• March 11, 2015
  • BLOG

2016 SAT Changes


The College Board has announced that it is overhauling the SAT, leading to many questions from parents. Ivy Link’s Director of Standardized Testing, Cory Bragar, answers some of them below:

Q: Will these changes affect my child?
A: The changes to the SAT will be implemented in March of 2016, so members of the class of 2017 will be the first to experience the redesigned test. The PSAT offered in October 2015 will be the new test. However, since the changes to the SAT will be implemented in March of 2016, Class of 2017 members wishing to take the old SAT could do so in October, December or January of their junior year.

Q: In light of the new SAT, which test should members of the class of 2017 take?
A: Most current sophomores (members of the class of 2017) should plan to take the ACT. There won’t be any preparation materials for the new SAT until May 2015 and how much will be released is unclear. More importantly, new versions of the SAT tend to be unpredictable and there are more frequent scoring and scaling problems, so the scores can vary a lot more than usual. Therefore, unless there is an overwhelming reason (such as receiving extra time on the SAT) to pursue the SAT (which our experts can discuss with you on an individual basis), students in the class of 2017 should prepare for the ACT.

Q: When should my child begin SAT/ACT prep?
A: Most students should start thinking about SAT/ACT prep in the spring of 10th grade. Students who anticipate having particular difficulty with standardized testing should begin in the fall or winter of 10th grade. Members of the class of 2017 who are considering taking the current SAT should take a diagnostic test and begin prep immediately as they should be aiming to take the real test next November and December before it changes.

Q: Why do you recommend taking the SAT/ACT so early?
A: The spring of 11th grade is a really crazy time and it’s great if students can be finished with their SAT/ACTs by April before most of the craziness begins.. Most students are taking APs, SAT Subject Tests and finals in May and June of 11th grade. It’s great if they can be finished with the SAT/ACT before they encounter all these other tests. To be ready to test so early, most students must start prep the summer before 11th grade.

Q: How should my child begin his or her SAT/ACT Prep?
A: All SAT/ACT prep should begin with diagnostic testing. Since the SAT is changing and the new test is not available yet, current 10th graders should begin with an ACT diagnostic.

Q: Is it true that 8th and 9th graders will now be taking SAT tests?
A: Maybe depending on their school. The College Board is introducing what it calls its “Suite of Assesments” that could result in an additional 3 standardized tests for younger students. Starting in the October of 2015, schools will have the option to offer the PSAT 8/9 to 8th and 9th graders in the fall and the PSAT 10 to 10th graders in the spring. 11th graders will still take the PSAT in the fall of 11th grade and schools can still choose to give 10th graders the PSAT in the fall of 10th grade.

Q: Will the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10 and PSAT scores matter for my child’s college application?
A: No. These tests are intended as practice and the scores are not reported to colleges.

Q: Should my child prep for any of the PSAT tests?
A: No. Since none of the PSAT test scores matter for college applications, there is no need to do any specific prep for these tests.

For additional information, please contact Ivy Link experts at info@myivylink.com or 1.888.844.4439.