5 Tips to Help Your Teen Conquer the New Format SAT

How your student performs on the new format SAT matters. Not only will the score serve as a major determining factor for college and university acceptance, but will also provide insight into how prepared your teen is for college-level coursework.

According to the College Board, only 46% of students in the class of 2017 who took the new format SAT showed they were likely to succeed in entry-level college courses. Whether your teen has his heart set on an Ivy League university or a top-ranked state college, there are things you can do as a parent to help increase his odds of SAT success.

The new format SAT was first administered in 2016 and is currently the only version available to high school students. For most students, this is a good thing. The redesigned exam is more organized and less complicated than its predecessor – which is especially helpful when the time comes for test prep.

5 Tips to Help Your Teen Succeed on the New SAT

Before sitting for the most important exam of his or her young life, here are a few expert tips to help your teen better prepare for the new format SAT.

  • Focus More on Math: Half of the new SAT now covers mathematics. Up from one-third on the previous version of the exam, it’s more important than ever for teens to brush up on their numbers prior to sitting for the SAT.
  • Don’t Rely on a Calculator: Rather than ten sections, the new format SAT features four mandated sections and an optional essay. Two areas focus on math, but only one allows the use of a calculator. The “calculator prohibited” section is new, and while students can use a calculator on the second math section, they are encouraged not to rely on it. Students will have on average just over a minute to spend on each math question. The more comfortable your teen is without a calculator, the better off he or she will be.
  • Don’t Leave Anything Blank: Unlike its predecessor, the new format SAT is scored as rights-only. Your teen won’t be dinged for wrong answers and only correct answers will be considered in the final scoring of the exam. Make sure your student is aware of this fact, and encourage him or her to make educated guesses rather than leaving a question blank.
  • Be Comfortable with Graphs: Every section of the new SAT features graphs and tables – even the writing section. Ensure your teen is comfortable interpreting data from graphs and tables in the context of math, language and reading.
  • Practice Time Management Skills: The new SAT is down to four sections and each focuses on a single subject matter. Throughout the exam, your teen will be tasked with staying focused on one subject for a longer period of time. Effective time management skills are an essential component to success on the new SAT. If your teen can determine how to best divide the allotted time over the number of questions in each section, he or she will be less anxious and perform better overall.

Practice Makes Perfect

These are only a handful of important things to keep in mind as your son or daughter prepares to take the new SAT. Of course, like anything else in life – practice makes perfect. Aside from free test prep resources available on the College Board website, Alpha Test Prep offers exceptional services to elite students endeavoring to attend an Ivy League institution.

If your son or daughter is confident, intelligent, and motivated, our expert tutors can provide them with the extra boost they need to set the curve and reach their collegiate dreams. Give us a call today to get started.

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