of questions asked in this section, they are usually of these types:
VSA Future’s Tips to Ace the Reading Section
Writing and Language Section
This portion of the test will be administered for 35 minutes. It comprises 44 multiple choice questions based on 4 passages. The writing and language section focuses on the student’s ability to analyze and edit the content of the passage. This means that you will have to do some copy-editing by correcting grammar and making changes in the passage.
You will have to rectify errors in sentences within the passage, identify sentences that correct the misinterpretation of a graphical data, select sentences that sharpen an argument, or add relevant supporting detail. Do note that some passages come with informational graphics such as tables, graphs and charts.
VSA Future’s Tips to Ace the Writing Section
This portion of the test evaluates the student’s mathematical reasoning skills. It consists of 58 questions–80% of which are multiple-choice. The remaining 20% are student-produced response questions known as Grid-ins, where instead of choosing the answer from 4 choices, the student will have to solve the problem and enter an answer by circling/shading the appropriate numbers. They would have to answer this within 80 minutes and they will be graded in a score range of 200-800 points.
This test is divided into two sessions: One wherein the use of calculators is not allowed, and another wherein calculators are allowed. The No Calculator section contains 15 multiple choice questions and 5 grid-ins. The With Calculator section contains 30 multiple choice questions and 8 grid-ins. A set of formulas for reference will be provided before the test.
The Math test is divided into 4 main areas:
VSA Future’s Tips to Ace the Mathematics Section
In total, the students will have to answer 154 questions in just 180 minutes. Needless to say, excellent time management is vital to accomplish the test as fast and as accurately as possible.
SAT Test Dates in 2021-2022
This year the SAT will be held during the following dates:
It is highly recommended to start preparing for the SAT four (4) months prior to your target exam date.
VSA Future’s SAT Preparation Program
Our SAT Preparation program has three levels—SA, S-B, and S-C for grades 10 to 12. Classes will be held from October 2021 to March 2022 in preparation for the SAT scheduled on March 12, 2022. Our program offers 20-hour, 40-hour, and 50-hour classes based on diagnostic evaluation. We will also be providing 6 to 7 full-length mock tests to hone active learning and help students assess their current performance.
Here are the details of our SAT Preparation program:
Why Choose VSA Future for Your SAT Preparation?
VSA Future’s program is different from that of others because we put emphasis on tailoring the education we provide to the individual needs and preferences of our students. We also implement an individualized feedback program to help students identify areas they are struggling with. Our series of mock exams are proven to simulate the SAT so students can assess their current performance and strengthen their knowledge on areas they are struggling with. Most importantly, our team of excellent educators are well-versed in motivating students to perform their best by cultivating a growth mindset.