The New SAT and Your Student

On March 5, 2016, the redesigned SAT will be administered for the first time. Some of the major changes to the exam include the following:

  • Math items will be better aligned with mathematics that high school students study, and some will need to be solved without a calculator;
  • Reading passages will be drawn increasingly from more complex and challenging social studies texts;
  • Students will have to prove answers with evidence to justify their conclusions; and
  • Guessing penalties will disappear, allowing students to feel more comfortable to attempt to problem-solve even the most challenging items.

Rationale Behind the Redesign

A growing number of educators and students have maintained that the current SAT (designed in 2005) does not align closely with relevant high school curriculum and does not assess the most relevant skills necessary for college and career readiness. Ultimately, the College Board’s planned revisions for the 2016 SAT will assess more directly those skills most relevant to college and career readiness, which is a positive development for students.

How is my Student Impacted?

The 2016 SAT presents a more viable and relevant option for students than the 2005 SAT. The primary goal of the redesign was to better align with schools’ instructional practices. In fact, the new SAT may prove to be a more favorable testing option for some students than the ACT. Through our complimentary diagnostic testing, analysis and consultation, we can help determine whether the new SAT or the ACT presents the better approach for your student. Academic Approach’s team of educators and curriculum developers have worked diligently to provide students who are preparing for the 2016 SAT with the very best instructional resources aligned to the new test, and we will continue our efforts to help make this transition smooth and successful.

Academic Approach’s Position

As educators who focus on skills-based test preparation™, we welcome the College Board’s redesign of the SAT, which now is more closely tied to essential categories of student learning – proofreading and editing, evidence-based reasoning, and disciplined math problem-solving – categories that represent essential college-readiness skills students can and should master.


Academic Approach will be working hard to keep families and students posted on the SAT transition. We want to be there for you to help navigate the process sensibly and smoothly. Please feel free to contact us on the North Shore at 847-521-4956 or in Chicago at 773-348-8914 with any questions. —Matthew Pietrafetta, PhD – Founder


  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate