Many students are asking the question should I take the current SAT or the ACT or take the New SAT which will be offered in March 2016. Some things you should know about the current ACT and New SAT both of which are quite similar.
On the New SAT and ACT as opposed to the Current SAT:
1. You will have less critical thinking skills oriented questions and more questions involving tedious calculations and memory.
2. Many questions, especially math, will be either very easy or very tedious.
3. You will have 4 choices instead of 5 (except ACT Math 5 choices) providing greater chances for blindly guessing correctly.
4. You will have grammar questions based on reading passages so you not only need to concentrate on grammar but also on the reading passage.
5. On the New SAT, (not the ACT) questions in reading asking which part of the passage enables you to get your answer.
This is redundant if you know how to get the answer, since you would know which part of the passage enabled you to get it.
6. I advised the College Board to have separate calculator and non calculator sections, and they took my advice. On the New SAT, they have a Math section where you can use a calculator, and a math section where you cannot.
However, they ultimately did this superficially. The way they have it, it is a fairly redundant addition the way they have it since many of the questions would not require you to use a calculator even if it is on the calculator section, and many of the questions which are on the non-calculator section, you would not want or need to use a calculator anyway.
But, if you learn the right strategies, you should be able to determine when you should use a calculator and when you should not.
For example in a question like what is the value of:
2/3 X ¾ X 4/5 X 5/6 X 6/7 you should realize that if you cancelled like numerators and denominators, you would get 2/7 as an answer almost immediately. You can imagine how much longer it would take you if you used a calculator for this particular question.
7. On the New SAT, many of the items in the Math, Reading and Writing will contain data analysis through graphs, charts and tables. This is useful in real world and is useful for testing students.
8. The New SAT (and ACT) will contain questions on trigonometry and imaginary numbers.
The key element is the learn the strategies and basic skills and when tackling a question on the New SAT, ACT or Current SAT try to extract something from the question, maybe even something which is curious, which will lead you to the next step without getting fixated on just getting a bottom line answer.
Be active in your reading of the questions. For example if a Reading passage states something like" Half a thousand years ago," figure out what that would translate to--"500 years ago." So you've figured the time period to be about "1500". This tells you what period of time you are in this information you've just found psychologically provides interest in your reading the rest of the passage. If in a math question you see it says "whole numbers" make sure you use that information actively in the problem.
Note specific strategies let you answer a question without wracking your brains and even though you can do the problem almost mechanically, without anxiety, you still get the excitement of solving it.
An example is something like this: What percent of 20 is 200?
By translating "what" to "x" and "of" to "X" (times), "is" to "=" , and percent to "/100",
You can almost solve the problem immediately and mechanically, and without any anxiety or probability of making a mistake.
Here are some recent articles of mine where you can actually take a test to see which test will be better for you: