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Students Across U.S. Take New SAT A) Saturday B) Sunday C) None Of The Above

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Rachel Barr, 17, of Scarborough, Maine, takes a practice SAT Test in a room with other students on February 23, 2016. The redesigned SAT is being administered to high school students for the first time Saturday.i

Rachel Barr, 17, of Scarborough, Maine, takes a practice SAT Test in a room with other students on February 23, 2016. The redesigned SAT is being administered to high school students for the first time Saturday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images


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Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Rachel Barr, 17, of Scarborough, Maine, takes a practice SAT Test in a room with other students on February 23, 2016. The redesigned SAT is being administered to high school students for the first time Saturday.

Rachel Barr, 17, of Scarborough, Maine, takes a practice SAT Test in a room with other students on February 23, 2016. The redesigned SAT is being administered to high school students for the first time Saturday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Ready your pencils.

This morning, across America, the redesigned version of the SAT — the standardized entrance exam widely used in college admissions — is being administered for the first time.

(The correct answer to our headline, therefore, is A … but under the redesigned test, there’s no penalty for guessing, so no worries if you got it wrong.)

Back in January, when the old version of the test was given by the College Board for the last time, our NPR Ed team explained the logic behind the update:

“… Cyndie Schmeiser, the chief of assessment at the College Board, says it was time to stop doing a few key things. Among them: asking students “the definitions of words that perhaps they crammed for the night before the test but may not use.”

“The new test, Schmeiser says, will include vocabulary, but within a reading passage. Less cramming, more context. Also, students can expect to find an increased emphasis on using evidence in a passage to back up answers.

“The College Board hopes the redesign will provide a more accurate measure of a student’s college and career readiness — a phrase made famous by advocates of the Common Core learning standards. Those standards, in reading and math, are now being used by the vast majority of states, and the SAT’s chief rival, the ACT, is surging in part because it was first to adapt to the core. Now the SAT is playing catch-up.”

NPR Ed on the SAT

Katerina Maylock teaches a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Md. The current version of the SAT college entrance exam is having its final run, when thousands of students nationwide will sit, squirm or stress through the nearly four-hour reading, writing and math test. A new revamped version debuts in March.

Carol McMullen-Pettit (right), a Premier Tutor at The Princeton Review, goes over SAT test preparation with 11th-grader Suzane Nazir in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

The College Board has announced a partnership with Khan Academy to make prep materials for the SAT college-entrance exam available free online.

Suzane Nazir uses a Princeton Review SAT preparation book to study for the test on March 6, 2014, in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

There are changes to the scoring, too: the penalty for guessing has been dropped and the essay — which is optional — is now scored separately from the rest of the test. Writing and reading questions have been combined, and the top score for the test is once again 1600, not 2400.

In addition to putting vocabulary in context and requiring students to look for more textual evidence, the new test has changed the essay so students are analyzing a text, instead of writing based on an open-ended question. The College Board is also working to make math and reading questions simulate real-world situations more accurately.

Curious what that looks like? Want to work through some problems this morning, in solidarity with the nation’s high school students?

Here are a few sample questions in the new SAT format. (And for some blast-from-the-past questions, NPR Ed shared some questions from the SAT’s long history in January — check ’em out.)

Math

Calculator permitted:

Aaron is staying at a hotel that charges $99.95 per night plus tax for a room. A tax of 8% is applied to the room rate, and an additional onetime untaxed fee of $5.00 is charged by the hotel. Which of the following represents Aaron’s total charge, in dollars, for staying x nights?

A) (99.5 + 0.08x) + 5

B) 1.08(99.95x) + 5

C) 1.08(99.95x + 5)

D) 1.08(99.95 + 5)x

Manatee scatter plot.i

Manatee scatter plot.

Calculator permitted:

The scatterplot [Count of Manatees] shows counts of Florida manatees, a type of sea mammal, from 1991 to 2011. Based on the line of best fit to the data shown, which of the following values is closest to the average yearly increase in the number of manatees?

A) 0.75

B) 75

C) 150

D) 750

Calculator not permitted, no multiple choice:

If a^2 + 14a = 51 and a 0, what is the value of a + 7?

Reading

This passage is adapted from a speech delivered by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of Texas on July 25, 1974, as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. In the passage, Jordan discusses how and when a United States president may be impeached, or charged with serious offenses, while in office. Jordan’s speech was delivered in the context of impeachment hearings against then president Richard M. Nixon.

Today, I am an inquisitor. An hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemnness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. line 4 (“the diminution, the subversion, the destruction”) is to

A) convey with increasing intensity the seriousness of the threat Jordan sees to the Constitution.

B) clarify that Jordan believes the Constitution was first weakened, then sabotaged, then broken.

C) indicate that Jordan thinks the Constitution is prone to failure in three distinct ways.

D) propose a three-part agenda for rescuing the Constitution from the current crisis.

As used in line 32, “channeled” most nearly means

A) worn.

B) sent.

C) constrained.

D) siphoned.

(Additional questions based on this passage available here.)

Writing

After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English.

A Life in Traffic

A subway system is expanded to provide service to a growing suburb. A bike‑sharing program is adopted to encourage nonmotorized transportation. [Q1] “Q1” sentence in bold:] Which choice best maintains the sentence pattern already established in the paragraph?

A) NO CHANGE

B) Coordinating stoplight timing can help alleviate rush hour traffic jams in a congested downtown area.

C) Stoplight timing is coordinated to alleviate rush hour traffic jams in a congested downtown area.

D) In a congested downtown area, stoplight timing is coordinated to alleviate rush hour traffic jams.

[Based on “Q2” section in bold italics:]

Select an Answer

A) NO CHANGE

B) occur, they are

C) occurs, they are

D) occurs, it is

[Based on Q3 section in italics:]

Select an Answer

A) NO CHANGE

B) to design

C) designing

D) design

(Full passage and additional questions available here.)

SAT questions copyright 2016 by The College Board. www.collegeboard.org. Reproduced with permission.

Answers (explanations at links):

Math: B, C, 10.

Reading: A, A, C

Writing: C, D, C

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/05/469307788/students-across-u-s-take-new-sat-a-saturday-b-sunday-c-none-of-the-above?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news



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