Education News

College Board Releases Draft SAT Questions

College Board Releases Draft SAT Questions

A preview of the SAT redesign specifications were released this week giving us a sneak peek.

The College Board previewed a set of draft questions for the newly redesigned SAT and offered an explanation of the new specifications regarding the test changes.

In a statement, the College Board was very clear to state that the questions are merely drafts and will be developed as the redesign and review process continues. “These draft test specifications and sample items are just that—drafts. As such, they will systematically evolve over time,” and actual items used on the exam will go through extensive reviews and pretesting, according to a letter posted on the College Board website from President David Coleman and Cynthia Schmeiser, chief of assessment.

Some changes  students can expect to find:
1. Relevant words in context: Students will be asked to interpret the meaning of words used in context within the passage.
Ex. “As used in line 55, ‘intense’ most nearly means
a. emotional.
b. concentrated.
c. brilliant.
d. determined.

2. Command of evidence. While taking the evidence-based reading and writing assessment portion of the exam, students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of evidence found in a wide range of sources. For example, the evidence can be found in informational graphics, passages, etc.

3. Essay analyzing a source. In this redesigned portion of the exam, students will read a passage and must explain how the author develops an argument to persuade the audience.

4. Focus on math that matters most. This section will focus on three areas of math, including problem solving and data analysis, the heart of algebra and passport to advanced math. Problem solving includes using ratios and percentages. The heart of algebra includes mastery of linear equations and systems; and passport to advanced math refers to a student’s familiarity with more complex equations.

5. Problems grounded on real-world contexts. Students can expect to find questions related to work performed in real-world career settings.

6. Analysis in history and in history/social studies. The redesigned text will ask students to apply their reading, writing, language and math skills to answers questions in history, science and social studies contexts.

7. Founding documents and great global conversation. Students will read founding documents like the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, the Federalists Papers and more to move discussions on civic life and engagement.

8. No penalty for wrong answers. No longer will students lose points for guessing incorrectly. Students will earn points for questions answered correctly.

View the Sample Questions.

Remember, the sample questions provided are merely drafts and will be changed. Check back for more updates.

Read more about this story on Education Week.
Visit the College Board and learn more about the SAT redesign.

Photo Courtesy: College Board