For the past two years, teenagers and their parents across the country have been dreading the new SAT test.
The College Board announced back in 2014 that it would be dramatically revamping the SAT to align the new test with the Common Core.
The wait for this test ended on March 5 (Saturday) when the College Board rolled out the controversial new test.
The March test represented the first major changes to the SAT since 2005 and it triggered panic while making some students take a closer look at the SAT.
If you don’t know what the fuss was about, check out my blog from January 2015: Why You Should Worry About the New SAT Test
What Teens Thought of New SAT
So what happened on Saturday when a half million students took the much anticipated test?
Well, you could argue that the fear of this test didn’t match the reality.
According to the College Board, which surveyed more than 8,000 teens who took Saturday’s test, students preferred the new SAT to the old version by a 6-to-1 ratio.
Of course, the powerful test maker has a vested interest in conveying that everything about the new test is hunky dory.
Over the weekend, however, Kaplan Test Prep surveyed 521 teenagers who took the test on Saturday and here are some of the findings:
- Fifty-nine percent of teenagers gave the exam solid marks for having questions that were straightforward and easy to follow.
- Nearly half of the teens (48%) said that the difficulty level of the test was about what they expected and 30% felt the test was more difficult. Twenty-two percent felt the new test was easier than expected.
- Sixteen percent of students responded “very much so” when asked if the new test reflected what they had learned in high school while 56% responded “somewhat.” Only five percent said the test did not reflect at all what they had learned in school. Curiously enough, the College Board said nearly three quarters of students in its survey said the test reflected their learning in high school.
- Forty-one percent found the math section more difficult than expected. A majority of test takers (56%), however, said they were comfortable doing part of the math section without a calculator, which was a new limitation.
- Fifty-eight percent found the length of the test tiring.
ACT Could Be the Big Winner
The survey results also revealed a teen strategy that should make the ACT test makers happy. The survey found that 56% of new SAT taker had either already taken the ACT or were planning to do so. And an additional 17% of the teenagers said they had not previously planned to take the ACT, but are now considering doing so after taking Saturday’s SAT.