Five Reasons to Take the New SAT

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Have you ever considered going to college in the U.S.? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of attending an Ivy League school like Harvard or Yale. Or maybe you thought about what it would be like to be close to the beach at University of California’s campuses in San Diego or Los Angeles. Urban to rural, East Coast to West Coast, big sports teams, or challenging academic programs — you just need to decide what you want in a college and start planning how to get there.

Taking the SAT® is an important part of your journey to college and is a globally recognized college admission test that allows prospective students show colleges what they know and how well they can apply that knowledge. The newly redesigned college entrance test was given for the first time in March of 2016 and students all over the world are excited about the changes. Here are five reasons why you should be too:

  1. It’s focused on the few things that matter most for college.
    The SAT is made up of three sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and (optional) SAT Essay. Rather than being tested on obscure vocabulary, you’ll be asked to interpret the meaning of words based on the context of the passage in which they appear. Instead of trying to master a ton of different math skills, you’ll be tested in just a few areas including problem solving and data analysis, algebra, and a few advanced math topics.
  2. There’s no penalty for guessing.
    On the new SAT, you will earn points for the questions you answer correctly. If you are unsure about certain questions, you can make your best guess and not worry about losing any points if you’re wrong.
  3. It’s accepted by all colleges and universities in the U.S., as well as many top global universities in more than 60 countries.
    The SAT is an important part of your college application. In addition to your grades, course work, extracurricular activities, and personal essay, the SAT shows colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge.
  4. You can take it when you’re ready to take it.
    International students should take the SAT within two years before they expect to enter college. It is offered six times throughout the year in October, November, December, January, May, and June. Most students take the SAT in the spring of their 11th year in school and/or in the fall of their 12th year in school. Two out of three students improved their scores when they took the SAT twice.
  5. The best way to prepare for the SAT is free for everyone.
    You don’t need to enroll in an expensive test prep program to prepare for the SAT. Every student around the world can use free, personalized SAT practice tools on Khan Academy®. The College Board and Khan Academy teamed up to level the playing field and make sure all students had access to the best tools to build their skills for test day. Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy offers thousands of interactive questions with instant feedback, video lessons to explain problems step-by-step, full-length practice tests, study tips, and more. When you sign up for your free account at satpractice.org, you can create a personalized study plan based on the areas where you need the most work. Over 1.7 million students are already using these tools. It’s a real game changer!

If you’re considering studying in the U.S., the College Board has all the tools you need to get ready.

  • Start searching for colleges based on your preferences and interests at BigFutureTM.
  • Register to take the SAT.
  • Build your personalized study plan, and start practicing for the SAT at satpractice.org.

Time to get to it! The colleges are ready for you.

Contributed by:

Adele Hazan, Student Communications, College Board

© 2016 The College Board.
Khan Academy is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other jurisdictions.

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