April 5, 2017

New SAT: Great Advice from the College Panda

The College Panda got a perfect score on the New SAT last May and posted some test-taking tips on his blog. Here are a few items from his helpful list of things to watch out for:

  • Because [the New SAT is easier than the old SAT], expect score inflation. It used to be that a 1500/1600 on the math and reading sections would be a top-notch score. Now you need a 1540/1600 to be on par.
  • All the math strategies that helped on the old exam are still very much relevant to the new one (Making Up Numbers, Plugging in Answer Choices)
  • You should know how to do the following by hand for the non-calculator section: basic arithmetic, arithmetic with fractions, factoring, completing the square.
  • Expect a tricky supporting evidence question (the ones that ask which lines best support your previous answer). The secret to getting these right is a two-step process: 1) Try to figure out the lines before you see the answer choices, and 2) Always ask yourself whether the lines you chose actually support your previous answer. On the trickier ones, there will be a trap answer choice that supports the passage’s main idea or another related point in the passage. Because this trap answer mirrors the passage, it will probably relate to the prior answer you’re trying to support, and you’ll find yourself torn between the correct answer and this trap answer. When this happens, go with the the answer that most directly supports your previous one, not the one that indirectly supports it through the main idea of the passage. I promise this will make more sense once you do some practice.
It's well worth the effort to read his entire original post.


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