How To Get A Perfect Score In New SAT
This is the test taking experience of New SAT submitted by a SAT taker. You can read other SAT takers’ experience here.
I am a teacher and have authored several test prep books. I prefer to experience changes to test formats firsthand. I registered for the first new SAT exam in March. I wanted to check the following things:
- see which concepts were being tested
- apply a framework I developed to the essay
- test strategies for specific sections
I worked out all the practice tests issued by the College Board, although I did not need to prepare too much since I am extremely familiar with standardized testing.
A week ahead of the test, I received an email from the College Board telling me that I would not be allowed to sit for the first SAT administration for security reasons. So, I sat for the test in May.
I was suffering from jetlag on the morning of the test because I had just returned from a vacation. When I reached the test venue, I was asked to look for my name among the yellow tickets placed on tables in the cafeteria. I found that my ticket had a golden sticker, unlike the other tickets. I was given a separate room and proctor for security reasons. This helped me focus on the test better.
TIPS AND THOUGHTS:
- The questions are easier than those on the old SAT exam.
- Higher scores should be expected because the test is easier. A score of 1500/1600 in Reading and Math was considered excellent for the old SAT. Now, one should expect a score of 1550/1600.
- Every section has a few tricky questions now, as if to compensate for the overall reduction in the difficulty level of the test.
- There is more than enough time to finish the test. In the future, the College Board may reduce the time permitted for the exam.
- The Math section was tougher than the practice tests. Either the non-calculator segment or the calculator segment will be harder than the other.
- Only 1-2 questions cover trigonometry.
- Strategies like plugging in answer choices and making up numbers are still relevant for the Math section.
- Pattern recognition can help you deduce the correct answers in the Math section because each question has only 4 answer choices.
- For the non-calculator segment, you should know how to work out the following: completing the square, basic arithmetic, factoring, and arithmetic with fractions.
- The Reading section was of the same difficulty level as that of the practice tests.
- Usually, there is a tricky question on supporting evidence where you are asked to choose the option that best supports your previous answer. To attempt such questions, there are two steps: try to work out the sentences before seeing the answer choices, and then ask yourself if those sentences really support your previous answer.
- The tougher questions will have an answer choice that uses the language of the passage and appears to support the main idea in the passage or an idea related to it. This is meant to confuse the candidate between the correct answer and the trap answer.
- Pick the answer choice that directly supports your previous answer and not the one that indirectly supports your answer by referring to the main idea of the passage.
- SAT vocabulary is still important because the passages have some difficult words, which have to be understood for the passage to be fully apprehended. It also helps when answering word choice questions.
- Usually, a passage on women’s rights or civil rights is included. Other passages deal with current topics. e.g. reddit
- If you have a good grasp of grammar, you can ace the Writing section. The questions are simple and are similar to those in the practice tests. Tricky questions require you to pick the correct word or put a sentence in the correct box. The process of elimination works well here.
- In line with the rest of the new test, the essay is easier because you are required to analyze a passage. All you need to learn is to identify the persuasive and rhetorical elements of a passage. Word choice and statistics are found in nearly every passage. To be considered a good score, a minimum of 20/24 is needed i.e. 7/8 in each grading segment.
- My essay template has worked very well because I scored 7/6/7 in each category. However, I did miss a few subtle points.
My total score was 1600; 800 in Evidence-based Reading and Writing and 800 in Math. I scored 20/24 in the Essay (7 in Essay-Reading, 6 in Essay-Analysis, and 7 in Essay-Writing).
Practice and review are still the keys to getting a high score in the new SAT. It helps to write the essays as well. Start preparing the summer before the test and attempt all the four Official Practice Tests and the practice PSAT. Once you have worked through all the tests, do them again. You will find things that you have missed earlier.
Use the app SAT Question of the Day. Create or find a list of SAT vocabulary words and study them often.
You can also try the old SAT questions if you want to practice more. They will also help you consolidate your learning.
Hard work will get you a perfect score.