1. Know what to expect
Although the redesigned SAT still tests math, reading, and writing, elements of the exam will be changing. First, the new SAT will revert back to a maximum score of 1600 on the math and reading portions (as it was before 2005). The essay will now be optional (though some colleges may still require it), and it will be an evidence-based assignment.
Knowing what to expect can best position you to reduce your student’s stress and help him or her better prepare for the new exam. If you know that the penalty for guessing has been dropped, for example, you can encourage your student to answer every question – even if he or she is unsure of the answer. Your teen should also make educated guesses rather than skipping problems.
If your student will be taking the essay exam, understanding the changed focus of the essay – from a more opinion-based, subjective style to evidence-based argumentative writing – can help him or her strategize on test day. Plus, knowing that the time allotted for the essay has doubled, and that the essay’s score will not influence your teen’s overall SAT score, can help put him or her at ease.