The redesign of the SAT will be spoken about to death in the news and on every educational site in the US. My suggestion is to not panic and don’t pay as much attention to the “why’s” and “who-done-it’s” and instead focus on what we need to be doing to prepare our 9th graders who will be the students that are greatly impacted by this change.
When To Take the SAT?
The recommendation for students in High School is to take 2 SAT tests (or 2 ACT). One in the spring of their Junior year followed by another in their Senior year. The new SAT will make it’s debut in spring of 2016. The current 9th graders (2013-2014) will be taking their PSAT next October 2014 as a practice run and will be taking their 1st recommended SAT in Spring 2016. In October 2015, their Junior year, the PSAT will again be offered and will be their opportunity to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship program. Again, they will take their 1st SAT in the Spring 2016 of their Junior Year and the Fall 2016 of their Senior Year.
What are the 3 Sections about?
According to College Board there will be for the most part the test will have 3 sections: Evidence-Based reading and Writing and Math (2014).. The Essay will be reported separately which will basically mean when a college asked about your combined scores in the future you will only be speaking about Reading, Writing and Math. In truth this will be easier for the students and school counselors because many college applications and the school reports required to be submitted by the school counselors require that the scores are reported without the essay score.
What is Evidence-Based Reading?
Evidence-Based reading is a skill set that requires the student to be able to read the text and actually grasp what the text is saying. The student must be able to identify the detailed information and how the information is conveyed within the text. The skill to read at this level should also help the student be able to make “valid claims” about the text. Basically the students reading skills need to be developed enough for the student to have the ability to analyze the text and connect the information. This means that the student will be able to literally report on what is being written about and to be able to generalize what is being written conveyed.
What does Relevant Words in Context mean?
According to College Board, the redesigned SAT promises to “engage students in close reading and honor the best work of the classroom” (2014). What that means…I have no idea however the gist of it is the test will be using vocabulary words that are used the students are already using or will be using in schools, colleges and at their respective jobs. The idea is to move students away from memorization of flash cards and obscure words to words that are used in the real world. My hope is that the recommended reading lists for students will include published works that will use the words on the exam.
What does Command of the Evidence mean?
Evidence-Based reading includes having “command” of evidence implying that the student will be able to interpret, synthesize and actually recall in order to use evidence from a wide range of sources. The idea is that students will be exposed to text in humanities, science, history, and social studies as well as career-related sources. This will be great if teachers actually expose the students to great works. I worked at a school in Vermont where the AP World History teacher assigned the Davin Ci Code by Dan Brown as a book to prepare the students for the AP World History Exam. My suggestion would be to really pay attention to the syllabi of your students classes including what the teachers are assigning for reading.
The is the Reality of the Redesign for 9th Graders?
The reality is that if you have a 9th grader then you as a parent need to make it your reality. I will continue to blog on the changes and the resources that will be provided to assist your student in preparing for the new SAT. There is no reason to panic if you prepare. Previously the SAT was noted for testing a students capacity to learn instead of what they actually have learned. I believe they are changing the test to reflex or to test what the student has learned.
More to come….as The Coaching Educator learns more about the New Redesigned SAT.