Overhauled SAT Begins March

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

Fork is to utensil, as SAT analogy is to history.

Once a standard part of the college prep test, the analogy question has been eliminated. Also gone are quantitative comparison math. In its place is advanced algebra.

Beginning in March 2005, SAT will be the first prep test to require an essay. It's a timed writing sample with a prompt. The new test is a test of endurance as much as anything else. It used to take three hours, but with the addition of the essay, the new one will take three hours and 45 minutes.

Educators say the basic premise for preparation is the same: Pre-testing will help eliminate some of the pressure. It's also the best way to find out which kinds of questions will be hardest for you, so you can focus your studying on those topics.

One more note in the next chapter of SAT history: If you're aiming for a perfect 1600, think again. The writing section is also an 800 point section. The total score to ace the test is now a 2400.

ACT will roll out an optional writing section beginning in February. It costs $42, as opposed to the old $28. Some schools, including MSU and U of M, will require applicants to take it to enter as freshmen in 2006.


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