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High school freshmen and sophomores will take a new version of the SAT in 2016. Here’s a run-down of what they can expect and how to prepare.
Last month, we covered in depth what you could expect from the new SAT coming in 2016 (in a post you can read here). But now that the changes to this 88 year-old exam are making the media rounds once more, we wanted to take a quick minute to recap the biggest adjustments, and hopefully provide some clarity in the process.
So, here are the 5 big changes to come to the SAT in two years’ time:
- No more SAT essay! The essay section will become optional
- No more “SAT words!” The test will quiz students on “relevant” words instead of obscure ones
- No more point deductions for incorrect answers! Which means no penalties for guessing
- Fewer questions! The test will shrink from 171 to 153 questions (52 in reading, 44 in writing and language and 57 in math)
- And lastly, the 1600-point system will return making the 2400-point test a mere blip in the radar for a select few
But before you jump out of your seat with joy, future high school junior, you should read our in-depth analysis of the changes and how they’ll affect your test-preparation here. Just because $5 SAT words are out, doesn’t mean you don’t need to learn strategy to handle unfamiliar vocabulary. AND just because the SAT essay will be optional does not mean you shouldn’t take it.
In essence, the SAT is going to look almost identical to the ACT, so the best way to prepare for these changes is to look into its counterpart. In fact, more and more colleges regard the ACT as equal to the SAT, though students tend to score better on the former than the latter. Which leads one to wonder, why are we still placing so much emphasis on the SAT? Our advice: take both and go with the test you’re better suited to.
Have questions about either standardized test? Or thoughts on the changes? Leave us a comment and we’ll help you with your test-prep!
Are you a high school or undergraduate student interested in helping your fellow peers? Perhaps you tutor on the side, or go out of your way to help friends with their homework? Well, now there’s a place at eNotes just for you!
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A TA (Teaching Assistant) is somewhere between a student and a teacher; they have the required knowledge to help others with the subject matter at hand, but can explain it all in a way that their fellow students will understand. eNotes TAs will work in our Homework Help section, writing original answers to eNoters’ questions from around the world. Along with our team of real-life Educators, eNotes TAs will help to make Homework Help your top choice for expert answers and instruction provided in the clearest way!
To join this team you must be enrolled in school (high school or undergraduate) and possess an enthusiasm for learning and sharing what you’ve learnt.
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If you’re interested in becoming a part of the eNotes team, please submit your application to become a TA to email@example.com. Make sure to include a little bit about yourself, your grade level, and what makes you a strong candidate for the TA program. We look forward to hearing from you!
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eNotes’ editorial intern shares his tips of how to make the most of your high school summer. Or any summer, for that matter!
I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. My grandma bought me the first book when I was 11, and from then on I read every book within the same week it was released. My extreme anticipation and excitement for the release of the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, back in 2007 should be understandable then. However, I was conflicted. The release date for the 7th book was set for the end of July, which is far too close to the end of summer from a student’s perspective. You see my dilemma. As a typical high school student, I wanted the long carefree days of summer to last forever, however, I now had this exciting event to look forward to at the end of summer. For the first time in my life, I was looking forward to summer ending. This turned out to be the slowest summer ever. My summer that normally felt like it was only 16 days long now felt like the setting of a slow-motion dream I couldn’t escape. Ultimately, I became comfortable with the pace of that summer in 2007 and learned to enjoy my time and stay in the moment up until that long awaited release of the Deathly Hallows.
That summer was a stark contrast to a typical high school summer, which moves way too quickly and is filled with sobs of students during the final weeks. The days meld together and may begin to pass you by. Let’s take a look at some tips to ensure that you’re making the most of your summer and emerge into the next school year after a productive and fun vacation.
1. Break it down. You have two and a half months ahead of you with no academic obligations. Plan your summer by answering these basic questions which will provide an outline for your time ahead: 1. What will I do with my time?, 2. What are my obligations?, 3. What will be fun?, 4. What will be beneficial?
2. Travel. One of my biggest regrets of high school is that I considered leaving my street to be “traveling”. Travel and learn to be comfortable making your own decisions, being your own boss, and not having your mother force you to clean your room. You will gain experience, confidence, and surely return a changed person. More importantly, you will be better equipped to handle college. And anyways, girls like well-traveled men (and vice versa). If a trip outside of the US isn’t plausible, spend a couple days in a neighboring city.
