As we draw ever nearer to January 23–the last official administration of the current SAT–anxiety levels are starting to rise. Parents of students in the high school class of 2017 are grappling with all the usual questions along with a brand new one: should my teen even think about taking the new SAT in March, May, or June.
The simple answer to this question is easy: NO.
The new SAT represents a significant departure in both content and format from the current test. In fact, many of the new question types will be making their first appearance on this year’s PSAT, which means they haven’t been tested to the extent the current SAT or ACT questions have been. That alone is enough to cast doubt on the prospects of a perfect test administration in March, May, or June. Add the operational alterations along with the occasionally inconsistent quality of exam proctors and you can almost guarantee chaos at some test sites.
And then there’s that No-Calculator Math section…
However, a more complex response to the question of why anyone in the class of 2017 should take the new SAT should consider exceptions to the general rules. Those who may want or need to take the revised test include students who…
…excel on this year’s PSAT.
…may need, because of their PSAT performance, new SAT scores for National Merit Scholarship purposes.
…have no time to prep until spring.
…don’t think about prepping until spring.
…are better suited to the revised test (determined by higher percentiles on the revised SAT than the ACT.)
Everyone else can lock in the scores they need for college admissions without being part of the test group for this new test. Students in the HS class of 2017 still have time to prep for the late fall and early winter SATs. The benefits of doing so include more than twelve available practice tests and the decade of experience we test prep professionals have with the current format. Students can also look to the ACT, which has made some minor changes recently in Reading and Writing but remains stable and trustworthy.
Can you think of any other good reason a student in the class of 2017 should take the new SAT this spring?