The College Board now provides a road-map that begins as early as 8th grade.  The redesigned SAT exams are changing and will better assess the knowledge and skills that are essential for college success.

The College Board has expanded their “Assessment Suite” to include a NEW PSAT 8/9 to assess the foundations of understanding as students enter into high school.  The PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT exams are both exams that cover content appropriate for 10th grade students and serve as a “check-in” on student progress. Students will take the PSAT in the fall of 10th and 11th grade. However, only the 11th graders are eligible for the National Merit Scholarship program. This test will be launching in the fall of 2015.

The most important test continues to be the SAT, and is offered throughout the school year.  Students should take it the first time during their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year.

The College Board has made significant changes to the content of the NEW SAT exam.

  • Relevant Words in Context – The words and phrases used will focus on language commonly found in texts and in different subjects. The student will be tested on the meaning of these in the context of how they are used.
  • Command of Evidence- The Writing and Language Test will require organizing the structure of their response in a logical sequence. The Essay, will require students to analyze, persuade use evidence, and reasoning, and write a clear analysis supported by the evidence.
  • Essay Analyzing a Source- The NEW Essay section will be very different from that of the essay on the current SAT. The new structure will require the student to explain how the author of a passage persuades his reader using evidence and reasoning.
  • Math that Matters Most- The exam will focus in depth on Problem Solving, Data Analysis, Algebra, and Advanced Math. It includes solving problems in science, social science, and career contexts. The Advanced Math focuses on complex equations and the manipulation they require. The exam will also include geometric and trigonometric skills.
  • Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts – The Math section will feature multi-step applications to solve problems in science, social science, career scenarios, and other real-life contexts.
  • Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies- will call on the same sorts of knowledge and skills that students will use in college, in their jobs, and throughout their lives to make sense of recent discoveries, political developments.
  • The Great Global Conversation and U.S. Founding Documents- Every time students take the redesigned SAT, they will encounter a passage from a text from this global conversation.

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