Yippee! You’re going to COLLEGE!
You’re probably getting hours and hours of sleep because you don’t spend any time at all mulling over all the new, unknown, big, scary things that come bundled up in that word ‘college.’ No, you haven’t started thinking about your future or your career or what all that means for your next four years. You haven’t started thinking about leaving home (if you are), either, or leaving your friends. You’re dandy. You’re just great. You are so excited. Genuinely amped. Ready to go. You feel like you just want to give everyone high fives.
Except, that’s not true at all. That’s actually laughable.
I know, you know, we all know that you are also (and I am definitely understating this): scared out of your wits. You’ve got the heebie-jeebies—those annoying willies. Your stomach is essentially a butterfly conservatory. You spend a lot of your free time exclaiming things like: “WHAT IS GOING ON?” Or… “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO WHEN I GROW UP?” But mostly… “AHHHHHH.”
Guess what? You’re normal.
This is normal.
College is a huge adjustment. Somehow, though, all of us college-goers come out alive, smiling, and never wanting to leave. So be soothed. This will be the best time of your life.
Now, I know my words of wisdom won’t actually be heeded at the moment, so I won’t keep spouting nostalgic, reflective, awesome statements about college.
What I will do is give you some tips on how to gain appropriate perspective on your undergraduate education. We’re going to talk about (dun dun dunnnn…): YOUR MAJOR.
Hear me when I say: YOU WANT TO READ THIS.
It’s okay to change it. Multiple times.
Some of you know exactly what you want to study, maybe what career path you want to go down. You’re pretty sure you’ve got it all figured out. If you’re nodding your head right now, this piece of wisdom is for you: you may be surprised.
Some of you will keep on that initial path. You’ll start taking classes in your particular major, you’ll enjoy it, you’ll sit in the front row, hang out with your professors in office hours, and you’ll just keep on keepin’ on until you graduate.
Some of you, though, will find that you don’t actually like what you thought you would. You’re bored, you’re confused, you’re sleeping (and snoring) in class, and you just aren’t that into it. For you guys, and for those who start off college undeclared, I implore you to feel comfortable and at ease trying new things until something fits. You do it when you shop, you can do it when you study. You wouldn’t buy an extremely expensive outfit without trying it on first, would you? So why buy an education (which is, you know, sort of pricey) without trying some stuff out first? Think about it.
Some of you might be worried about what “other people” will think. I want to tell you that no one will judge you if you change it up a bit. They will actually praise you for caring about the education you are getting (who’s the cool kid on campus now?). As long as you monitor your units, requirements, etc. throughout your college career, you should have no problem. Have no fear, you are not alone! Counselors can help you with this process, too!
It doesn’t define your career.
Oh my goodness, what did she just say? THAT IS BLASPHEMOUS!
I have a lot of friends who want to be doctors. They’ve taken their pre-requisites for medical school, sure, but do you know how many of them are actually majoring in things like physiological sciences, biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, etc.? Practically none. Many have picked majors like history and English. The same goes for some of my friends who chose to go to law school.
Your major matters because hopefully it reflects your interests. Hopefully, you are studying something you really want to be studying. That may or may not lead to a career in that field. You may even (like my aspiring-doctor-buds) get the chance to study two subjects (Wow!). I changed my major three times (almost four…no shame), am currently studying psychology, and don’t intend to be a psychologist. Nuts, right? Your options are endless.
The main point is…
Don’t let yourself be scared by the constricting appearance of a word like ‘major.’ It’s not going to constrict you unless you want it to and you let it. With enough determination you can always pull strings here and there and maneuver stealthily through your undergraduate experience to create whatever experience you want. Honestly. Just look at college as a time to figure out what really makes you tick- what you really want to spend time learning about. Maybe you will be inspired to continue that study later on in life, and maybe you won’t. There’s nothing wrong with either of these situations.
So take the leap, step into the unknown, jump into the ocean, let your spirit fly!
(That got excessive fairly quickly…my bad.)
Point is: try new things, explore a little bit. You’ll be better than fine.
Okay, okay… I pinky promise.