If you've been to the College Board SAT website, you may have noticed there's lots being written about the "New SAT." Many test prep makers are changing all of their materials for the New SAT and calling what you are studying for the "Old SAT."
Are you in trouble? Did you miss something? Are you studying for the wrong test?
For now, you're good. The SAT is changing, but not until after the January 2016 exam. That means that if you are in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates, the first time you will take the New SAT is in May 2016. (There is no March SAT exam for international students. Find out more about this here.)
If you plan to take the May or June 2016 SATs, you will take the "New SAT." Taking the New SAT may affect you in a few ways depending on who you are.
If you are in the 12th grade (UK year 13) now
You need to take the SAT as soon as possible. The SAT that is available now has years of great research and easily available resources online. All of this will disappear after January.
You'll have the best chance to do well on the test with an abundance of practice materials (and reasonably good teachers for the old test). Once the New SAT starts, everyone will be transitioning to the new test and some people will not know what they are talking about. For example, Kaplan released some prep materials for the New SAT and all of the questions had 5 answer choices. Ummm...the questions on the New SAT only have 4 answer choices. (If I had bought that book, I would ask for my money back!)
Back on the topic, if you take the SAT again after January, you will be studying for a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT exam. Don't do it! If you are applying to universities like American University of Sharjah or Beirut that have summer deadlines, plan ahead. Take the SAT NOW!
If you are in the 11th grade (UK year 12) now
Wait to study for and take the SAT. If you study for the SAT now, you will be studying for the Old SAT. If you decide next year that you want to take the SAT again, you will take a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT test, which means you have to start your studying over! Our suggestion is to wait and take the May or June 2016 SATs. You will still be way ahead in the university application process and have time to take the SAME SAT again in October 2016 if you want to improve your score.
If you are in the 10th grade (UK year 11) now
We like your enthusiasm, but you're a bit early to start studying for the SAT. Focus on getting good grades, rock your math classes, and read more books and you'll do well on the SAT.
If you are not in school but need to take the SAT
If you took a gap year or have been working and intend to apply for universities with summer deadlines, like the American University of Sharjah or Lebanese American University, you should take the SAT NOW. Don't put it off. Review the requirements on the university's websites and go ahead and take the test. It will be one less thing to think about (you also have to take the TOEFL or IELTS).
If you have another situation you need help with, leave it in the comments and we'll reply.
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