New SAT – My Experience
This is the new SAT experience submitted by a SAT taker. You can read other SAT takers’ experience here.
Yesterday, I took the new SAT at the local high school. After exercising and breakfast, I went to the test venue with a calculator, 2 pencils, and my admissions ticket. Although candidates were supposed to arrive at 7:45 a.m., I couldn’t get into a classroom before 8:15 a.m. because of the long queues. The test began only at 8:45 a.m.
We began with the reading section. There were 5 passages, with 10-11 questions after each passage, to be done in 65 minutes. As compared to the ACT in which you have four passages with 10 questions to complete in 35 minutes, there is much less time pressure.
One passage dealt with fiction, whereas the other four passages were nonfiction, with topics like women’s suffrage, the environment, and brain studies. I found some of them interesting. I had 5 minutes left after I finished, which I used to review the challenging questions. I suggest you mark the tough questions in your question booklet so you can review them later.
We got a break for 10 minutes before this section. I used it to go to the bathroom and stretch my legs. I suggest you use this time to get out of your seat and move around.
This section had 44 questions to be done in 35 minutes, as compared to the ACT where you have to answer 75 questions in 60 minutes. There were four passages accompanied by 11 questions each. The questions were similar to those of ACT English; some were different. There were at least two questions based on graphs, similar to ACT Science. I was a little confused during this segment, but I did finish in time.
We began with Math-No Calculator immediately after Writing. I almost ran out of time in this section because I could not figure out a multiple choice question. There was a difficult question in the grid-in section as well. I only had a minute to review the tough questions.
We had a break for 5 minutes before the Math-Calculator section began. This segment was easy and I had 8 minutes left after I finished all the questions.
There was confusion about this section even among the proctors, who asked us to check if our booklets had it. We worked on this section for another 25 minutes and the subject was Math. I could not attempt two questions as I did not have enough time.
We were dismissed at 12:35 p.m., thus the entire test took 4 hours.
I felt that the new SAT is impartial as compared to the previous version. There is more time to attempt the test than the ACT. However, you will still find trick questions that test your understanding of the subject. For candidates who need more time to write a test, the new SAT is good. Also, if you prepare for the SAT, you can attempt the ACT and vice versa.