Posts Tagged ‘SAT structure’

Expanding Time on the SAT Test

Monday, June 20th, 2011

How can I find ways to give myself more time on a standard SAT Test?

As we discussed in our last blog post, time management represents one of the most challenging aspects of SAT Testing. Everybody works at a different pace, but the SA T and ACT exams have set standardized time schedules that can upset the work of even the most able and diligent test taker.

There’s no need to feel helpless in the face of the time strictures of SAT and ACT Testing. Ways to expand time and tailor these standardized exams exist and give you an optimal shot at reaching your target test score. First, assess how many questions you need to answer on either the SAT or ACT Test to give yourself a shot at reaching your target score. Once you’ve calculated that number, you’re on your way.

Armed with the knowledge of how many questions you have to answer on each given section of the SAT or ACT Exam, you can focus your attention on those questions alone. Say you need to answer the first 10 math questions in a section of 20, but only 5 of the next 10 questions in order to reach your goal on the SAT or ACT Test. By only focusing on the first 15 questions, you have bought yourself the time you would be spending with those final 5 questions to devote to the rest of the section.

This technique can prove invaluable for students with concrete and achievable SAT or ACT target scores. These students actually gain the benefit of extra minutes without the hassle of going through the process of getting “extended time.”

What Is The New SAT Test

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

How has the SAT Test changed over time? How long has the SAT Test been around?

In 1927, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) developed the SAT Test because colleges wanted an objective way to compare students. When it came to selecting candidates for their incoming freshmen class, colleges had no quantitative way to compare the application of an A-student from the Upper East Side of Manhattan with that of a A-student from Des Moines, Iowa. The SAT Test emerged as the solution to this dilemma.

The SAT Test has undergone a number of significant revisiQons over the last 80 years, most recently in March of 2005. The old SAT Test assessed student reasoning based on knowledge and skills developed by the student in school coursework. The new SAT test improved the content of the exam by supplementing it with current curriculum and institutional practices in use not only in high school, but in college as well. The new SAT Test includes a third measure of skills – writing – that helps colleges make better admissions and placement decisions. In that way, the new SAT Test reinforces the importance of writing throughout a student’s education.

The new SAT Test asks students to write a short essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use examples to support that position. This test also includes questions similar to the multiple-choice questions on the retired SAT II Subject Test for Writing to see how well students use and understand standard written English. These questions are designed to measure the student’s ability to recognize errors and improve sentences and paragraphs. This new section, and the new SAT Test in general, helps college admissions officers see if a student is ready to write at the college level.

The Experimental Section on the SAT

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

What is the Experimental Section on the SAT Test? Why is it there?

The SAT Test consists of three sections: Reading, Writing, and Math. Each of these sections gets subsequently divided on the test itself into three sub-sections. Math breaks down into one 20 question section, one 18 question section, and one 16 question section. The writing portion of the test constitutes an essay, one 35 question section, and one 14 question section. Lastly, the reading section breaks down into two 24 question sections, and one 19 question section. These nine sections make up the scored portion of the SAT Test.

Yet, you’ll notice when you take the SAT Test that you have to complete ten sections.

One of the sections on every SAT Test is an experimental section. This extra section, which the College Board (the administrators of the SAT Test) inserts into the SAT Test, allows the test-makers to try out new questions for future SAT Tests.

Luckily for you, your performance in this section does not factor into your scoring. So how do you know which is the experimental section? Well, you don’t. You have no way of telling which section on the SAT Test is the experimental one. At the end of the test you can evaluate if you completed 4 sections of either reading, writing, or math, but you have no way of knowing which exact section was the experimental one. Thus, when taking the SAT Test, treat each section as if it counts, because chances are, it does. In fact, every single student we have worked with who thought they knew for sure which section was experimental has been wrong!