Stressed About the New SAT? What Upcoming Juniors Should Know

Big changes are coming to the SAT. If you're a junior about to take the dreaded exam, here's what you need to know.

The Class of 2017 has kept busy with jobs, internships, and volunteer work this summer. While our hectic schedules already seem overwhelming, there is a growing sense of worry for what most of us can expect to endure during the upcoming school year.

Junior year, often deemed the hardest year of high school, piles on an even bigger bundle of stress than what many of us were accustomed to dealing with as underclassmen. Multiple AP classes, a growing list of extracurriculars, and part-time jobs can be enough to frazzle even the most organized and responsible student.

The aspect of junior year that serves as the cherry on top is the SAT. Just the thought of a single test that can do so much as make or break a chance at college admission is terrifying enough.

The current SAT has been around for decades and has been taken by millions of students, giving them a sense of comfort about what to except come test day. Many former students have utilized study guides with concepts that are absolutely guaranteed to show up on the test, which helps solidify their knowledge in weak areas.

But the current SAT will be kicked to the curb next March, leaving upcoming juniors feeling even more worried. The new SAT, which is seemingly a mystery to all, could prove extremely beneficial or extremely detrimental to those who choose to take it for the first time ever. While it may seem like this new and improved test would easily be the better option between the two, there is a good chance that going into the SAT without a clue as to what to expect could generate a fairly poor score.

Since the current SAT is a tried and true tradition, students know exactly what they need to know in order to score their best. The new SAT is much more likely to throw students for a loop, and study tools may not be as available for a test that is generally unknown.

If you are an upcoming junior and are undecided about which SAT to take, this is what you should know:

  • The last time the SAT was changed was a decade ago, in 2005.
  • The last chance to take the current SAT is January 2016, the middle of junior year.
  • The first opportunity to take the new SAT will be in March 2016.
  • You will be able to take both the current SAT and the new SAT as many times as you’d like.
  • Khan Academy is already offering free practice for the redesigned SAT, including full-length practice tests.
  • An endless amount of various SAT prep books and full-length practice tests for the current SAT are available now.
  • Information regarding the changes made for the new SAT can be found on the College Board site.

Upcoming juniors may be better off sticking with what they know: the current SAT. But who knows; the new SAT could prove to be a better test than any we’ve seen in the past.

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About Toni Velazquez

Toni Velazquez is a high school junior from the Sunshine State. Aside from writing, she enjoys spending time with friends and sitting through her fair share of enduring Netflix marathons. She considers herself a headstrong and determined perfectionist who absolutely loves helping others in any way she can.


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