What is the New 2016 SAT?
The new 2016 SAT test is here! While may tutors are raising their prices for the new SAT, our rates remain the same because we have already mastered the test!
What is the New 2016 SAT like?
The new 2016 SAT seems to be an amalgamation of the old SAT and the ACT. Some of the changes are obvious: The new SAT has given up the “guessing penalty”, has made the essay optional, and now has 4 sections rather than 10. The first section is the Reading Test which demands that a student read five passages of various styles and subjects and answer 52 questions in 65 minutes. While this seems difficult enough, the real challenge is that they have taken all of the most difficult question types and made them standard for this form of the test as well as added a few new types. Furthermore, rather than having a separate “science section” to test, they have incorporated the science sections into the “Reading” and “Writing and Language’ sections. Speaking of the Writing and Language section, it is very much like the ACT now with the exception of time. The ACT has a student answer 75 questions in 45 minutes, whereas the new SAT has students answering 44 questions in 35 minutes. In other words, on the new 2016 SAT a student will have twice as much time to answer each question. The added difficulty on the new 2016 SAT comes when students must interpret information from charts, graphs or maps to answer questions. As for the Math sections, there are two, one section requires the use of a calculator while the other does not. Section 3, “Math Test – No Calculator” requires a student to answer 20 questions in 25 minutes without the use of a calculator: four questions of which are the old “grid-ins” that are not multiple guess. Section 4, “Math Test – Calculator” requires students to answer 38 questions in 55 minutes and allows the use of a calculator. The last eight questions in this section are “grid-ins”as well.
Why such a dramatic change? Some experts say that change this will make the SAT more competitive with the ACT, while others claim that the change will make the SAT more of a true indicator of a students academic abilities. Regardless of the reason, the important thing to know is that the test is still beatable!
The good news? After studying the new 2016 SAT, I have discovered that, as all standardized tests must be, it is based on very specific structures and rules, and that if students know those structures and rules, they can achieve a high score.
The PGILA Difference
While the traditional method of tutoring has been to re-drill the academic content that students should already know, simply understanding the content won’t enable a student to improve their score. The tests are designed to be very confusing, the information is misleading and choices that seem correct are often wrong. The PGILA difference is that we not only refresh our student’s understanding of basic reading comprehension, grammar and math skills, we teach our students the structure and rules the tests are based on, how to simplify the questions to make them easy to understand, exactly how to identify what rules the questions are testing, and how to eliminate wrong choices using a specific process of elimination for those questions that have no right answer. By using these methods a student can improve continuously as they practice. Furthermore, the methods we teach our students are transferable to other tests that they will be taking in university so that they may earn high grades and continue to receive scholarships!
Using differentiated instruction, we use “guided practice” to describe and demonstrate how the methods and procedures must be applied to each problem type to work effectively and consistently. Then, using “independent practice”, students test individually to determine how well they understand the methods and procedures. We return to guided practice when scoring tests and going over the questions types our students are having difficulty with and determine what procedures they have skipped or did not understand, make the necessary corrections and then return to independent practice. We instruct and practice until our students can raise their scores by 100 points in each section consistently. The more they practice the better they do. On average, PGILA students increase their SAT scores by 300-500 points overall.
Keep in mind that the reason no one has ever successfully challenged the makers of the SAT is that the test is based on very specific structures and rules. Knowing these structures and rules enables our students to earn high SAT scores and scholarships!
*SAT is a registered trademark of College Board with whom PGILA has no affiliation.