Get in known on tips, changes for new SAT test

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The new test debuts this weekend. Among the changes: The total score will be scaled back to 1600 from 2400. (WPVI)

The SAT test, for most students, is an inevitable part of the college admission process, and because Common Core has changed the way students learn, changes to the test were inevitable as well.

"Students will need to have a new set of rules to attack this test efficiently and effectively to get through this marathon of a test," said Jonathan Chiu, Princeton Review.

The new test debuts this weekend. Among the changes: The total score will be scaled back to 1600 from 2400.

The reading, writing and language will be one long format, and the essay will be optional, counting as a separate score. Math will be divided into a calculator and noncalculator section and, like verbal, account for 800 points.

"The math skills will actually be more real-world applicable math. It won't just be necessarily systems of equations, but they might be verbalized in the context of a real-world situation," said Chiu.

"It's going to be more like the ACT. Not a lot of trick questions, more straight-forward answers," said Molly Hughes, Lower Merion junior, adding she's not worried about it.

But some experts claim the new, wordier version of the SAT will still penalize some students, particularly those who are poor or who speak a foreign language at home. And then there is the lingering question of whether or not the SAT is even relevant anymore.

"(What do you think is the best indicator of how you do in school?) your performance and your social life," said Corey Scott, Lower Merion junior.

Hundreds of schools across the country are no longer requiring SAT scores for the admission process, including Temple University. However, there is one catch.

"The SAT or ACT score is still a very, very popular and even a primary way of assessing whether or not scholarships will be given," said Chiu.

Experts say in addition to taking a prep course, read, read, read anything you can get your hands on that doesn't necessarily fit on an iPhone screen. Also, get used to doing math without a calculator.

You can find more information on SAT changes and tips here.
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