Do you know all there is to know about the SAT? Chances are you don’t, unless, of course, you happen to work for the College Board, the organization that creates and administers the test. Most people know exactly what they must know to obtain the score they need, right? It’s only natural. Why bog yourself down with excess information and facts when you need to focus on the task at hand—which is more than likely studying.
However, there is a lot to learn about this exam, and peppering your study time with interesting facts and tidbits of information is can really enhance your comprehension of the SAT and all that it has to offer. After all, isn’t it better to understand the test you are putting so much time and effort into holistically? Let’s take a break from working on test day strategy with Manhattan SAT and learn more about the SAT in an effort to shed additional light on this important test.
The SAT has a rich history
The SAT is not a newfound trend in test taking that just sprouted up the other day. In fact, the SAT, which is often referred to as the Scholastic Aptitude/Assessment Test, dates back to 1901, when the College Board first implemented it in an attempt to streamline university admissions. Prior to that time, each university had its own individual admissions test, which was time-consuming and exhausting for students applying to more than one school. During World War I, commanders were giving aptitude/IQ tests to soldiers to test their capabilities, which eventually led to the creation of the SAT that we know today in 1926. Of course, since then, it has gone through a multitude of changes—not to mention its fair share of criticism—but it still remains a viable test for undergraduate admission that thousands of students sit for annually.
The SAT has a major competitor.
While the SAT was the number one reigning undergraduate admissions exam for many years, the ACT emerged as its primary competitor; nowadays, more students take the ACT than the SAT. The ACT is slightly longer than the SAT, and they both have similar sections. The SAT contains: English, Math, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing section. The ACT, on the other hand, possesses: Reading, Writing and Language, Math No Calculator, Math Calculator, and an optional Essay. They are scored slightly differently, with the SAT scored on a broad range of 400-1600 and the SAT on a scale of 1-36. The ACT is slightly more expensive, but not by more than a few dollars. Both exams are accepted at colleges and universities. Typically, students do not take both; they sit for one or the other. The decision of which one to take is highly personal and is best arrived at through countless practice exams. It’s nice to see that the SAT, the country’s oldest standardized undergraduate admissions exam, continues to go strong!
The SAT has been revised.
With the rich history that the SAT has, you can imagine that it has undergone many different revisions. The most recent revision was in 2016. This brought along the new score range, which sits somewhere between 400 and 1600, along with sub-scores for every test, providing added insight for students, parents, admissions officers, educators, and counselors. Vocabulary questions were altered towards a greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice can shape the overall meaning. Many of these revisions were alterations from the 2005 revision, not only due to test-optional policies at a handful of schools, but also competition from its main rival—the ACT.
As you can see, learning about the SAT can be just as fun as learning its strategies. Whenever you have the opportunity to sit for an exam with such a rich history and nuances, learning more about it takes away some of the anxiety and myths. Wherever your SAT studies take you—at Manhattan Review Mehdipatnam or another reputable top tier test prep company, we hope you take time to assimilate all you can. When we know more about the experience we are walking into, we often perform with greater ease. What more can you ask for on test day?