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New SAT

The New SAT I
Beginning March 2005, the new SAT Reasoning Test will be offered to all students intending to pursue college admission.  Among the college success skills to be evaluated by the new SAT will be mathematical problem-solving, reading for understanding and writing using standard written English.  Items from Algebra II will be added to the math section and quantitative comparisons will be eliminated.  More reading passages will be included in the verbal section which will be renamed critical reading, and analogies will be dropped.  The most significant change to the SAT will be the addition of a writing section including both multiple-choice items and a student-written essay.  

A summary of the changes to the SAT is as follows:
Changes to the SAT Writing Section:
Multiple-choice questions will test students’ ability to identify sentence errors, improve sentences, and improve paragraphs.  Multiple-choice questions are more about the mechanics of writing than the process of composing.   
Students will also be asked to write a persuasive essay in order to measure how well they use standard written English.  Students will be asked to take a position and support it with reasons and evidence from his or her reading experience or observation.  

Changes to the SAT Reading Section:
Analogies will be eliminated, but sentence-completion questions will remain.  The critical reading section will become more of a reading assessment   Reading passages will range from 400 to 850 words and will include nonfiction selections from humanities, social studies and the natural sciences.  

Changes to the SAT Mathematics Section:
The new math section will eliminate quantitative comparison questions and instead add items from Algebra II.  In addition to algebra and geometry material, currently tested on SAT I, the new SAT will test: 1) number sequences involving exponential growth, 2) sets (elements, union and intersection), 3) the concept of absolute value, 4) rational equations and inequalitites, 5) radical equations, 6) integer and rational exponents, 7) direct and inverse variation, 8) functional notation and evaluation, 9) Concepts of domain and range, 10) functions as models, 11) linear functions – equations and graphs, 12)  quadratic functions – equations and graphs, 13) geometric notation for length, segments, lines, rays and congruence, 14) problems where trigonometry may be used as an alternate solution method, 15) properties of tangent lines, 16) coordinate geometry, qualitative behavior of graphs and functions, 17) transformations and their effect on graphs and functions,  18) data interpretation, scatterplots and matrices, and 19) geometric probability.

The main purpose of the SAT, providing information about students to the colleges to which they are applying, will not change.  After finishing a course in subjects such as Biology or American History, and while the material is still fresh in their minds, it’s a good idea for students to take the SAT II : Subject Tests, typically in June at the end of their sophomore or junior year.  

Be sure to consult the College Board website at: www.collegeboard.com for updates on research and field-testing for the new SAT I.