New SAT- Buyer Beware!

September 17, 2014

“New” SAT Prep Class-Buyer Beware
Have you ever bought something that “just came out” or was “the latest-newest model” only to come across the reality that it was made with cheap materials, doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, and isn’t even worth the price you just paid?
That sinking feeling is called Buyer’s Remorse. The only way to combat Buyer’s Remorse is to take the necessary precautions before spending your hard earned cash.

Investigate before you buy:
With the announcement of a “redesigned” SAT coming out in the spring of 2016, many companies, even well-known ones, have jumped on the bandwagon to create a program for the new test. Although, this may relieve fear for a lot of parents and students who want to get a head start, the reality is that any program claiming to have a grasp on the new SAT should draw up an immediate RED FLAG.

Here’s why:
The “proposed” changes to the new SAT are simply that: proposed. The College Board has released certain types of questions that they are considering using but they were prefaced with this very detailed disclaimer:
“These draft-test specifications and sample items and other materials are just that — drafts. As such, they will systematically evolve over time. These sample items are meant to illustrate the shifts in the redesigned SAT® and are not a full reflection of what will be tested. Actual items used on the exam are going through extensive reviews and pretesting to help ensure that they are clear and fair, and that they measure what is intended. The test specifications as well as the research foundation defining what is measured on the test will continue to be refined based on ongoing research.” –The College Board

Put down the over-priced item and back away slowly:
According to the disclaimer, it appears that the College Board hasn’t reached a final decision on what the new test will eventually look like. Until a full-test is released in the spring of 2015, no one can really have an idea of what the new questions will look like so seeking out a program which claims to have all the answers based on the new test is going to drain your wallet (and patience) very quickly with little result.

Here’s what you can spend on (guilt-free!):
Because we can only go on what we really do know- it’s best to invest in what will be present on the test. There will be two sections-Math and a Reading/Writing combination section; the essay will be optional and not counted in the 1600 score; the similar new PSAT will be administered in October of 2015.
Freshmen will be the ones who will be taking both the new SAT and new PSAT. Sophomores will be taking the redesigned PSAT next year but can still take the old SATs and have those scores counted for college and scholarships. The College Board will hold a student’s score for two years and most colleges will take old tests. At this point, we don’t know how long colleges will continue to use the existing test after that. Existing juniors and seniors will not be affected at all.
If a student is considering taking the ACT instead, it is still a different test based more on content than reasoning and critical thinking like the SAT. The SAT Subject tests are not changing which means they will still follow the same recurring patterns and logic as they do now.

Happy Shopping!
Before investing in a program that promises you how ace the new SAT and then find out later that the newest model is completely different and buyer’s remorse sets in, trust in a company that isn’t all about earning a quick buck by producing something early that can be irrelevant to the final test. Once a full-length test is released in March of 2015, then and only then can families have confidence that it is the next best thing.

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