Attention all seniors: whether you are loquacious or taciturn, punctilious or lackadaisical, you no longer need to know what those words mean. The College Board has deposed vocabulary as the chief gatekeeper to a good SAT score. That’s just one change in the new SAT which rolled out in March 2016. Before you buckle down to study, read In-Home Tutors’ Guide to the New SAT, complete with practice questions and resources.

If you study best with someone to guide you, don’t hesitate to enlist one of our private SAT prep tutors. Give us a call at 407-459-1231.

To kick off our guide to the new SAT, let’s go over the biggest changes:

  • No More Guessing Penalty. The old SAT took off points for incorrect answers to discourage random guesses. Now, if you run out of time or don’t have a clue, you can go ahead and play connect-the-dots–or better yet, make educated guesses.
  • Optional Essay. Good with words? You can opt into the Essay portion, with 50 minutes allotted (twice as much time as before). Rather than factoring into your overall score, the essay is scored on its own
  • Fewer Choices on Multiple Choice Questions. The new SAT asks you to choose from 4 possible answers, not 5
  • Back to 1600. The Critical Reading and Writing sections now accounts for a combined 800 points. so your composite SAT score will now be a maximum 1,600 points instead of 2,400 — which is how it used to be before the Writing section was introduced in 2005.
  • No More Vocab! Throw away those flashcards with all those strange words you’ve never encountered outside of SAT practice tests. The new SAT tests your understanding of more commonly used words and phrases in context.
  • Take the SAT and the ACT: As you begin to take new SAT practice tests, you’ll probably notice that it’s a lot like the ACT. You can essentially study for both at the same time because they are so similar at this point.